2001 March Meeting

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes         March 15, 2001
Recording Secretary: Kenny Schrader

Before you read anything, grab a homebrew. Relax, and enjoy the ride! Reading this Newsletter without beer in hand is prohibited. So, get with the program and obey the rules. If you have no homebrew, any Climax Brewery beer will do as well. This is a long one, so grab at least 2 beers! ...or just pop that growler, baby.

The WHALES Homebrew Club meeting "happened" on the 3rd Thursday of the month (as usual) at our home base of JJ Bitting Brewpub in the heart of Woodbridge, NJ at 7:30pm sharp. THANK YOU JJ BITTING for hosting us!

Professional Brewers- Brad of JJ Bitting Brewpub, Dave of Climax Brewery, Tom of JJ Bitting (and WHALES member)
Guest Brewers- Tony Cuomo, a 10 year homebrewing veteran. Also 1 or 2 others ANONYMOUS.
Club Members- Paul, Crazy John, Keith, Luke, Kenny, Mike T, Julianna, Harry.

President Keith called the meeting to order at 7:45 PM in the main dining room overlooking Main Street.

NATIONAL HOMEBREW COMPETITION! Our President was so generous to offer a freebie or two for anyone interested. How could anyone refuse a FREE ZYMERGY subscription and a FREE entry to the AHA NATIONALS??? THANK YOU "PREZ"!

Important Dates:
May 05 (Saturday) is National Homebrew Day. Once again, Keith is opening up his home to accomodate us on this very special occasion. There may be 3 recipes up on the menu, you won't want to miss it. It's a great time to share your techniques, or learn from others.

AHA Club Only STOUT Competition: Go Paul! Good Luck.

July 2001: WHALES picnic. Warren Park. Luke is on it!

International Beer Festival/Pennsylvania 1 to 2 hours from our area depending where you live. 30 or so breweries. $18 advance tickets or $22 at door.

March 24: NetWORT6 (internet) Good luck to Keith, Mike M, Kenny, and Steve Gale!

March 31: Book and Cook in Philly

April 28: Manyunk (215) 482-8220

May 19: Iron Hill (610) 627-9000 --> Brad is entering.

You know, we are so fortunate to have Brew Professionals share our Meeting Table with us when they can. Of course, some pros are pure brewing genius, and we were graced with a good friend of WHALES once again. That genius was none other than Dave Hoffman, of Climax Brewery in Roselle Park, NJ. Dave always brings enthusiam, insight, and basically FUN to our monthly meetings! WHALES are lucky to attract his interest. Dave taught us and spoke about -TREACLE-. A richly molasses-like substance used in Theakston's Old Peculiar and other beers of that type. His knowledge about beer and brewing is outstanding and The Club is always happy to see him.

Brad, our resident Pro Brewer of Bitting, also graced our meeting and we thank him as well! As always, Brad is more than happy to donate yeast to WHALES members. We really do appreciate that!

Brad has some REALLY COOL (KEWL) flip top GERMAN beer bottles that he is offering AT COST. These bottles bounce off the floor, are dark brown, and are liter plus capacity. He's got 800 or so, but they are going fast. They should last a lifetime. Call to reserve.

The focus of this month's meeting... our reason to live one more day... was presented in World Class stlye by none other than our own "Event Coordinator" Master Luke, with a PHD in Beer Mixology. Lukester be Da MAN!

Mr. Kostu's introduction was well planned and thought out. It was presented in a fashion that compliments his personal life as a teacher. The topic itself, presents fascination among even the most well heeled Mixologists. Lukester had 2 goals. Teach and Drink. It went very well! Below is a "mix" of memories worthy of recollection-

    Widmere Hefe and Pineapple Juice "This is not a true beer mixing but it's too good to pass up. On the menu at Heartland Brewery in NYC using, of course, their own wheat beer. Those bastards charge you a buck for that splash of pineapple (I recommend 4 oz per 12 0z beer) but after tasting it you don't care."

    *We thought this mix was great for sitting pool-side. It was a good summer drink. Almost a punch! Needs some red, (color) perhaps. Granadine? Add some FRAMBOISE and this is a winner! (which we did later as #8 below)


    Woodchuck Cider and Bass Ale "This 50/50 mix is common in bars that carry hard cider on tap. Any solid ale will do. This mix notably found on the specials board at The Ale n'Wich in New Brunswick."

    *We thought (and Dave Hoffman in particular) that this MIX tasted like a Homebrewer's first Homebrew! That is to say, rather cidery. This was like a Mister Beer thingy. Some homebrew recipes call for a ton of sugar. Corn sugar, and even regular white table sugar. These "refined" sugars make very apple cidery tasting brews. Beers made from barley malt, won't get this cidery taste. Perhaps the 50/50 ratio should be modified to individual tastes. It was a lesson in Mixology none the less, and we are of course all the better for it! Note: there are other "snakebites" made with stout and cider too.


    Guinness Stout with Harp Lager "The grand-daddy of beer mixers. Bass Ale can also be used in a 50/50 ratio. Why does Guinness float on top of the other beer? Because quality always rises to the top."

    *Well, of COURSE this is the classic beer mixer! And a damn good one at that! The whole topic of half and halfs, or black and tans, brought on a highly delightful and most educational discussion among the group however. Often controversial. Brad even offered a Half and Half mix of beer and tomato juice! Can you imagine...

    Luke tried to layer our Guinness and Harp sample, but even the most professional bartenders fail in that attempt. Luke was no exception, although he sure gave it his best shot! Pouring your stout slowly over a spoon may help, but it really can be hit or miss depending on a number of factors that were all gone over in detail. (MAJOR DETAIL, too much to type about here)!

