2009 October Meeting #132

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - October 2009 - Issue #132

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society - Est. 1996


Valhalla, Funky Barrel, Oude Brown, Stein Bier, bulk grain, Oktoberfest, Splitrock, Stoney Creek, Cider Day, Teach a friend to Homebrew Day, Solar Brewing, Water Water Everwhere, 120 minute IPA, raffle, club only competition, flight, elections, holiday party.

Click "Read More" for the rest of the newsletter.


September 19th - 3rd Annual Central NJ Charity Beer Festival - Woodbridge, NJ

September 24th - 26th - Great American Beer Festival - Denver, CO

October 17th - Valhalla "The Meading of Life" mead competition - West Chester, PA

October 17th - Newtown Brewfest - Newtown, PA

October 24th - 25th - Alba Vineyard Fall Blues and Pumpkin Festival - Milford, NJ

November 7th - 8th - 15th Annual Franklin County Cider Days - Franklin County, MA

November 14th - AHA's "Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day" at Bobby M.'s house - Piscataway, NJ

November 17th - Club Meeting - Club Only Comp (BJCP beer category 18 - Belgian Strong Ale)

November 21st - 22nd - Splitrock Resort "Great Brews Classic Beer Festival" - Lake Harmony, PA

(Please note that there is no homebrew competition at Splitrock this year.)

November 14th - Stoney Creek Homebrewers Amateur Brewing Championship - Lafayette Hill, PA

(Please note that the Stoney Creek competition has replaced Splitrock for Homebrewer of the Year points.)

January 19th - Club Meeting - Club Only Comp (BJCP beer category 11 - English Brown Ale)


"Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world." - Kaiser Welhelm


Check the Whales website at (http://www.whalesbrewclub.com) for the latest announcements, meeting minutes, and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars, and post comments in the forums.  If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please e-mail Bobby M. at (Bobby_M@whalesbrewclub.com) and he will invite you to the group.

Dave N. (Dave_N@whalesbrewclub.com) is the official WHALES club librarian and maintains the database of materials in the "WHALES Physical Library Collection" section of the clubs website.  The WHALES physical library collection contains over 30 items that can be checked out and it is free for club members.  If you would like to check out any materials from the library, please post a comment in the "WHALES Physical Library Collection" section of the clubs website and Dave will bring the requested item to the next club meeting.

Jody M. continues to maintain the WHALES brewing database data.  Remember when you brew to send him an e-mail at (Jody_M@whalesbrewclub.com).  In the e-mail, tell him the brewing date, how many gallons, what style you brewed, the OG, and what the percent alcohol you expect.  He can also track wine, cider and mead as well.



The Tuesday October 20th meeting was held upstairs at J.J. Bittings with another near capacity crowd of 50+ Whales and guests in attendance.  Thanks again to Mike and August for their continued support of the clubs endeavors.

The 2009 Valhalla "The Meading of Life" mead competition was held on Saturday, October 17th at the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant in West Chester, PA.  The official results for the competition can be found by clicking here.  The WHALES had an excellent showing with Jay D. taking a 3rd place in the Dry and Sweet Traditional meads category, a 2nd place in the Semi-Sweet Traditional Meads category, and a 3rd place in the Cyser category and with Gary W. taking a 3rd place in the Semi-Sweet Traditional Meads category, a 3rd place in the Other Fruit Melomel and Pyment category, and an honorable mention in the Open Category Meads category.  Congrats to both Jay and Gary and we look forward to sampling some of their award winning meads at future club meetings.

Bobby M. gave everyone an update as to the status of the Kriek Funky Barrel Project and the upcoming Flanders Oude Brown project.  The plan is to distribute the Kriek to the lucky shareholders and then transfer the freshly  brewed Flanders Oude Brown into the same barrel.  This will be the third sour beer club project that this barrel has produced for the club.  You can look on the thread in the forums on the WHALES webpage for more information or contact Bobby M. directly at (Bobby_M@whalesbrewclub.com).

Another project that is still in the works is a stone-boiled beer (Stein Bier) to be brewed sometime in late fall.  Dave N. (Dave_N@whalesbrewclub.com) has taken an interest in hosting this brew at his house using his big fire pit.  Please see the threads on the website's discussion forum for discussion and more details.

Bobby's M.'s bulk grain purchase went very well and many members were able to purchase bulk grain at great prices.  Bobby does this for the club membership from time to time so if you missed out this time around don't worry because as the club membership grows so will the need for bulk purchases.  Many thanks to Bobby for handling this very large (and very heavy) task for the club.

Keith S. (aka.The Prez) had his annual Oktoberfest party at his house in Woodbridge, NJ again this year.  Keith always welcomes any and all WHALES to this annual event and everyone always has a fabulous time.  Thanks to Keith and to his never ending hospitality.

In early October it came to the clubs attention that there would be no homebrew competition this year at the November 21st - 22nd Splitrock Resort "Great Brews Classic Beer Festival".  This caused some concern as the Splitrock homebrew competition is a part of the WHALES club Homebrewer of the Year competition and we needed a replacement and we needed it fast.  Some quick searching found that the Stoney Creek Homebrewers Amateur Brewing Championship in Lafayette Hill, PA was taking place on November 14th.  The proposal to replace Splitrock with Stoney Creek for 2009 was brought to the steering committee for a vote where it passed unanimously.  The issue will be brought to the club at the December meeting as to whether we will keep the Stoney Creek as a permanent replacement for Splitrock.

