2014 February Meeting #184


February 2014 Meeting Newsletter #184

The Feb 2014 WHALES meeting was held on Feb 18th at JJ Bitting in Woodbridge, NJ.
26 members and 2 guests were in attendance.

Opening Remarks

President Brad opened the meeting at 8:11pm and touched on the tastings planned for the night.

Recap of Recent Events

  • Homebrew Joe threw an open party on Feb 1st with live music and food.  8 or 9 WHALES made the trip to Trenton for the party and a good time was had.  Stay tuned, as he's planning another party at the end of March.
  • The Feb 2014 Steering Committee meeting was held on Feb 10th at Bobby M's house.

Upcoming Events / Reminders

  • Fri, Feb 21, 2014 - BIG BEER NITE at Keith & Donna St's house.  There will be beer.  It will be big.  Arrange a ride home.  See the forum post for more info.
  • Sat, May 3, 2014 - National Homebrew Day Big Brew.  Location TBD.
  • Sat, June 21, 2014 - WHALES Picnic.  Location TBD.
  • The club library has new books in stock.  See the library forum post or Keith S for details.

Project Update

  • Bobby's Lambic Solera Project -- Don & Steve B will be bottling their 15g soon.  Jay B/Frank & Sergio M will be brewing the next 15g exchange soon.  Last time the barrel was tasted was July 2013.
  • Craig's Belgian Dark Strong -- Brewed Sept 14, 2013; Racked into a fresh bourbon barrel on Oct 19, 2013.  Currently aging.  We will be sampling the beer tonight.
  • Joe S & Gary's Red Wine Project -- currently going through Malolactic fermentation and aging in Gary's cold room.

Competition News

  • War of the Worts will be Sat, Feb 22nd in Montgomeryville, PA.  President Brad and First Lady Jen will be among the judges.
  • The next WHALES Club Only Comp will be at the April meeting and the criteria is "hop showcase".  Take that however you like...
  • The July WCoC poll is over, and the most voted for option was "Low-gravity".
  • For the October WCoC, we have a poll up.  Please click here to vote for your favorite idea.  The poll ends Feb 26th.
  • Comp Coordinator Don B with some announcements
    • The WHALES have 34 registered entries to War of the Worts
    • NHC first round lottery ends tomorrow
    • Still waiting on news of Valhalla Mead Comp for this spring
    • We will be adding NJ State Fair Beer Comp to the HBOY points again this year

Steering Committee Updates

  • Discussed potential changes to the clubs bylaws (pre-set dollar limits and approval of allocation of club funds for routine events, addition of "club equipment steward" position, minor editorial changes, etc.)  A poll will be put up soon so the club can vote on the proposed changes.
  • Discussed what equipment is necessary to complete the club’s brewing system. A poll will be put up soon so the club can vote on the pre-approval of up to $500.00 to spend on the purchase of a stainless steel mash tun (around 100g) and stainless steel fermenters.
  • Need to discuss how to distribute Keystone barrel project beers among members.
  • We are seeking volunteers to assist with club activities in 2014.


  • Joe S showed and explined how to get a full-sized pear into a wine bottle in one piece


  • Craig brought a carbonated sample of his recent project - A Belgian Dark Strong aged in a fresh bourbon barrel
  • Brad & Jen brought Weyerbacher's Impy Pumpkin which was sold to them in a keg with a Weyerbacher Quad label on it

Siebel Sensory Training Kit (1/6)

The Siebel kit contains 24 flavor vials to doctor up a liter of beer each.  We are breaking the kit down into 6 sessions with 4 off-flavors each.  Tonight, Jay B and Brad took turns speaking about the following 4 off-flavors.

  • Diacetyl
  • Isoamyl acetate
  • Mercaptan
  • Caprylic


There were 2 beers, 1 cyser, and 1 wine in the flight:

  • Brad & Jen poured a cyser crafter from 2012 Cider Days Cider
  • Frank W poured a 4% Winter Warmer
  • Ryan K poured a Black IPA from Dr. Hoptagon
  • Andrew C poured a 12% strawberry wine

-respectfully submitted by Jay B, WHALES Secretary