2014 March Meeting #185


March 2014 Meeting Newsletter #184

The March 2014 WHALES meeting was held on March 18th at JJ Bitting in Woodbridge, NJ.
38 members and 2 guests were in attendance. Both Guests joined the club--congrats Gary C and Tim!

Opening Remarks

President Brad opened the meeting at 8:13pm with a brief overview of the tasting agenda.

Recap of Recent Events

  • BIG BEER NITE was held at Keith & Donna St's house Fri, Feb 21st.
  • War of the Worts competition was held Sat, Feb 22nd.
  • The March 2014 Steering Committee meeting was held on March 4th at Harvest Moon in New Brunswick.
  • Dennis' "Philly Suburb Beer Trip" was held Sat, March 15th.

Upcoming Events / Reminders

  • Sat, May 3, 2014 - National Homebrew Day Big Brew.  see forum
  • Sat, June 21, 2014 - WHALES Picnic.  see poll for location
  • May 9-10, 2014 - SAVOR Beer Fest, Washington DC. presale 3/25
  • Aug 8-9, 2014 - "Belgium Comes to Cooperstown", Brewery Ommegang. tix 4/1
  • The club library has new books in stock.  See the library forum post or Keith S for details.

Project Update

  • NEW PROJECT!  Dennis is hosting an Oaked sour blonde to be brewed on Sat, April 12, 2014.  see forum for details
  • 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.  Ready to rack and distribute soon.
  • Joe S & Gary's Red Wine Project -- currently going through Malolactic fermentation and aging in Gary's cold room.

Competition News

  • The next WHALES Club Only Comp will be at the April meeting and the criteria is "hop showcase".  Get em ready.
  • 2014 WHALES CoC schedule is final:
    • Jan - Anything Belgian (done!)
    • April - Hop Showcase
    • July - low-gravity
    • Oct - beverage ferm with at least 10% fruit or honey
  • Comp Coordinator Don B with some announcements
    • The WHALES showing at WotW last month:
      • Silver -- Dennis Maciupa - 11C: Northern English Brown Ale
      • Bronze -- Sergio Moutela - 26A: Metheglin (Dolce Chipotle)
      • Bronze -- Sergio Moutela - 25C: Other Fruit Melomel (Desert Kiss)
      • Bronze -- Boyle Brothers - 28B: Fruit Cider (Cranapple)
    • current HBOY leaders:
      • 1st - Boyle Brothers - 9 pts
      • 2nd - Dennis - 7 pts
      • 3rd - (Brian S, Craig, Sergio) - 6 pts

Steering Committee Updates

  • finalized 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.
  • Actively discussing how to distribute Keystone barrel project beers among members.
  • Always seeking volunteers to plan or assist with club activities in 2014.


  • Frank showed us his 7.5g Brew Bucket - a SS "conical" - and discussed the pros/cons.

Siebel Sensory Training Kit (2/6)

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 flavors each.  Tonight, Mike S & Jay B took turns speaking about the following 4 flavors:

  • Bitter
  • Hefeweizen
  • Isovaleric
  • Geraniol



  • Gary & Joe S presented 3 samples of the 2012 red wine project for tasting
    • bottled just after primary fermentation
    • bottled just after malo-lactic fermentation
    • bottled after oak aging


There were 10 beers & 1 mead in the flight

  • 3 commercial beers:
    • WHALES poured a Belgian IPA from Barren Hill (PA)
    • WHALES poured a robust coffee habanero stout from Tired Hands (PA)
    • Dennis poured Heady Topper from The Alchemist (VT)
  • homebrewed:
    • Ron & Marc poured a Kolsch
    • Nick poured a Munich Dunkel
    • Tim (new member) poured a white IPA & a SMaSH IPA brewed w Belma
    • Brian E poured a raisin amber & a hazelnut stout
    • Dave R poured his Easter stout
    • Sergio poured a sauv blanc pyment

-respectfully submitted by Jay B, WHALES Secretary