2000 October Meeting

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes         October 21, 2000
Recording Secretary: Kenny Schrader


~~~ The month of October was invented for beer!~~~
Keith's Oktoberfest was held October 7th, and by all measures it was a dandy! The "core" group of Club members attended in full force, and a great time was had by all. All day food and desserts, horseshoe tournaments, volley ball, raffle tickets, good times with good people. Oh, by the way, there was also some beer. Rather, there was one whole helluva LOT of beer! The selection to choose from was enormous and outstanding, including both homebrew and commercial beer.
Tom Baker, owner and Master Brewer of Heavyweight Brewery treated the WHALES to a keg of his Imperial Porter. Man, was that some world class stuff! It is affectionately nicknamed "The Hammer" and in fact, that is exactly what the tap handle was! Baker also generously invited the WHALES to hold a meeting anytime at his brewery. The Club immediately scheduled for November, but that ended up to be difficult for a Thursday night. Instead of a Club meeting at Heavyweight, it seems better for most to visit, tour, and just plain hang out at Heavyweight on a weekend. That we will surely do! Date to be scheduled.
The Club's 3rd Thursday of the month meeting was held at J.J. Bitting Brewpub on October 19th. Homebrewers gathered at the bar before the meeting to quaff the brewpub's award winning Octoberfest. CONGRATULATIONS to J.J Bitting, Brad, Mike, and Tom on the success of this beer at the GABF (Great American Beer Festival) in Colorado! We are ESPECIALLY proud of our Club's Tom Paffrath (as usual). Yes, the Club has a ringer or few when it comes to brewing. We are sure that Tom's input was the factor in obtaining medal status. Good job, way to go!
The meeting officially began at 8:15 in the main dining room. Attendance: Crazy John, Keith, Mike M, Tom, Kenny, Harry, Juliana, Mike T, Luke, Paul, and from ACROSS THE BORDER---> Bob Reid!
Bob has been scarce since moving to Pennsylvania, and justifiably so. But Bob makes a point to some of our local members who find it difficult to attend meetings. If Bob can do it, so can you! The Hop Man lives near Weyerbacher Brewery now, and God Bless him, he brought samples! He also passed out literature on some of the finer beer joints "out West". Good to see you Bob, and please drop by when ever you can!
First order of business was preparing for the BREW BASH to be held October 21 at Tom's house. (SEE DETAILS OF THE EVENT ITSELF BELOW)... We discussed equipment to be used, to make sure we were covered for anyone that wanted to participate. Water was discussed. Most of us brew with spring water, which is an added expense. We were wondering if we should bring our own water, or if the supply was good at the location. Turns out that Tom brews his own beers using local water through his personal filtration system. So if Tom is comfortable with HIS water, we all agreed to use it too! Heck, Tom's won so many awards, we should INSIST that Tom provides us water for ALL our batches ALL the time! OK TOM? :-)
There were many great topics discussed at this meeting. The Club talked about sanitizing solutions to the max. Good sanitization is perhaps the most important habit to establish early in your homebrewing hobby to guarantee a decent brew. We ran through the differences between "cleaning" and "sanitizing", along with the differencesbetween bleach and iodine. We've done it before, but the reinforcement of clean sanitization practices can never be over emphasized.
Other topics involved recipe formulation, blow-offs, hop growing, mash hopping, first wort hopping, web sites (new and old) among others.
While all this was going on, we did manage to have a few brews. Complimenting all of the fine beers at J.J. Bitting was a fine German lager from one of our best lager makers, Mike M! Mash hopped brew from DC Labs made the rounds. Crazy John popped the top on a bottle conditioned Duinen Belgian Dubbel Abbey. Bob's brews from Weyerbacher were offered, including Trippel and IPA. Divorce Court Honey Pale Ale, and other debut offerings made this tasting session simply delightful! There were many and it is very likely that quite a few escaped the ink of this pen.
Luke. Luke is Da Man! As Event Coordinator, his job is severe. He has to come up with stuff to keep us interested in beer and fun, among other things. The Club needs some Pub Crawls. Luke is no doubt, the best man for the job.
NYC, local, Luke is on it.
Rest assured, that one day soon, the WHALES will be having a Club meeting on a boat. Or a ship! Yeah, a CRUISE MEETING! This sparked much interest for "alternate" meeting sites... Paul suggested a brothel. Keith, a beach. Harry, a fishing trip. Harvest Moon. Gas Light. It was suggested we need once in a while some simple unofficial meetings. More E-Mail among us. More input into the WEB. Moral seems at a low about how our site is going. Let's hope that changes now, or in the immediate future. Luke will be planning events 6 months in advance. Paul agrees so there are "no excuses for anything". The idea is to plan NOW so when the event comes you have no excuse to do something else. The idea is to turn down "other" events in favor of ours. Our core members are devoted, 110%.
Speaking of doubt, there "IS" doubt about one thing. That being a 2001 WHALES AHA Competition. This is devastating, but is very realistic. Stay tuned.
Split Rock Competition is coming. Paffrath is going and requests members participate. Time is short, please help!
Mark your calendars, web geeks and beer lovers. NOVEMBER 03, 2000. 8PM. OLD BAY. Be there!
Now, we'll close the meeting minutes and move onto:
*** *** WHALES BREW BASH OCTOBER 21, 2000 *** ***

The Club planned.
The Club executed.
Big time!!!


What is a Brew Bash? When WHALES gather to brew! We did just that recently, and brewed up some 35 gallons of beer, in four batches. Three all-grains. One extract and specialty. What a day!
Details to follow shortly. The writer is exhausted at this point. WHEW!
Kenny/Divorce Court Labs Brewery