    Mr. Hoffman offered his expertise in that area. And it really does get very technical as to why the stout goes on top, rather than the other way. Much of it has to do with Nitrogen gas, and Final Gravities. People often think of stout (and Guinness in particular) as a heavy beer due to its black color. This is so far from the truth! Guinness is actually a very "light" beer, when you consider the FG and alc content. In fact, its tame. Beer affectionatos have been talking about why the stout floats for decades! And we will for centuries to come as well. The main thing is to enjoy the Mix and experiment until you discover your favorite ratios and blends!

    Is there any difference between a "Half and Half" and a "Black and Tan"? You bet your sweet petunia! Half and half, when ordered in Ireland will get you half ale and half lager, thus the Guinness and Harp. Yet a "Black and Tan" will yield a mix of ales, stout (which is an ale) and another lighter colored ale (such as Bass).

    CLIMAX BREWERY is partial to yet another of this type of mix called a "Quarter Porter". This would be 3/4 ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and 1/4 ratio of Porter. Well worth trying!


    Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Framboise Lambic "Dave Hoffman turned me on to this mix at Antone's a couple of years ago. He was drinking it with Victory Imperial in a 3/4 stout - 1/4 lambic ratio. The ratio is dependent on how sweet you like it."

    *Well, let me tell you... We all simply DIED and went to Heaven on this one! THIS MUST BE A SIN. It's just too damn orgasmically good for human consumption, period. The ratio was abso-LUKE-ly perfect! Nailed. You know, the "Young's" portion of this mix is very RARE and hard to find in this area. Kudo's to Luke for scoping it out! A bottle of Young's Double Stout will easily set you back $4 bucks. This chocolate beer, mixed with the Raspberry Framboise is a Mix that goes into the History Books as WORLD CLASS material. P E R F E C T I O N . Candy. Un-Freaking real. It's better than sex, swear to God.


    Redhook Double Black Stout and SN Celebration Ale "Paul St. Marie's creation came to him in a dream. A 50/50 mix based on the black and tan theme. Two of these and you'll dream too."

    *Brad was the first to pick up the Celebration Hops in this puppy. We all thought this was a good one but you know what? It only took a moment to put a splash of that dang Framboise in here. Luke had enough of the Lambic to pump it up, and the audience applauded, big time...

    By this point, it seemed obvious. Stout mixes very well with stuff. And that Framboise mixes well with just about everything!


    Brooklyn Black and Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine "Our own Kenny Schrader's creation published in MALT ADVOCATE in 1996. Easy too... one bottle of Brooklyn to one little Crusty. Not recommended for wimps or losers."

    *The Crusty has become EXTREMELY rare here on the East side. Near impossible, at best. Luke searched high and low for it for weeks. He ended up dialing a buddy out West, and kripey if that bloke didn't come through! Old Crust we had, and mixed with the BBCS. This really is one potent concoction, and must be treated with utmost respect. Great on a cold winter night! Careful driving. Keith brought one of his own mixes to share.


  7. THE BANG:
    Cider, ale, sugar, and whiskey

    *Take a pint of cider, and add a pint of warm ale, sweeten with sugar to taste, and add a wine-glassful of whiskey. Some would add some grated nutmeg or ginger as well, but we did not have any on hand. Once again, very potent.

    I think the official presentation was winding up, but the mixes kept coming and coming!


  8. PUNCH
    4 oz pineapple juice, splash of lambic, 12 oz Widmere Hefeweizen.

    *"Kid's would like it", said Dave Hoffman. It was grand.


    1 part Dixie White Mousse to 3 parts huge malty beer (Samichlaus)
    1 part Dixie White Mousse to 6 parts Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
    1.5 oz Rose's lime juice to 12 oz well chilled lager
    12 oz stout with 4 oz champagne
    12 oz stout with 4 oz hard cider
    4 oz ginger beer (not ginger ale) with 12 oz ale
    Dissolve 2 tsp. sugar in a little water. Add 12 oz stout, 1-2 oz of ruby port, and dust the head with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  16. CRU-BERRY:
    Celis Grand Cru and Celis Raspberry 50/50
    McMenimin's Ruby Red and Terminator Stout 50/50
    Mix your favorite wheat with a 50/50 mix of lemonade. Popular with the senior citizens and children in Germany.
  19. RED BEER (by Brad):
    Beer and tomato juice. A CRAZY MARY???
  20. PURPLE PUNCH (by Dave Hoffman):
    Vodka, granadine, pineapple, dry ice, food coloring, fish tank with lights. Bubbles over with foam.
There was more mixology, but I think you get the picture! I believe at this point, the official presentation was at an end. Once again, GREAT JOB! Thank you, Luke and all! The night was not over however by ANY means, and now the "AFTER MEETING TASTING SESSION" went into full swing. Oh dear.

Brad shared BLACKBEARD ALE from Saint Thomas made by the Virgin Island Brewing Company.

From Divorce Court Labs Brewery, Kenny shared his winter lagered homebrewed bock.

Dave shared growlers of his CLIMAX CREAM ALE, this time made with Cascades. Also on hand were growlers of CLIMAX BROWN, what a treat!

Luke shared his homebrew EVERYDAY CASCADE ALE which was VERY good and the Club thought it very similar to the Climax Cascade Cream.

My apologies if I forgot any others, but by this point I would think forgetting something might be understandable. WHEW! We ended the session with a discussion about the legalization of homebrew.

-->By the time you finish reading this (hope you did), the photos of this meeting will be on the Members Only website.

CHEERS and enjoy!
Kenny / Divorce Court Labs Brewery