2011 January Meeting #147

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - January 2011 - Issue #147

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


Dues, 50/50 for Foodbank, Holiday Party Review, Balic Porter Bittings Brew, War of the Worts Entries, English Bitters COC

Club Calendar

February 6th - War of the Worts Entry Deadline

February 11th - Story's Big Beer Night

February 15th - Regular Whales Meeting

February 19th - War of the Worts Competition

June 16th to 18th - National Homebrewers Conference


Check the Whales website at (http://www.whalesbrewclub.com) for the latest announcements, meeting minutes, and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, add events to the calendar, review beers/bars, and post comments in the forums.  Bobby welcomes club member article contributions and new content ideas to the website.

The website has a new member profile system installed so now is a great time to get your info updated. It includes fields to collect information about your brewery and other brewing related data. The steering committee humbly requests that you post a "head shot" style picture there also so that all members can put a face to the name. This is extremely helpful for newer members. You can edit your profile by going to "member info", then "edit my profile". Keep in mind, this info is always hidden from the general public so there should be no privacy concerns.

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).

Whales Schwag:

The WHALES want everyone to know who we're with so the logo branded schwag is building up. We currently have several dozen mini-Pils taster glasses from last year. Every member got one at some point but if they've gone missing or broken, you can buy a replacement for $3. We also have a couple blue or tan Tshirts available in Lg/Xlg for $12 each, but these are reserved for members who joined after the group buy happened. Finally, the classy stickers that are being giving to renewing members for 2011 are also available for purchase if you want to put one on every corny keg you own. The stickers are $1 each.


The Tuesday, January 18th meeting was held at JJ Bitting as usual with 28 Whales and 4 guests in attendance. Some members still need to wrap up their dues for 2011 (19 at the start of the meeting) see Keith Story at the next meeting, there are a few left because of missed meeting but overall everyone took care of paying their dues in a timely manner, Thank you.   Members who are not paid up will be inactivated on the website.

The meeting was kicked off exactly at 8pm.  Bobby started his first meeting as president acknowledging outgoing president Gary Weston for an excellent 3 years of service.  The members in attendance followed with a round of applause.  Bobby check to see if there were new members in attendance and had them raise their hands and welcomed them to the meeting.  Visitors were welcomed as well and asked to sign in with Frank before leaving and to pick up an application if interested in joining.

The club's portion of the 50/50 is going to a local food bank.  In addition to the standard 50/50, a 4 pack of Dogfish Festina Peche, a Bomber of Dogfish Head My Antonia and a WHALES Beanie Cap were donated as prizes.   The Cash prize was $70 and was won by Brian Spence (He donated most of the winnings to the Food bank - Nice Job Brian!)  Also in the cash donations to the food bank category was Chris Corkins, who gave $10 directly to the effort. Good Stuff Chris!  As for the other drawing winners, 2 visitors Sam (DF Peche) and John (WHALES Beanie) walked away with more than they planned for on their first visit.  Proving that lighting does struck twice, Brian Spence went home with the bomber of DF My Antonia!  Congratulations to the winners and to all the WHALES who bought tickets for this worthy cause.


On January 8th, the WHALES visited JJ Bittings in the early hours of morning to part take in a brew session.  The recipe was picked out for the session (by member Tom Paffrath) was a Baltic Porter.  To the right is a group shot of those in attendance.  (Some members are missing from the group picture - Brad, Jen, Gary, and Craig).  The day started by milling the grains and admiring the vacuum system that moved the grains to the top of the build from the street level (aka no one had to lug the grains all the way up those steps!).  Members all took the paddle to ensure a smooth Dough-in with no dough balls.  During the waiting times, WHALES shared coffee and bagels and discussed their own brewing projects and planning.  It was a great day and enjoyed by all.  Just waiting for the Baltic Porter to take its place on the wooden lineup chart.  Thanks to James and Paff for setting this fun day up!

