2010 June Meeting #140

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - June 2010 - Issue #140

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


Siebel Institute Sensory Training,National Homebrew Competition and Conference, Apple Port, Whales Picnic, Funky Barrel Oud Bruin and New Framboise.


June 17-19 - National Homebrewers Conference and Competition Finals

June 26th - Club Picnic in Iselin/Edison, see events calendar for info.

July 10th - Keith's Annual Canoe Trip in Double Trouble State Park.

July 16th - DEUTSCHER CLUB Biergarten Open House - Clark, NJ.

July 20th - WHALES Meeting - Mead COC.


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.  Bobby welcomes club member article contributions and new content ideas to the website.  If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please contact Bobby M. at (Bobby_M@whalesbrewclub.com) and he will send you your login information. Also, as a reminder to the newer members, please introduce yourself in the new members discussion forum and post a picture of yourself in the member headshots section of the photo gallery so everyone can get to know you. Don't worry, that gallery is for members only. If you need more info on how to do this, check out the "how this website works" article.

Dave N. (Dave_N@whalesbrewclub.com) is the official WHALES club librarian and maintains the database of materials, both books and DVDs, 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. Our newest additions to the collection are two DVDs from Basic Brewing donated by Gary.

Check out the Crazy Frank section of the member discussion forums on our website to see the list of ongoing discounts at various homebrew stores and other vendors of interest. You'll find a sign up sheet to become a new/renewed AHA member (with your complimentary subscription to Zymergy magazine) which will get you $5 off your annual membership (reg price of $38).


The Tuesday June 15th meeting was held at JJ Bitting as usual with about 30 Whales in attendance including visitor Ed D.

The meeting was opened by welcoming guest speakers from the newly opened New Jersey Beer Co. They finally got some beers out the door and wanted to share their first two beers with the Whales and answer any questions we had. Matt Steinberg handed out a bunch of growlers full of Belgian Abbey and American Pale Ale. In response to Craig's question about the challenges of scaling up a homebrew batch, Matt explained that the 10BBL system they have now is excedingly more efficient than a typical homebrew setup. They invited us to check out the beers again on the Battleship New Jersey, but alas, it is the same day as the WHALES picnic. We wish Matt and the NJ Beer Co. success in their new venture and look forward to checking out their future beers.

The next activity was tasting our second 4 samples of  the Sensory Training Kits that the club purchased from Siebel recently. If you recall, we "experienced" diacytel, Isoamyl Acetate, Mercaptan, and Caprylic.

This meeting's session was led by Brad and Jen who mixed up the concontions in pitchers and dispensed the 1oz samples to the club. Brad began discussing the samples including:

(13) Geraniol - Floral/rose-like. Hop addition and variety can affect this and is pleasant and appropriate for some styles.
(17) Isovaleric - Cheesy/Old hops/Sweaty Socks with a possible cause of using old, degraded hops
(22) Bitter - Hoppy/Bitter. Hopping/hop addition may have been added too early or with too much alpha acid.
(24) Hefeweizen - Spicy + Banana Esters which is normal in specific beer styles rather than an off flavor.

The club agreed that this a great learning activity and everyone looks forward to continuing on through the remaining 16 aromas/flavors at future meetings. We only used one vial of each sample so we have enough for another group. This may be an opportunity for those who didn't make the meeting to get in on this. Everyone thanks Gary for arranging for the club to get the kits which gets membership one step closer to being BJCP proficient.

Bobby followed by discussing the status of the casual shirts group buy. It was decided that we would basically use the same graphics as the club tasting glasses used only in full color. Orders were taken via the website and many WHALES prepaid at the meeting to offset the $1000 dent. A total of 84 shirts were ordered, seamingly one of each color in existance. The order includes 9 shirts that will be paid for by the club and later sold to new members over the course of this year. We'll give a shoutout to the screenprinter once we verify the quality of the shirts. The order is in and we should have them ready to distribute at the July meeting.

Hey, remember big brew video on Bobbys' youtube channel we were asking you to tell your friends about? You helped us win first place in the "most viewed" category. The AHA is sending out a prize package that will be distributed to key players in the video as well as some giveaway items to the general membership (see Crazy Frank).


The club wished Bobby, Brad and Jen good luck in the upcoming final round of the NHC. If you recall the regional round results, Bobby's Barleywine took a 1st place in category 22c  and Brad and Jen took a 3rd in category 25c for a Peach Melomel . Unfortunately at the time of writing these minutes, we can spill the bad news that neither advancing beverages tickled the fancy of the final round judges. Wah wah. Next year!

The next Club Only Competition will be for MEAD at the July Meeting. This competition covers BJCP categories 24, 25, and 26 styles.

Also, you may want to get bottling for the subsequent August COC for Sour beers. This competition covers BJCP Category 17 styles with Lambics and Flemish beers, plus American Wild Ales, and Specialty Wild Ales.

