2007 January Meeting Issue #99

During our meeting, we took time to honor the pending 10 yr anniversary of JJ. Bittings.  To honor this achievement, the Prez has asked for willing members to donate 2 beers at the February meeting.  These beers will be combined in a mixed case or two and be presented to our friends at Bittings.
The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes January 2007 Issue #099
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996
*16th Annual Big Belgian Beer Nite @ Luke’s Garage 1/19 7PM
*War of the Warts XII 2/17/07
*NYC or Brooklyn Pub Crawl 3/10/07
*Club Only Competitions 3/20/07 Scottish Ales, 8/08 Mead, 10/08 Impy Anything
*NYC Pub Crawl March 10th, happens to coincides with Split thy Skull @ Mugs Ale House
Check the members only AOL “WHALESCLUB” site for the latest announcements and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars and post comments.
"Listening to someone who brews his own beer is like listening to a religious fanatic talk about the day he saw the light."  - Ross Murray, Montreal Gazette, 1991
The Whales Tuesday January 16th meeting was held on our home court at JJ Bittings.  The Whales continue to acknowledge and appreciate the generosity and hospitality of brewing friends Brewer August Lightfoot and Mr. Cerami.  During our meeting, we took time to honor the pending 10 yr anniversary of JJ. Bittings.  To honor this achievement, the Prez has asked for willing members to donate 2 beers at the February meeting.  These beers will be combined in a mixed case or two and be presented to our friends at Bittings.
A good showing of Whales and newbies were present at Bittings.  In attendance were Rob and Kristen, Uncle Leo, Big Bill Comella, Colin, Brad and Jenn, Luke, Bill S. and his lovely sister(sorry I didn’t get her name), Prez, Mike V., Gene, Keith, Gary, Steve G., new member Dave Newman( I may be forced to call him Newman, think Seinfeld), new guy Bob, and yours truly Jody.
The Whales held their annual Holiday party at The Waiting Room in Rahway on 1/13.  25 people enjoyed the friendly surroundings, and everyone enjoyed partaking of the good beer and appetizers provided by the club.  As an added bonus all ladies (married or single) had the option to be treated to a free drunken Luke massage.  Great fun was had by all.
The Bourbon Barrel Belgian Tripel Big Brew event was held at Keith and Donna’s house on 12/30/06.  Many thanks go out to our generous hosts.  A large group of happy brewers, brewed a very large happy Belgian Tripel.  Once primary fermentation is complete, the beer will be racked into a bourbon barrel and left to sit for about a year.  I checked my primary before the meeting, and it had only dropped to a 1.050 gravity.  The fermentation has appeared to slow with a drop in ambient temperature; a space heater in the utility room has it moving again.  I recommend that we set a racking date at the next meeting.
Luke’s 16th annual Big “Belgian” Beer Night will be held on Friday, January 19th.  The festivities will commence at 7:00 PM, in the rustic ambiance of Luke’s garage.  Please dress appropriately, as the garage is heated by a woodstove that can only raise the ambient temperature by 10 or 20 degrees.  However, the beer will likely work wonders to keep you warm.  The men at the party will have the added adventure of irrigating the surrounding landscaping.  Ladies are allowed in the house to use the restroom.
At the meeting Luke unveiled the 2006 Homebrewer of the Year award.  All examined the sweet looking mug, and dreamed of having their own names on the bottom.  Congratulations again to Darin Reed our 2006 HBOY.  Darin has also announced that he has recently moved out of state.  We wish him luck on his future endeavors.   Looking to the Future, Colin has agreed to manage the HBOY points going into 2007.
The next opportunity to earn HBOY points is the War of the Warts XII.  This is the first of five Whales sanctioned competitions that can score you HBOY points. The competition will be held on February 17th at the Iron Hill Brewery in North Wales, PA.  Entries will be accepted from 1/27/07 – 2/10/07.  For those who can’t make it to a drop off site of the competition, Gary Weston has agreed to deliver the Whales entries.  Folks can drop off entries at Luke’s house until 2/5/07, or get them to Gary by 2/8/07.  Entry forms and information can be found at www.keystonehops.org.
For those who can’t get enough of competing there is another homebrew comp on February 17th.  The New York City Homebrewers Guild will host Homebrew Alley.  There are some pretty good prizes including a 2 line Jockey Box, and the Brewers Choice award will have their recipe brewed by Chelsea Brewing Company.  Find additional information at www.hbd.org/nychg.
Luke updated us that the Whales Cider Barrel is ready to rack into the Laird’s Applejack Barrel.  Rob and Kristen kindly procured the Barrel and brought it to Luke’s house.  Luke will pick and communicate a date to rack the cider into the barrel.  Keep an eye on your e-mail for the racking date.  Luke also made a proposal that he would like to make a Whales Mead Barrel after the Cider Barrel is complete.  Look for more information at future meetings.
The Prez made an impassioned call for members to volunteer to make some presentations at club meetings.  Members can discuss anything from beer styles, equipment, techniques, ingredients, or any other topics of interest.  The club is also looking for folks interested in setting up some class trips to different breweries or local apiaries etc.  Contact Prez or Luke if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip.
Uncle Leo informed us that there is $428.30 remaining in the Kitty following the Whales Holiday Party.  Additionally, Leo disclosed that the club collection of White Labs Vials stands at 75.  Uncle Leo will turn in some vials for yeast certificates to be used in the future.
I am putting together a contact list including phone numbers that will be distributed to members.  Please review for accuracy and e-mail any corrections to me.
I discussed the creation of a WHALES brewing database for 2007.  I thought it would be interesting to keep track of the brewing activity of the club.  As the year progresses we can track the total gallons brewed in the year, what we like to brew the most, who brews/drinks the most etc.  When you brew send me an e-mail at moffamily@comcast.net.  In the e-mail tell me what day you brewed, how many gallons, what style you brewed, what the % alcohol.  I can also track wine, cider and mead as well.
Gary has several of the older embroidered T-shirts and polos etc. that are still available for $10 or $20 respectively.  He has found a vendor willing to produce some 6 color shirts, and is looking for some good designs.
The Club Only Competition for Low Gravity Beers (<1.045 O.G.) was conducted at the meeting.  The competition featured five entries:  Prez’s American Wheat, Gary’s Heffeweizen, Keith’s English Brown, Mike V’s Nut Brown Ale and, Big Bill’s Dark English Mild.  All of the beers were excellent, and after the first round of voting there was a tie between Gary’s Hefe, and Keith’s English Brown.  A run off vote was conducted, and Gary’s Hefe carried the day.  Gary now takes a commanding lead of the 2007 HBOY competition with 2 points.  All other competitors will receive a point towards the HBOY.  Good luck to Gary in the Club Only Comp.
The Flight:
Brad and Jenn led the way with a very nice Heavy Hefe, and this was immediately followed by new guy Bob’s ESB.  Then Jody poured his overly smoky sweet Scotch Ale.  New guy Bob struck again with a tasty IPA.  Not to be outdone Newman showed off his clean honey porter. Rounding out our flight was Bill S’s Belgian Tripel.  Editor’s note: (Belgian beers make me HAPPY!)
As your 2007 editor for the Whales Official newsletter, I am faced with a very daunting task. The major challenge will be following Luke’s superb job of creating entertaining and informative newsletters.  I want to thank Luke for his two years of dedicated service as editor, and look forward to the fruits of his new labors.
Jody, New Editor WHALES Official Newsletter