2011 August Meeting #154

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - August 2011 - Issue #154

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996


Project Updates, Collection for War of the Worts, Kane Brewing, HBOY Standings, Bourbon RIS project (new), Other stuff and things.


Calender of Events
Sept 17th Malony's Yards Brewing Beer Dinner (Matawan)
Sept 24th JJ Bitting's 5th Annual Central NJ Beerfest (Woodbridge)
Sept 24th Beer on the Pier II (Belmar) oh, beerfest fight!
Sept 24th
Malt Madness Comp Judging
Oct 8th Asbury Park Beerfest


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.

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.Remember you can aways reserve library items online here.

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 August meeting was held at JJ Bitting's as usual with decent lazy summer showing of 40 Whales. Of course, this is quite usual for our mid-summer lull. We hope everyone's having a great summer and hope to see some strangers at future meetings.

The meeting officially was kicked off shortly after 8pm. We were just waiting for a few last Whales to get their beers at the bar. Bobby welcomed our guest speaker, Michael Kane, founder of the most recent NJ production brewery "Kane Brewing".  He talked the club through his experience with fine beers backpacking through Europe, to time spent in Vermont and his start as a homebrewer.  He signed his lease a year ago and built out his brewery but he stated the funding was not the hardest part of the startup.  The brewery is now open and distributing its fine ales through out the Garden State.  They focused their production on 3 beers:  Afterglow - an American style rye Pale Ale (5.5%), Head High - an American style IPA (6.5%), Single Fin - their first seasonal - a Beglian style Blonde (5.0%).  Michael then took the club through each of the beers with a tasting while answering questions from the club members in attendance.  The club thanks him for his time and wishes him all the best.  Be sure to visit them at kanebrewing.com

While Mr. Kane was speaking, Bobby was off on the patio pouring beer into pitchers for a commercial beer blind tasting excersize. The theme of this commerical calibration event was loosely based on typical summer quaffables.  Members were presented with 7 beers in pitchers labelled 1-7, without being told what they were. They were asked to evaluate each sample and do their best to decide which BJCP style the beers were, and if possible, which brewery/beer name it was. Points were to be scored for every attribute that was correctly guessed. The beers presented were 16A. Witbier Hoegaarden Wit, 1C. Premium American Lager Miller Genuine Draft, 18A. Belgian Blond Ale Leffe Blond, 16C. Saison Saison Dupont 1D. Munich Helles  Spaten Premium Lager, 6A Cream Ale: Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema; 2B. Bohemian Pilsener Pilsner Urquell

Out of 21 possible points, two members tied for first place with 8 points each. Nick F and Tom P both won tshirts donated by Brewhardware.com.

Member feedback of these tasting exercises have been positive and we'll be varying between guided tasting as well as blind tasting activities such as this one.

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

Apple Port II – Gary started distribution of shares tonight and will continue at the next meeting. Early feedback was very positive on this one.

Framboise – Two barrels on stands, funky things are happening while thirsty homebrewers wait.

Wee Whale II – Gary said the stuff is good and just needs to sit around a bit.

Whales Bourbon Barrel Stout - brew day for team 1 happened on August 7th. A bunch setup the day before and milled all the grain where Bobby managed to sheer the drive shaft off his crankandstein mill. The actual brew day lasted about 12 hours and we produced about 70 gallons of 1.104 OG and 20 gallons of 1.048. Little panic on warm fermentation for first two days. Ben got the yeast for us from HM, thanks Ben. Very interesting brew day with lots of heat and humidity but the rain held off for us.
Some of the chatter following this project included equipment upgrades and a user manual. Suggested purchases include camlock quick disconnects for making up club-owned hose sets, a dedicated plate chiller (instead of borrowing), and 4 matching LP regulators to run dual tanks on each burner. The project brews always have a few typical head brewers who have run this system more than a couple times. The user manual idea is to have something to stay with the equipment in case a group of members who are unfamiliar with the process wants to use it. Remember, this is club owned gear and brewing on it is part of your privilege as a member. Just pitch the project and run with it. We just ask that you give the club officers a heads up before doing so.

Crazy Frank's Giveaway -This month topic was cooling methods of your fermentation.  Several methods were share from basic to advanced.  14 enteries were received and JD was the winner of the GCFI protector from Amazon.com.

Competition Corner

Don B. volunteered to transport the club's entries for Malt Madness which is going to be judged on 9/24/11. The number of entries this time seems really encouraging. Entries will be accepted from through 09/08/2011 at Keystone, etc so if you still want to enter you can drop them off yourself.

There is also a Specialty Beer Club Only Competition (category 23) for the  September meeting.

Finally, if you've got a great mead that you'd like to enter in a comp, the next competition in the Whales HBOY is Valhalla, which is a mead only competition. Entries are due by October 8, so we will be collecting entries at the September meeting for a group drop off. Info at www.valhalla-mead.com

The night ended on with a decent flight

Bart started out the flight with his Belgian Pale Ale, next was Nick Fox with his Cherry Wheat.  Joe Jr shared his Dusseldorf Altbierfollowed by Paff with a sample of the yet to be finished JJ's Wet Hop IPA.  At the half way point Ryan broke out his Gumballhead Clone.  Paff the squeezed out some of his Cidar Still from Nov 09.  Arthur Buhlier  follwed with another cider.  Jon M sweetened things up a bit more with his Show Mead and finishing out the night was Joe S with a 1992 Ice style Wine.


The September 20th meeting is as usual on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, 8pm, upstairs loft at JJ Bittings.

Bring your entries for the BJCP Category 23 Club Only and bottles/entry forms for Valhalla mead comp.

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