On January 15th the WHALES held the Annual Holiday party.  Bobby took a pulse of the members who were in attendance to see how the event was.  Overwhelmingly positive comment were shared and the most common comment was how good the food trays everyone brought were.  The amount of Beer and Food was excessive so no one left hungry!  Bobby asked everyone what they thought of the new location in Linden used this year and everyone was pretty happy.  One comment was it was a little far.  With our membership spread out how far it is that will always be a challenge.  At the end of the discussion, there was only one feeling - it was a great Holiday Party!

The Story's Big Beer Night is coming February 11th.  Attendees are encouraged to bring 1 beer and 1 dish for sharing. "Bring a bottle of your finest commercial or homebrewed hi-gravity elixer to share on a winter's night."  Please have arrangements for safe travel plans ie cab, designated driver, etc.



A new year and a new opportunity....everyone starts at zero for the HBOY.  We start off with a club only - Bitters.  The COC was for categories 8A (Standard/Ordinary Bitter) , 8B (Special/Best/Premium Bitter) and 8C (Extra Special/Strong Bitter [English Pale Ale])   We had a surprising 12 entries, as pre meeting notifications of entries was low.  We had several excellent entries and it came down to a tie break (We used the guest votes for the tiebreaker).  The winner of the COC was Nick Fox with his ESB.  Nick is no stranger to the COC podium, last year his Mild went on to place nationally in the AHA COC.  Good luck Nick!  Also congratulations to Jay and Joe Jr for their strong and compelling entries.

Two other opportunity to get on the HBOY list in 2011 again would be to bring a Bock to the March meeting, which we did a flavor profile on late in 2010. If you feel like you'll miss this opportunity, the next competition open to all styles will be on February 19th. War of the Worts is a competition out in PA run by Keystonehops, the club associated with Keystone Homebrew Supply. The Whales collected entries at the January meeting (Thank you Dave Rawlins) but you can still get your entries in by February 6th.

If you want to know more about the WHALES Homebrewer of the Year (HBOY) program, there's an article dedicated to it listing all the applicable competitions, approximate dates, and how the HBOY points are awarded. If you want more details on the Club Only Competitions as sanctioned by the American Homebrewer's Association, including the themes and dates of each competition, you can go to the Homebrewer's Association Website.


No Crazy Frank give away was available this month.  We are still waiting on the Amazon gift code for each member ($5).  Also if you participated in any of the giveaways last year you will be

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 for a give away automatically in an upcoming meeting.  We are waiting for some remaining parts for the "kit" to come in so we can have the drawing.


The steering committee did not meet in January because of all the events taking place.   As always, members may voice concerns and make suggestions to the committee by emailing us Steering@whalesbrewclub.com


The most recent project that is under way is 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 the same as the previous Kriek, a light ale made with Pilsner Malt and Flaked Wheat. After being fully fermented out in the barrel and aged for about 6 months, Raspberry juice concentrate, equal to about 100lbs of fresh fruit, will be added. The total project length will be about 16-18 months. The barrel at Bobby's was brewed and filled on 11/21/10 and JD's on 12/11/10.

The other concurrent project is Whales Apple Port II. Much more of the overall volume this year will get its start as freeze-concentrated cider. Gary is the ring leader of this project just like the first one and has solicited the help of several other people to make it happen. "Do you have any idea what it looks like to have several dozen empty Everclear bottles jutting out of the recycle bin at the curb"? As of right now, the freeze-concentrated cider was partially fermented and spiked to halt fermentation. After it clears out in the next couple weeks, Gary will transfer it to an adjustable top wine aging tank borrowed from member Joe S.


The flight list was almost not a flight at this meeting. We had three listed. Bill Strachen bought a Vienna Lager, Newman bought a Porter that he made at the Teach a Friend to brew day and Evans followed up with a Chocolate Brown. We appreciate everyone sharing their concoctions!


The Febuary 15th 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. Ideas? How about pitching a club brewing project?

Frank - Club Secretary

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