2011 October Meeting #156

The WHALES Newsletter and Minutes - October 2011 - Issue #156

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society 

Crafting Award Winning Beer, Mead, and Cider Since 1996

The October 2011 WHALES meeting started promptly at 8pm, with our President, Bobby, returning after being away on business, last month.  We had a good sized crowd of 38 members and 3 visitors, with an impressive 11 flight entries.

Events past, present, future.

The first order of business was to discuss recent and upcoming events.  A favorable time was had at the Central NJ Beerfest, September 25th, 2011 and at Keith "Prez" Seguine's yearly Oktoberfest on October 1st, 2011.

November 5th, 2011 is Cider Day. Gary, Luke, Brad and Jen will be heading up to NW Massachusetts.  They'll be pouring a special Black Currant flavored version of the club Apple Port that Gary, Luke and Joe S crafted on the side.  Thanks to these efforts, the Whales are earning a reputation for outlandish fermentations far beyond our Woodbridge Roots.

November 12th, 2011 is the AHA Learn to Brew Day.  This is one of the bi-annual big brew out events we participate in.  The club voted via the web site to move it a week later to avoid conflicting with Cider Day, as we have done in the past.  An overwhelming four people volunteered to host the brew.  Thanks to Brian Spence, Brian Evans, JD and Craig for your generosity.  The vote was finalized with Brian Spence's place in Somerset being chosen as the (lucky?) location.  Based on feedback from the polls, we will have 17 folks brewing and 13 just there to hang out, so it will definitely be a great turn out as usual.  If anyone has any questions, bring them up on the forum, or you can contact Brian.Spence@whalesbrewclub or steering@whalesbrew.com for any concerns.


We are looking to gauge interest in a field trip to the Carton Brewing company in Atlantic Highlands for a group tour and tasting.  Bobby has an email out to the folks over there to see what day is best and depending on their flexibility, we'll either set a date or poll for best attendance.  We are hoping to have one of the owners as well as the brewer be available to talk to us on the day we choose.  It will be a nice change of pace as opposed to getting the brewer to show up to a meeting.


Congratulations to the Boyle brothers for winning the club choice for last month's BJCP category 23 club only.

The WHALES fared well at Eastern PA's Malt Madness competition on September 24th, 2011.

1st Stephen and Donald Boyle Mild (11a)
2nd Joe Jannuzzi (Jr) Dusseldorf Altbier (7c)
2nd Jim Schreyer Baltic Porter (12c)
3rd Joe Jannuzzi (Jr) American Amber (10b)

The "Valhalla - The Meading Of Life" competition is coming up on October 22nd, 2011, so hopefully everyone who wanted to enter got their bottles there one way or the other.

We collected for the Stoney Creek competition at the October 2011 meeting, but you have some time to get them there yourself.  Click here to get more details from their web site.  This is the last competition in the Eastern Pennsylvania Homebrewer of the Year award and also the last BJCP competition for the WHALES Homebrewer of the year (HBOY) points.  Judging is taking place on November 12th, 2011.

At the November 2011 meeting we will be judging a Club Only Competition for Hefeweisen. It's strangely out of season and probably should have been swapped with last month's club only competition, but that's not our call.  In any case, maybe you have a few pints left in that keg from August and want to enter it next month.

It's also a good time to start brewing for the February lager club only competition, so if you have the temperature control equipment to do so, it's a good time to start that recipe now.


The club has 3 projects active right now (Imperial Stout, Wee Whale II and the Framboise).  

The Framboise at Bobby's house just barely escaped hurricane Irene.  Both batches will be distributed around May15th, so discussions will need to start happening in the early spring if we want to keep the funk going in those barrels.

Keith Story said the Wee Whale II appears to be doing fine, but will need some more time.

Jay Buchanan brought in some samples of the Imperial Stout Batch 1 and everyone agreed that it's going to be great when it is ready.

Imperial Stout Team 2 is beginning to rally their plans, so check the forums for more details.  If you haven't paid Mike D'Onifrio for the grain, please do so.

