2000 September Meeting

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

Cast of Characters (attendance): (11) Keith the "PREZ", Stone Cold Crazy John, Mike Mc, Kenny, Luke, Tom, Mike T, Juliana, Harry, Paul, and GUEST Pete.

The Brew Crew started gathering at the bar of our host J.J. Bitting Brewing Co. around 7pm, and the meeting officially began at 8pm upstairs next to the brewery equipment. With the weather cooling down and actually PERFECT for brewing, interest is being rekindled in our favorite hobby once again.

Keith's Oktoberfest is Saturday, October 7th at noon, share, for a WHALE of a good time! Sounds like most of the Club will be attending, and you won't want to miss it.

Beer Festivals were the next topic of discussion. The Stoudt's Fest in Pennsylvania is a favorite! Several WHALES plan to attend including John and Pat, Keith, Crazy John, and also Dave Hoffman of Climax Brewery.

Tom HIGHLY recommends the Split Rock Festival. In his opinion, he enjoys this one even more than the GABF (Great American Beer Festival in Colorado)! It is an indoor fest, so weather is not a problem. It also features a Homebrew Competition, which Tom just happened to win FIRST PLACE last year. Way to go, Tom! For more information, HOP on the net and check out their website.

There have been several WHALES sitings of members at large, and they say "Howdy"! John Eisenstein (former J.J. Bitting brewer) is alive and well and brewing at Appalachian Brewing Co. Check the website at abcbrew.com.

"Hairy" Joe bumped into Keith, says hello, and hopes to be back brewing just as soon as possible.

"Baloo" also says "hi"! He is currently in between jobs again, and will be spending some time off in France. He does plan to attend Keith's Okfest though, so we'll see him soon. Bring back some toast Baloo, ok?

Blue Moon Bob Reid set his hoppy glass of beer down just long enough to type this E-Mail:

"JUST WANTED TO SAY HI...GETTING SOMEWHAT SETTLED OUT HEAR IN PA. TELL EVERYONE IN THE CLUB I SAID HIGH...ONE DAY IN A FEW MONTHS I'LL MAKE A SURPRIZE ENTRY...I HAVE MY WORK CUT OUT HERE CONVINCING ALL THESE "ROLLING ROCK HEADS" THERES MORE TO BEER HAVE TO TEACH THEM ABOUT "HOPS, MALT CHOCOLATE,BLACK PATENT, BOCKS...ETC" HOPE TO SEE ALL YOU GUYS IN THE NEAR FUTURE TAKE CARE HOPPY BREWING
BOB"

(Thanks, Bob! Keep reforming those "Rolling Rock Heads"! Next beer is on us)

WHALES BREW-BASH Saturday, October 21st!!! What's that? That's when the Club gets together to make beer! And plenty of it. There will be several batches going on, all at the same time. Both all-grain and extract. It will be held at either Tom's or Keith's house. This date falls just 2 days after our October meeting, and all final details can beworked out then. Some will make their own batches, and others will make a batch together. For example, Keith will be making a Brown Ale. Paul and Kenny are paired up to make an Imperial Stout. Everyone can make whatever they want, and we should have enough equipment pooled together to accommodate all interested. This is a GREAT opportunity to see experienced brewers in action, ask questions, and learn others tips and techniques. Be well prepared though. GET YOUR RECIPES AND INGREDIENTS READY!

PABOOM VIDEO! Some of you may have read the story (1995) on the WHALES website (www.whalesclub.org). The original text is under "brewing disasters". This video of extreme violent primary fermentation from Divorce Court Labs Brewery was first shown at one of the Club's initial meetings at our very own Joe's Brew By You Homebrew Shop! THANKS to Mike M for lugging in the video equipment, the tape had an encore presentation. Fermentation is such an amazing process, and seeing this shows just how wild it can get! Absolutely incredible, you have to see it to believe it! By the way, this is the SAME Imperial Stout that Paul and Kenny will be duplicating at the next Brewbash mentioned above. Get your blow-offs ready!

Speaking of our website (www.whalesclub.org), there was much discussion at the meeting among the group in regard to improvements. Too much to include here in detail. 'Nuff said.

Finally, BEER TASTINGS! For starters...Not a homebrew, but a treat none the less... Recently, our friends at Steve Gale's Virtual Village Homebrew Society (http://www.cmg.net/belgium/clubhub/) invited the WHALES to attend their LIVE chat session with the master-brewer of Ommegang. It really was a learning experience done with a touch of class for those that participated. Well, THANK YOU -L U K E- for bringing some in for the Club to sample! With the chat session still fresh in mind and the brewer's comments, it made this tasting that much more exciting! It also brought up a discussion of culturing yeast from commercial brands, and the differences of house brewing yeasts and bottling yeasts.

Mike M shared his California Common. Often referred to "Steam Beer". The term California Common is used instead of Steam Beer because Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing in San Francisco has a trademark on the term. This style uses lager yeast at ale temperatures, producing a clean, crisp, and quenching beer like a lager but with some fruitiness of an ale. Steam beer dates back to the 1890's Gold Rush, when the art of dry hopping in casks was born. This made for quite a secondary fermentation and when the casks were tapped, the resultant escaping gases expelled with such force creating a hissing sound and misty cloud resembling, well, steam! At least, that is how I understand it. Anyway, Mike's Common was very deserving and enjoyed by all!

Paul shared his AWARD WINNING STOUT! Again. Otherwise known affectionately to the Club as the "Little Porter That Could". Here is a beer that has changed continuously, and Paul has been so generous to share it's steps with us all along the way. It was made as a Porter but tasted more like a Stout at one point. It won a 1st place as a stout. Then it won yet another award. When we drank it again, it mellowed out back to a porter. Next time it was stout. And now, it's a porter, I think. In any event, this beer is still very much drinkable, and one to make again. Thanks Paul!

Featured Beer, and most highly regarded, was none other than Keith's "HIGHLY HOPPED AMBER". Don't know if that is exactly an official style (no, not yet) but damned if that ain't one drinkable beer! Let's face it, this Club has quite a few HopHeads in it. And this beer has hops! It managed to spur off some DROP JAW one line comments from the tasters --->

  • Juliana said "ORANGES"
  • Luke said "GRAPEFRUIT"
  • Paul just said "PABAMMMMM"!
  • (not to be confused with paboom...)
Damn, this was one good homebrew. Good job Prez. This was also one damn good Club meeting!