2014 April Meeting #186


April 2014 Meeting Newsletter #186

The April 2014 WHALES meeting was held on April 15th at JJ Bitting in Woodbridge, NJ.
31 members were in attendance.

Opening Remarks

President Brad opened the meeting at 8:16pm with a wink and a smile.

Recap of Recent Events

  • Mike D's poker night was held on 3/29.
  • Dennis' sour barrel project was brewed Sat, 4/12.

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
  • May 10, 2014 - Garden State Brewfest, Berkeley Heights, NJ.
  • Aug 8-9, 2014 - "Belgium Comes to Cooperstown", Brewery Ommegang. (sold out)
  • The club library has new books in stock.  See the library forum post or Keith S for details.

Project Update

  • Dennis' Oaked Sour Blonde Project -- Brewed on Sat, April 12, and is fermenting away.  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 next week.  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 barrel aging.  Ready to distribute soon.  see forum for details
  • Joe S & Gary's Red Wine Project -- currently going through Malolactic fermentation and aging in Gary's cold room.  We need to try the wine and see if oak levels are good.


  • We held the 2nd WCoC -- "hop showcase".  We had 7 entries:
    • Tim W - XPA (pale ale)
    • Jon M - XPA (pale ale)
    • Tim W - American IPA
    • Boyles - American IPA
    • Bill C - IIPA
    • Tom Z - IIPA
    • Dennis - IIPA
  • Congrats to the winners:
    • 1st - Boyle Brothers w their American IPA
    • 2nd - Tom Z w his IIPA
    • 3rd - Dennis w his IIPA

Competition News

  • The next WHALES Club Only Comp will be at the July meeting and the criteria is "low-gravity".  Get em ready.
  • 2014 WHALES CoC schedule:
    • Jan - Anything Belgian (done!)
    • April - Hop Showcase (tonight!)
    • July - low-gravity
    • Oct - beverage ferm with at least 10% fruit or honey
  • Comp Coordinator Don B with some announcements
    • The WHALES make a showing in NHC 1st Round.  5 entries earned medals and are advancing to the finals:
      • Gold -- Dennis - 11C: N English Brown
      • Gold -- Boyle Brothers - 9E: Wee Heavy
      • Gold -- Boyle Brothers - 25C: Berry Melomel
      • Bronze -- Dennis - 27A: Common Cider
      • Bronze -- Boyle Brothers - 28B: Fruit Cider (Cranapple)
    • current HBOY leaders:
      • 1st - Boyle Brothers - 17 pts
      • 2nd - Dennis - 15 pts
      • 3rd - (Brian S, Craig, Sergio) - 6 pts

Steering Committee Updates

  • SC met 4/2 at Gusto Grill in East Brunswick.
  • 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 is currently running through Sat, 4/26.
  • 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 the needed equipment.
  • Actively discussing how to distribute Keystone barrel project beers among members.
  • Always seeking volunteers to plan or assist with club activities in 2014.


  • Dennis breifly discussed his club project brewday held on 4/12. 
    • 13 WHALES participating
    • 9 hr brewday with no major issues
    • pitched a "barrel pitch" of East Coast Yeast's Bug Farm (NJ yeast company)
    • barrel being hosted at a NJ winery
  • Ryan talked about his recent trip to California where he met the Brewing Network crew and Annie Johnson and hung out for a live radio broadcast.
  • Frank talked about his participation in an upcoming brewing-themed TV show.  WHALES representing!


  • Sergio brought in 4 meads for the club to taste and discussed the differences.  Thanks, Serg!
  • Matt brought in Spencer Trappist Ale (MA), which is the first authentic Trappist ale brewed in the US.  Thanks, Matt!


There were 3 beers in the flight:

  • Ron & Marc poured a S English Brown
  • Prez poured a stout
  • Joe S poured an IIPA

-respectfully submitted by Jay B, WHALES Secretary