2000 April Meeting

WHALES Newsletter and Minutes         April 20, 2000
Recording Secretary: Kenny Schrader


As scheduled, WHALES members gathered on the Third Thursday of the Month at the bar of JJ Bittings Brewpub in Woodbridge, NJ for their monthly Homebrew Club meeting. After several pints, and then some, the meeting was officially called to order in the main dining room (next to the piano) at about 8 PM.
Members in attendance: Granted, it's mostly the fellas that hit the meetings regularly. However, the Club was especially PLEASED this month to see Mrs. Paffrath and Mrs. Tripka join in the fun! They "dragged" their respective hubbies Tom and Mike in. Way to go, ladies! Also attending were (from biblical fame) Paul, Luke, and John. What a line-up folks. Not to mention Kenny, Bob R, and a potentially NEW MEMBER, Alan! W E L C O M E A L A N !!
Alan is a homebrewer that will be getting married next month, spending his honeymoon in St. Lucia. (Good enough reason to drink, don't ya think?) Alan drank every damn beer offered to him, God bless him. And, he had an opinion to offer on all, so he is DEFINATELY of WHALES' character! Come back in June, Alan. Let us know how your trip was, OK?
Back to business of the meeting, Paul recommends that we don't smoke hops. He has tried it, and it just wasn't kewl. Bob, on the other hand, feels that grinding and snorting hop pellets might be the way to go. WHALES members are experimental by nature. Results to follow.
Of course, we were still all excited about our recent homebrew competition held last week. The WHALES Second Annual Gold Medal Homebrew Competition at JJ Bittings! Prize winners are posted on the website, thanks George. Of the 69 total entries, Club Members were responsible for 23 of them! WHALES members nailed awards in all 9 categories. GO TEAM!
There is still work to be done, following the competition itself. Keith has to get out all the score sheets and prizes to participants. Winners of some of the bulkier items (ie: bags of grain, keg, etc...) can pick up. Medals are reserved for first place winners, and Keith will be making up certificates for 2nd and 3rd placers. Special "Thankyous" were printed up for our Host, JJ Bittings, as well as ALL of our very generous sponsors. Thanks to all for a job well done!
The next competition to enter, is NetWort V. This is an official AHA competition put on by our friends at The Virtual Village Homebrew Society. All of the paperwork was handed out to attending members, and some has already been mailed out to the rest. If by some chance we missed you, the info and entry information can be gotten off the internet at http://www.cmg.net/belgium/clubhub/The success of OUR web site hinges on the WHALES Club's participation in this event. As you know, Steve Gale has offered his services to develop www.whalesclub.org for a full year, "IF" a mere five (5) of our members enter this competition. This is a MUST ENTER competition folks, so please don't miss the deadline of May 1st to get your brews in. You won't be sorry, the prizes are fabulous!
There is a club only competition on the horizon for Weiss beer. The Club voted unanimously that Keith should represent the Club and enter this competition with his. Good Luck Keith!
The Club discussed our next Brew Bash. Brewing as a group is fun, entertaining, and educational. We all have our own set ways when it comes to making beer, and this gives us a chance to see each others techniques. The AHA's National Homebrew Day is Saturday May 6 and the beer to be brewed is Pale Ale. This date is one possibility but some folks are going to the Philly Fest that day. Perhaps a better day for a Club Brew would be Sunday, May 7th. This day was better for Keith, and he was willing to volunteer his house as the brew site. Nothing was decided though as of yet.
Speaking of techniques, the Club had an in depth discussion on bottling, led by Tom Paffrath. We talked about the various methods used, priming alternatives, sanitation, etc. A very informative and useful talk as bottling is such an important and vital part of the homebrewing process. After all the work of brewing and fermentation, it is all too easy to screw up your efforts with a bad bottling line! This followed with a talk about "micro biological inhabitation" which is the more politically correct way of saying what used to be known as an infection, or contamination.
WHALES drank a wide spectrum of beer categories this meeting. How many can you count!? This was definately a record folks, for tasting so many different styles in one sitting. The All You Can Drink Buffet included American Pale Ale, Dusseldorf, English Bitter, India Pale Ale, Crazy John Brown, Keith's Belgian Dubbel, Mud Sucker Imperial Stout from Divorce Court Labs, Sweet Chocolate Stout, Kenny's Traditional Bock, Scotch Export 80 from Keith, DC Labs Pillow Pilsner, Kolsch, Paul's Pale Ale, Kenny's Hoppy Devil IPA (which the judges said tasted like aspirin, and they were right!), The First Lady's Mrs. Prez Janet's Pale Ale, Luke's Brown Ale, Long Branch Imperial Stout, Oatmeal Stout, GUSHER Pale Ale, Porter, Belgian Wit, and the AMAZING Award Winning Saint Paul's "S P O U T", the little porter that grew up to sweep the dry stout category! (sssshhhhhh, don't tell the judges...)
The best jokes of the night were on Mike Tripka and our President Keith. Mike, when filling out the name and address portion of his spice beer competition forms wrote his name as "Christmas Myst" of Sayerville. Now we affectionately call Mike and Julie MISTER and MRS. Myst! The meeting was wrapping up, and Keith said goodbye to everyone, while some of the members stayed to finish their brews. TEN MINUTES LATER, Keith walks back in, looking for his eyeglasses. After a major search and rescue mission, we found them. Right in Keith's front shirt pocket where he put them! Ha!!

Happy Easter
Kenny/ Divorce Court Labs Brewery