2010 October Meeting #144

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - October 2010 - Issue #144

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


Siebel Institute Sensory Training, Cider Days, Apple Port II, Double Barrel Framboise Project, Valhalla, Prez Octoberfest, Stoney Creek, AHA Learn to Brew Day, COC November, WHALES Hat Order, .


November 6-7 - Cider Day Fest, Franklin Township, Mass.

November 13th - Whales do AHA Learn to Brew a week late.


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 October 19th meeting was held at JJ Bitting as usual with 37 Whales.

The meeting was kicked off at 8:20.

Gary reminded everyone to be sure to clean up after themselves at the conclusion of the meeting.  It only takes a minute to use the available trash and dish bins provided.

Collections for the Stoney Creek Competition took place and Dave R volunteered to drop off the clubs enteries.  It is the last big competition of the calendar year.

Gary thanked Prez for another great  Octoberfest party, which was held on October 5.

Cider Day s November 6th and tickets are still available.  A dozen of so WHALES will be attending.  The WHALES Apple Port will be served at the Dinner of author Paul Correnty.

Gary discussed the Apple Port club project.  A share is going to cost 20 dollars a gallon.  The recipe from last year is going to be used again.  Gary discussed the freezing technique and was looking for volunteers with the freezer space.

A reminder of the January COC was made - Bitters.

The final tasting (6th) of our Sensory Training Kits that the club purchased from Siebel was conducted. As always, Brad and Jen graciously poured the dosed samples and got them out to everyone quickly despite the social stigma of handling tall boys of the silver bullet. These four samples are the second to last in the kit so there wasn't a unifying theme as we've had in the past. The samples included DMS (Creamed corn/cabbage aroma), Almond (Almond flavor with a dry sherry flavor), Earthy (Taste and or Smells musty), and Grainy (cereal or grainy malt taste). The full explanation of characteristics, causes and potential prevention is attached to this web article and available for members below.  Great job Brad and Jen for cordinating the sessions and providing the information sheets with all of them.

Gary mentioned that Issue 2 of the bylaws were approved via website poll between the September and October meetings. It passed 30 to 7 with quorum being met.  The membership participation section does not go into effect until Jan 1, 2011.

The topic of the WHALES guest brewing at Bittings was discussed.  We are a month to 2 months out but when we do it will be a Baltic Porter that we will be brewing.  Stay tuned for details.

Hats for the WHALES are being looked into.  The last order was cost $10 a hat and we are looking to keep it in that range.  Jay has picked up some samples from where we ordered last time.

Bobby is looking into stickers for the Club.  Members would get one at the time of paying their dues.

Brew Your Own is running their yearly two for one subscription special for current subscribers.

Ben gave away 29 bottles and 4 growlers that he had extra.

Brian handed out the Stainless Steel Shank group buy to those who participated.

Ryan gave out temperature strips to everyone free of charge, if you didnt get one he has more that he will give to those who missed out.  Thanks Ryan!

The 50/50 took place ($38) and Dave R was the Winner.  He donated his winnings back to the club.  Awesome stuff Dave!


Does anyone Fly Sparge? "I didn't know thats what I did until you just told me" - members identity protected


Gary stated that Sat was the Mead-Only competition Valhalla - The Meading of Life and several members have entries in.

Next month is the last COC of the year.  Last month the club did a tasting exercise on the style to prepare - Strong Ales.


No giveaway was conducted this month.


Ben told the group about a new tasting event for homebrewers at Harvest Moon on the 1st Monday each month.  More information is available at http://www.fermenttheworld.com

On November 6th and 7th, a good number of Whales are planning to make the annual trip up to New England for cider days, a two day festival of seminars, pairings and fun related to hard cider.

Once again, cider days conflicts with the AHA's Learn to Brew day (Formally Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day). The Whales usually just postpone our brew gathering for one week and do it the second Saturday in November. This year that would be Nov 13th. The club voted and it will be a Jay Buchanan's house.  If you cant brew that day be sure to stop by and enjoy the scene.

Also a reminder that the Holiday Party will be the third Sat in Jan (15th) .  We are still looking for options but need to book it soon.  The VFW was used last time and it helped keep costs down and was conveniently located by the train.  We are open to ideas and suggestions.


The steering committee did not meet in October.

As always, members may voice concerns and make suggestions to the committee by emailing us Steering@whalesbrewclub.com



The next project will be a Raspberry Lambic (Framboise)  to the tune of 113 gallons between two barrels; one at Bobby's and one at JD's. 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.

We are planning to use the club brew system to fill each barrel so it will likely take two separate brew days. We are still coordinating the dates, but the most likely brew date is Novermber 21st. JD is planning his 2 weeks after Bobby's group finishes.

The barrel at Bobby's will need to be emptied of the Flanders Brown project. Initial feedback from prior tastings was that it was plenty sour and could use a blending especially if the barrel sits another couple months. Its inclusion in this month's COC confirmed that it is far too sour as is to represent the style properly. Shareholders are encouraged to brew a blending batch or solicit a fellow club member to do so.  Brew a batch of lightly hopped, full bodied brown ale and ferment it out. After a couple weeks start blending. Keg and chill immediately or bottle in champagne or Belgian bottles.

Collection of the Flanders Brown shares should happen the day of the Lambic brew date. TBD.


Brain Spence shared his Saizon, Craig followed wit an Dunkelweizen. Then Pat with an Octoberfest.  Other shared were a Raison D'Etre Clone by Justine F, Bob S with a Cascade Hops Pale Ale (Home Grown), JD with a English, Brain Y had an American Barleywine and Gary with a Belgian Strong Dark Braggot.


The November 16th meeting is as usual on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm, upstairs loft at JJ Bittings.

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.

Frank W - filling in for Bobby