November 7th - 8th will bring us the 15th Annual Franklin County Cider Days in Franklin County, MA.  For some years now, a small contingent from the WHALES club has been attending this two day event which includes educational seminars, apple and cider tastings, a Cider Salon (like a beer fest but with cider), and a cider themed dinner.  The WHALES club recently took the gold medal for our New England Cider barrel project at the 2009 National Homebrew Competition.  To quote Bobby M., "Winning gold at the national level amongst 73 regional entries is quite a feat.  Just think, all 73 of those entries had to win in their regions so it's not like a diamond in a pile of coal.  (more like a diamond in a pile of lesser diamond but I ought to quit with the analogies)."  Please feel free to contact Gary W. (Gary_W@whalesbrewclub.com), Luke K. (Luke_K@whalesbrewclub.com), or Brad J. (Brad_J@whalesbrewclub.com) if you are interested in attending Cider Day.

This years AHA "Teach a friend to Homebrew Day" will take place on Saturday, November 14th at Bobby's M.'s house in Piscataway, NJ.  This will be the third year in a year that Bobby has offered to host this event and we thank him for his hospitality.  Please feel free to check the WHALES webpage forums for more information about this event or contact Bobby M. at (Bobby_M@whalesbrewclub.com).

WHALES compatriot Homebrew Joe from Princeton Homebrew Supply is in the news showing off his Solar Brewing setup.  Philly Beer Scene Magazine visited Joe at his homebrew shop where he showed them how he makes the "greenest beer on the face of the planet" using Fresnel lenses and the power of the sun to not only roast grains but to boil wort. Don't believe me?  Read the article for yourself right here.  Congrats to Joe for not only thinking outside of the box when it comes to homebrewing but for thinking of creative ways to reduce his carbon footprint.

Bobby M. (Bobby_M@whalesbrewclub.com) was kind enough to give the club a presentation entitled "Water, Water, Everywhere (and some of it stinks for brewing)".  As you can probably guess, the topic for the discussion pertained to brewing water and why we should care about it.  One of the most important take aways from the discussion is that some tap water is good enough for A beer style but no water is ideal for ALL beer styles.  For more information on this very important topic please see Bobby's complete presentation on the WHALES website.

JD H. (JD_H@whalesbrewclub.com) gave the club a very interesting taste comparison between three different samples of 120 minute IPA.  The three samples consisted of JD's personal homebrewed clone, JD's homebrewtalk.com friend from Oregon's personal homebrewed clone, and the one and only original Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA.  Of the three examples, two clearly stood out as an excellent example of the style and to many peoples surprise, it was the two homebrewed clones of the original!  Both of these brews were extremely hoppy, alcoholic, and very well balanced.  Many thanks to both JD and his homebrewtalk.com friend from Oregon for not only sharing their 20% imperial IPA's with the club but for pushing the envelope and making such extraordinary brews.

A club raffle was held for the purpose of obtaining funds for two Siebel Institute sensory evaluation kits.  Many thanks to the following people for their generous raffle prize donations: Jay D., Bill and Jim S., Rob G., Gary W., Bobby M., and Brad and Jen J.  We should hopefully have the sensory evaluation kits and start making presentations at the club meetings in early 2010.

Frank W. (Frank_W@whalesbrewclub.com) discussed the new WHALES club program to encourage members to use the WHALES website more frequently.  Frank has taken the initiative to solicit donations of shwag, freebies, discount codes, etc from almost 100 breweries, liquor stores and homebrew shops.  All items and/or perks that are received will go to members who contribute to the website and who stay in touch regularly via the forums.  Frank will announce the entry criteria on the new sub forum called "website promotional deals and giveaways" in advance.  For this months contest of "please post a recipe", Northern Brewer donated 2 prizes, a hop strainer bag and a stainless steel dry hop ball, which were won by Dave N. and Colin F.  For next months contest, please post a picture profile of yourself on the WHALES webpage and maybe win a prize at the November meeting.

Just a reminder that the next Club Only Competition will be held at the November 17th club meeting.  This will be another opportunity to earn Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) points for 2009.  This competition covers BJCP beer category 18 - Belgian Strong Ales.



1.  Charlie with his Alt beer

2.  Nate M. with his Belgian Witbier

3.  JD H. with his Belgian Golden Strong Ale

4.  Jody M. with his Dunkelweizen

5.  Chris with his Amber Ale

6.  Ben with his Abbey Ale

7.  Alex M. a sample of Flying Bison Brewery's Barnstormer American Pale Ale

8.  Dave N. with his Pale Ale

9.  Nick F. with his Blackberry Wheat

10.  Charlie with his Dark Bock

11.  Bobby M. with his Smoked Porter

12.  Gary W. with his Peach Melomel Mead

13.  Brian Y. with his Cascade IPA

14.  Marv D. with his Oatmeal Stout

15.  JD H. with his Belgian Quad

16.  Andrew with his Sweet Cabernet Red Wine



Club Only Comp (BJCP beer category 18 - Belgian Strong Ale).  Please bring a minimum of 36 ounces per entry so that all of the members can have a decent sample for judging.

Where would we like to have our December meeting?

Nominations and elections for club officers is coming up in December/January.

Where would we like to have the annual WHALES Holiday Party in January?

The club continues to seek out volunteers to make presentations at club meetings.  Members can discuss anything from beer styles, equipment, techniques, ingredients, or any other topics of general interest.  The club is also looking for folks interested in setting up some class trips to breweries, bars, apiaries, etc.  Contact Gary W. (Gary_W@whalesbrewclub.com), Luke K. (Luke_K@whalesbrewclub.com), or Brad J. (Brad_J@whalesbrewclub.com) if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip.  It is important to let Gary, Luke, or Brad know when a presentation is planned for the meeting.  We will be sure to allow enough time for the speaker and we will try to ensure that the presenter has the floor.