2011 June Meeting #152

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - June 2011 - Issue #152

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


Project Updates, Mead Tasting Exercise, NHC Review 

Club Calendar

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 22nd - WHALES DFH Camping Weekend

July 19th - Club Only Competition – Meads

August 13th - Keith Story's Canoeing Trip



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 June meeting was held at JJ Bitting's as usual with 36 Whales in attendance.  Bobby asked if there were any guest in attendance and there were none.  One new member was present and introduced - Joe Milmoe.

The meeting officially was kicked off at 8pm.

Dave N. continued to bring a mix of items from the library for members to do a "Quick Checkout" again.  Remember you can always reserve library items online here.

Bobby gave a report on the NHC Trip - Bobby, Brad, Jen, Nick enjoy some beautiful weather and the hospitality of the regional brewers that dominated the Conference.  Some of the highlights were a great home brewers night and the announcement that the NHC is coming to Philadelphia in '13.  The banquet dinner had its usual of average food but the beer vendors had plenty to share through out the conference.  Russian River had plenty of Pliny on tap for the attendees (Even though everyone else struggle to get some or get gouge purchasing a single draft :) ) .  Sierra Nevada was a no show as well as Dogfish Head (Reports of personnel being there were heard but no brewery presence).  Next years will be hosted in Seattle, we are planning to camp out at Jody's house to save on Hotel cost :)  

Bobby then led some discussion on the requirements for participating in the Club Night and making a proper presentation.  He stated that a lot more discussion would happen as we get closer to planning time.

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 calendar system on the website is available for all members to post beer/brewing related events. If you have any issue or you are not comfortable posting you can email the event to Frank at frank_w@whalesbrewclub.com. Be sure to include the event name, date, time, venue, city and state.

The WHALES picnic is quickly approaching (June 25th) and members were ask to bring a side dish of an item to share as well reminded it is a BYOB event. The club will be providing a main dish and the club approved spending up to $150 on some pulled pork, burgers, and shrimp from Restaurant Depot.  Keith has the Charcoal and was going to stop to pick up the pulled pork and the chicken sausage.  Bobby was going to look at getting shrimp for skewers.

The Dogfish Head weekend camp out was quickly approaching and reminders were set out that the tour was happening at 3:30 on July 22nd.  Mike D was handling last minute changes.  Bobby mentioned as they were leaving the NHC that they had a Sam C spotting at the airport but no contact was made.

Frank discussed that the Philly Bus trip was going to be pushed out till September (because of personal reasons in getting the plans finished with bus and places).  Once the final options are set it will be sent out to the club and we will poll the interest in the trip, if we dont hit a minimum we will not conduct the trip.  Bobby will put a poll up once the info is available.

The BJCP study group rocked it out right in its first meeting.  It took place at Anthony's in Nutley.  There is still room available for those interested.  Styles 1 and 2 were reviewed.  The next session is planned for July but no date has been set but the first session was very challenging and session 2 should be no different.

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

Apple Port II – After the tasting last month, the consensus was to let it sit on the oak further. Gary mentioned that he added a bit more Oak since it wasn't picking up much more flavor. Will taste again prior to July.

Framboise – Both Bobby's and JD's barrels have the raspberry concentrate added and now the long sleep begins. We'll start tasting samples in early 2012 to see how it's coming along.

Wee Whale II – The beer is all racked to the oak barrel (and stainless tanks) and is just getting some age on it.

It was proposed the Club conduct a single Hop project (1 base brew with several hops on the same base) and a single yeast project (One common brew with different yeast).  These projects could be a possible Club Presentation Project at the NHC in Philly for Club Night.


Congrats to our TWO GOLD winners at Buzz Off on May 21st - Brain Spence with an American Brown and Jim Schreyer with a Semi-Sweet Mead.  Also Craig Easton brought home the shiny bling with a Silver placement with his Spiced Stout in the Spice/Herb/Veg category.  Wrapping up the placements were 3 Bronze placements - Jim Schreyer, placing again, with his Scottish 80, Dave Rawlins got in on the action with his Mocha Porter and last but not least Luke threw down in the Open Mead category with his Blueberry Cordial.  

Not to be out done were the Boyle Brothers breaking down the barrier to brothers entries in the NHC first round with a Big placement to move on to the NHC final at the June Conference in San Diego.  Unfortunately they didn't place at the big show but the club thanks them for making it that much more exciting for the attending WHALES.

The Big event of the night was the gracious Mead flight/lesson provided by Brad and Jen Jones (All Meads were brewed by the Jones).  They provided a tasting narrative for each one as they were poured for the sampling.  This was a great exercise in preparation for the July CoC Meads. First was a Braggot, second a House Mead (Orange Blossom), Third was a Wildflower which was tagged as "Bee's Ass" by Jen, Forth was a Melomel fruit and last was a WHALES Mead from 2008.  Brad and Jen thank you for the extra effort and great information.

The night ended on with the Flight. 14 entries were present and they were as follows: Wayne C shared a Cream Ale, next was Dave Rawlins with a Bitter as well as the Boyle Brothers right after Dave's.  Joe Sr kept it moving with an APA with Jay B following him with his 60 Minute DFH Clone.  Joe Jr presented an Amber and passed off to Brain Y with his Altbier.  Kicking off the Second half of the flight was JD with the Brown and Creamy (You had to be there). A Honey Irish Red took charge, provided by Brian Evans.  Dave R was back on the scene with his Slightly Smoked Red Ale quickly followed by Dave C with his PTE Clone (He cheated and shared some earlier :) ).  Craig Easton laid out his Belgian Tripel and Frank followed with his Imperial IPA the his brewed at Big Brew Day (2lbs of Hops!).  Gene rolled out a 2006 Chianti for the final act.


The July 21st meeting is as usual on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm, upstairs loft at JJ Bittings.

We'll be judging a MEAD Club Only Comp so bring your best 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 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