2011 March Meeting #149

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - March 2011 - Issue #149

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


CoC Bocks, Home Brewing Dangers, Biggest Flight EVER

Club Calendar

March 30th - Entry Deadline for NHC registration

April 19th - Club Only Competition – Wood Aged Beers 22C

May 7th - AHA Big Brew Day - Sayreville, NJ

June 16th to 18th - NHC, San Diego CA.(Long time Whale Mike Tripka to talk with Ken Schramm on Mead Making.)

June 25th - WHALES Picnic - Warren Park Woodbridge Township

July 19th - Club Only Competition – Meads



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.

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, March 15th meeting was held at JJ Bitting’s as usual with a packed house of 38 Whales and 10 guests in attendance.

The meeting was kicked off at 8:05.  Bobby checked 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.

Bobby reviewed the upcoming schedule of events. Several things are coming up over the next several months (Picnic, AHA, COC’s, etc). View the dates above for a complete listing and the Calendar as well LINK.

Next an overview of the current projects of the club were reviewed:

Apple Port II – The Port is in the clearing tank currently and will sit on the oak for 1 more month.

Framboise – Raspberry hits the barrels in June, then a 12-month slumber before distribution of shares.

Wee Heavy II – Gary Discussed that there were a couple bottles of the original Wee Heavy (One that was enjoyed at Keith Stories Big Beer Night). The project coordinator is Gary and the goal of the 100-gallon brew is set. Initially the talk was to have the project be brewed during the big brew at Keith Stories but after further review and some date considerations – it will take place on a different day then the Big Brew and will take place at Keith Story’s house.

The Club Only Comp (Bocks) was up next. We had 7 Entries from Bobby M, Jon M, Marv, Paff, Anthony D, Nick F and Prez – 3 Traditional (5B) and 4 Doppelbock (5C). After everyone had a chance to taste and compare the entries. Each member voted for the 1st (2 points) and 2nd (1 point) place selections from the entries. When the votes were added up Jon M placed 1st with his traditional, Anthony D (Doppelbock) finished 2nd and Marv 3rd (traditional).

There was no Crazy Frank's giveaway for the Month. Frank did bring Aprils Giveaway to the meeting (A large High Temp Hops/Additions bag for a brewing kettle. Be sure to visit the forums to see the post challenge for the month to be eligible.

After the excitement of the CoC, Bobby gave a presentation to the club of the Home Brewing dangers that exists for us all. The presentation can be reviewed in full here. The presentation was well done and it was great information, which either reminded us of what we knew but sometimes let slip or completely new information that was great to have in our minds when it comes to safety.

Bobby reviewed several of the topics from the previous Steering Committee Meeting such as: Philly Bus Crawl, Bourbon Barrels, BJCP Classes for the club, etc. The notes from the steering meeting are available for viewing here.  As always, members may voice concerns and make suggestions to the committee by emailing us Steering@whalesbrewclub.com

The club members who were winners at the War of the Worts were recognized. The winners were as follows:

  • Bill Comella - Silver for his Oud Bruin.
    1. Whales swept the Traditional Mead table with:
    2. Luke - Gold for Bassbam Semi. This was a tweaked Whales barrel project from '08.
    3. Luke - Silver for Belgian Mead. A "failed" project using Saison yeast in a mead.
    4. J. Schreyer - Bronze! For his semi sweet mead for the very sweet Sandra.
  • Gary/Luke- Gold! For their Washington Cherry Melomel.
  • Frank - Gold for his simple bitter.

The Club 50/50 raffle for the month was conducted with the clubs share being donation to help the recovery efforts in Japan. Also a second drawing for a bottle of Saki fresh from Japan (Franks stepson brought it to the US from Japan the week before the earthquake hit. The club decided to give a larger percent and after the meeting Bobby was able to have the donation MATCHED! The Raffle raised $170 and then it was matched, great job WHALES! New member Mike won the Raffle for the cash and JD won the Saki bottle.

The night ended on a record turn out for the flight.   Last month we had 2 beers for the flight – this month 22!!! We had everything from an IPA to Rauchbier to Barleywine to Dandelion Wine. An amazing variety and amount for the flight, amazing job WHALES!



The April 19th meeting is as usual on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm, upstairs loft at JJ Bittings and will include a COC for Wood Aged Beers, so be sure to bring your entries.

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 1st 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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