Looking WAY ahead, the next non-COC, HBOY points eligible competition will be Malt Madness in September. Get ready and drop off your entries at the August meeting.


Crazy Frank was absent from the meeting this month, However we want to say that the WHALES are very thankful for the generosity of the prize donors, discounts and the work that Frank has been doing to make the meetings fun. If you're going to be buying supplies anyway, why not show your appreciation by giving these folks your next order? Members should also be aware that on ongoing 10% discount has been offered by many of these vendors. Please see the Crazy Frank section of the forum for the coupon codes you need to use.


Bobby, Nick, Brad, Jen, and Prez shove off to Minneapolis to represent the WHALES at the National Homebrewer's Conference June 17-19.

Gary reminded everyone that the club picnic date has been set to Saturday June 26th at 1pm. It will be held at a park in Iselin. The club voted to spend the money to reserve the grove. Details about location will be posted on the website and on the event calendar. Members only event. No propane is allowed in the park so the shrimp boil is off. The club will probably spend a few bucks on hot dogs, burgers and Italian Ice. Keith is bringing some charcoal for the grills in the grove. Some folks plan to show up as early as 10:30am to make sure no one swipes the grove. Their sobriety cannot be guarenteed by the time everyone else shows up.

Nick F highly recommended the membership check out any of the open house events at the DEUTSCHER CLUB in Clark, NJ. The next one is in the biergarten on July 16th. German bands, beer and food will be available. Bring the kids.


The steering commitee did not meet in June but they will meet in July to finalize the path forward for club size managment. Members were asked to vote on their preferred course of action via the website . The steering committee will evaluate the responses to the poll in context with quorum and other bylaws to determine if we can make any changes. If the options that require membership application are put in practice, the committee needs to determine what info to gather and which criteria will be applied to grant or deny membership. If the option to scrutinize all member participation is enacted, the committee needs to discuss the practical implimentation and tracking of activities. Any readout from a steering committee meeting will occur at the full member meeting that follows. They will also end up in this newsletter as seen here. As always, members may voice concerns and make suggestions to the committee by emailing us. The address is in the member info section of the site.


Gary mentioned that the only club project currently in progress is the Apple Port. It was fermented out and fortified with Everclear a few months ago. The majority of shareholders that sampled the Port's progress at the April meeting agreed that we shouldn't bulk-oak but rather distribute as is so everyone can do with it as they please. Gary mentioned that shareholders can arrange to pick up their shares in small groups or show up and bottle/cork in an assembly line process. Look on the discussion forums for details.

Bobby mentioned that the Funky Barrel Flanders Brown was nearing distribution in the next few months. Initial feedback was that it was plenty sour and could use a blending especially if the barrel sits another couple months. If blending is to occur, four 5 gallon shares will open up. Watch the website forum for solicitation of new shareholders to brew the fresh blend batches. They will be blended in small proportion with the aged beer at distribution time. Bobby also mentioned that we should coordinate the Oud Bruin distribution with another project to keep the barrel wet. The next project will be a Raspberry Lambic (Framboise). The base beer is going to be the same as the previous Kriek, a light ale made with Pilsner Malt and Flaked Wheat. After being fully fermented out in the barrel, Raspberry juice concentrate, equal to about 100lbs of fresh fruit, will be added. The total project length will be about 16-18 months.


There was no gadget of the month this time around.


Newman mentioned a new table-side beer dispensing system that is catching on that doesn't require fighting people at the bar to buy the next round. Each unit costs $10,000! Newman added that they'd do even better if the table had urinals mounted below.


In addition to the NJ Beer Co. growlers that were still making their rounds, members poured nine additional brews. Bill C poured a Sam Adams Boston Lager clone that he brewed with Jody to kick it off. Joe J Sr followed up with a righteous ESB. Ignoring all grammar and sentence structure:Jon M. American Amber, JoeJr's Breakfast Stout from Big Brew, Bob S's Big Brew Brown with xtra hop tea, Justin F's Imperial Brown IPA, JoeJr's American IPA, JD's Belgian Golden/Kriek blend, Gene V's Cherry Melomel.


The July 20th  meeting is as usual on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm, upstairs loft at JJ Bittings.

We have a Mead COC to judge. It has yet to be determined how it will be judged. Bring your Meads.

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, and pitching club brewing projects, etc.  Contact the steering committee (steering@whalesbrewclub.com) if you'd like to contribute to a meeting. We will be sure to allow enough time for the speaker and we will try to ensure that the presenter has the floor.

Finally, keep in mind that the steering committee meets just about every 2nd Tuesday of the month so if there is any topic you'd like discussed regarding just about anything the club does, email us.

Bobby M - Club Secretary and Webmaster.