As always, if you have any ideas for using the club equipment or a group project, please contact the steering committee (steering@whalesbrewclub.com) or create a thread in the Group Brewing forum.


Crazy Frank's Giveaway

Frank was away on business this month, so Zany Bobby ran the Crazy Frank Giveaway this month.  The task was to post what your favorite brewing or beer related book was to the forum thread.  The winner would receive Randy Mosher's "Tasting Beer" book.

Crazy Frank!

The entrants gave a gave a nice list of books that are worth checking out:

  • "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing" - Charlie Papazian
  • "Brewing Classic Styles" - Jamil Zainasheff
  • "Designing Great Beers" - Ray Daniels
  • "The Compleat Meadmaker" - Ken Schramm
  • "Travels with barley: a journey through beer culture in America" -  By Ken Wells
  • "Radical Brewing" - Randy Mosher
  • "Brewing Lager" - Greg Noonan
  • "Brew Like A Monk"
  • "How To Brew" - John Palmer
  • "Cider" - Annie Proulx & Lew Nichols
  • "Wild Brews"

Joe Jannuzzi (Jr) was the winner of Randy Mosher's book despite some hisses from the adjacent table.

Steering Committee

The steering committee met last Tuesday.  Topics included the membership points system and evaluation of it's ability to perform it's intent.  More discussion will be had, but the general feeling is that it is not sustainable due to the challenges of tracking points.  The committee is leaning towards a proposal for a more fluid way of addressing non-participation on an as needed basis.  More to come on that.

Additionally, was discussion of the amount of carryover money in our account, whether it was too much, if it was being put to good use and if we should reduce dues to lower the carryover.  Operating expenses have been generally low even with the increased tasting excersizes.  We've been spending less on club events such as the picnic and holiday party even after the hall/grove rental expense.  The committee agreed that the dues will remain the same and there will be a concerted effort to budget for 2013 to use the money for educational activities and anything else that supports the club's goals as decided by the membership.  The costs involved with preparing for the 2013 NHC event in Philadelphia will also be considered.

The current proposals in the near term is to step up the January Holiday party a bit and add fully catered food to the hall rental.  In the last couple of years, lack of catering caused a select few members to have to do a lot of setup, cleanup and food prep.  The committee thoughtit would be nice to let everyone have a stress free good time and offload a lot of the work to catering even with the additional cost.  Keep in mind leading up 2009, we were spending approximately $20 per member at resaurants peaking at $900 only supplying a few beers and finger foods. We've spent less than $500 on the last two parties.

The committee also discussed stepping up the renewal schwag to something like a printed pint glass and custom bottle opener, but these are details to be worked out via membership polling in the near future.

At the club meeting, JD suggested locating more barrels to have more projects running simultaneously.  Before the club meeting went off on a tangent, Bobby suggested that if anyone has any ideas, please post them in a forum thread.


Don't forget your Hefeweisens for next month's club only competition.

We'll be starting to collect dues for 2012 at the November 2011 meeting and all renewals should be paid by the December 2011 meeting at the latest.

We will also be accepting nominations for the 2012 Officers (president, secretary, treasurer) and 3 additional steering committee members.  Per the bylaws, nominations must be received at or prior to the November 2011 meeting.  Voting, if necessary will happen at the December 2012 meeting.  Keep in mind, you may run for an officer position and a steering committee spot.  There will be back to back voting sessions to accommodate this.  So, if you ran for president and did not win, you can still run for a steering committee spot.


Even though we covered a lot of club business, we actually got to the flight earlier than usual.  We had 11 entries on the flight list.

Brian Y Blonde Ale
Boyle Bros British Mild
Joe Milmone

Maui Brewing Company Beer & Dogifsh Head Peanutbutter Vodka

Visitor Dennis M. Citra/Sorachi Wheat Ale
Vistor Greg Rose Saison
Nick Fox Amber Ale
Anthony D. Bourbon Oak Wee Heavy
Brian Evans Belgian Strong Dark
Mike Slocum Russian Imperial Stout
Newman Stout
Jay Buchanan IIPA

-Joe Jr (with heavy plagiarism of Bobby's awesome meeting agenda notes)