2011 April Meeting #150

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - April 2011 - Issue #150

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


CoC Wood-aged,  Library Activity , Wee Heavy II, Club Crawl, 

Club Calendar

April 30th - Wee WHALE/Heavy II Project

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, April 19th meeting was held at JJ Bitting’s as usual with 33 Whales and 5 guests in attendance.

The meeting officially was kicked off at 8:18 but before that Frank conducted the Crazy Franks Giveaway and a Library activity. Two months ago the steering committee discussed a way to have members take advantage of the our library, the idea that came out from that was to bring 3 to 5 items from the library each month to the meetings and see if anyone was interested in checking the items out. Dave sent 2 books and 2 dvds for the first month. Frank announced what they were and that anyone interested in taking one of the items just had to walk up and sign it out. In a few minutes of announcing everything was spoken for. We will continue to do this to make members aware of the individual items available. Next was Crazy Franks Giveaway - This months Online activity to be eligible was to post a caption to a photo linked in the forum’s by Gary. We have some talented members in the club because several were very funny. The names of everyone who left a comment had their name put in the pot and the winner was John Hartman. This month’s giveaway was a Hop Filter bag (Large enough for a keggle) from http://www.filterbags.com/ (Caribbean Filters). Be sure to check them out.
Bobby kicked off the official start of the meeting and checked to see if there were new members in attendance (3 total) and had them raise their hands and welcomed them to the meeting. We had a group from the Jersey City Brewer's Club come visit to see how the WHALES conducted their meetings. Visitors were welcomed as well and asked to sign in with Frank before leaving and to pick up an application if interested in joining.

Next Bobby reminded everyone that the club was collecting entries for the Buzzoff competition in PA in May. A volunteer from the club will be delivering the entries. For the sake of new members, Bobby reviewed the point system and reviewed the competition submission procedure.

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 available here.

The BJCP Exam sign up interest was polled and currently 3 people are registered and 1 is pending. Members who are interested were encouraged to signup so it put them on a track to prepare and actually do it.

Bobby reviewed several of the topics from the previous Steering Committee Meeting such as: Membership size, BJCP Test reimbursement, Club spending (Food for Club Events, Bus Trip to Philly), 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
Next the recent beer events that took place we reviewed by Members. First up was Nick Fox who gave an overview of the 2nd Annual NYC German Bier Hall Crawl he organized. Unfortunately it rained again this year but it didn't stop the attending crew from having a Boot-tastic time! They started at Lederhosen, then Blind Tiger, then Zum Schneiders and some ended the day at Stouts before the train ride home. Be sure to check out the thread in the forums for pictures and details.  Next up was Bill C with a report from Jimmy' 43 Sour Fest. The event was in the city on the same day as the German crawl and was held from 1 to 5. Sour 's from all over the world were present and each table had a couple ounce pours for sampling. Bill report the event was well controlled and not over sold as many events have happen. Check out the full write up on this blog post.

At this time the pours for the Club Only Comp (Wood aged Beers) started. We had six entries (Marv, Bill C/Walter, Jim Sch, Dustin, Mike S and newest member Wayne. As the samples were making there way to the tables, Bobby passed along a reminder of the two area stores that are selling growlers of some great craft beer. 1. SRI Discount Liquors in Piscataway and 2. Canals on Rt 1 in Islin. Also an upcoming Belgian Beer Festival is looking for homebrewers to submit a 5 gallon corney for free session passes in exchange. Look to the forums for more information. The NHC was announced as a reminder again, looks like 4 or 5 WHALES are attending. Lastly, another group buy was in progress (For Grain this time) and members we encourage to hit the forums if interested.

The pours were distributed and the sampling started. Member were asked to evaluate the 6 submissions for there base style and wood aged appropriateness, then select their favorite and a runner up. Jay collected the ballots and when the results were tallied by Craig and Frank the following were the results: In third - Bill C, Second - Jim Sch and the CoC winner for Wood-aged beers - our newest member Wayne with his Bourbon Barrel Porter. Bobby explained how CoC entries went on to the nationals and represented the club.

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

Apple Port II – A tasting of the Apple Port was given to members with the question if it has sat on the Oak long enough.  Everyone said it was excellent but should sit a bit longer. The Port will sit on the oak for 1 more month. The topic of how best to bottle your share was discussed and there was agreement that the smaller the better, to allow it to last and not spoil. 6.7 oz champagne bottles were a favorite.

Framboise – At the May meeting Bobby is hoping that we can do a side-by-side comparison of his and JD's barrel to taste the differences in the barrels. The raspberry hits the barrels in June, then a 12-month slumber before distribution of shares.

Wee Whale II – Gary Discussed the origins of this beer and the great experience the club members at the time had making and packaging the beer by hand at the now defunkt Heavyweight Brewing Co in Ocean Township, NJ (see picture right). Check out the Beer Advocate (A- rating) and Rate Beer (98 out of 100 rating)reviews of the original creation.

The project coordinator in an effort to reacreate this masterpiece 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 April 30th at Keith Story’s house starting at 8 am. Propane is needed.  See the thread in the forums for the most up to date information.

The night ended on with the flight. Last month we had a record 20+ beers for the flight – this month returned to a smaller count - 6. Jon Morales shared a Bavarian Helles, Brian Evans followed with a Victory Prima Pils Clone, next was Jay Buchanan with his American Brown Ale, 4th was Wayne Cromwell with an American IPA, next to last was Ben Bakelaar with an English Barleywine and John Hartman closed out the flight with a Spiced Wheat.


The May 17th meeting is as usual on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm, upstairs loft at JJ Bittings and will include a Commercial calibration.

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