2008 July Meeting Issue #117

A large portion of the July meeting was dedicated to the Club only Competition for Meads.  There were a total of 10 entries presented by 7 members.  ...Gary will represent the Whales at the national COC.

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes July 2008 Issue #117

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* August 2nd New Jersey State Fair 11th Annual Beer and Wine Contest

* August 8/2-8/3 Belgium Comes to Cooperstown

* August 2nd AHA National Mead Day

* August 23rd Whales and Winos Canoe Trip

* September 6th Malt Madness Homebrew Competition

* September 16th Club Only Competition (Imperial Anything)



Check the member’s only Yahoo User’s Group thewhales for the latest announcements and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars and post comments.  If you are a member and do not have access to the site, please let Bobby at rmierzej@telcordia.com know and he will invite you to the group.



“Were wanted men, we’ll strike again, but first let’s have a beer.” –Jimmy



The Tuesday July 15th, meeting was held up on the deck of J.J. Bitings.  As the Whales, again take over a large section of our favorite Brew Pub, remember to thank August and Mike for their support.


Another near record crowd met on the deck.  In attendance were Kristen, Big Bill, Jay, Colin, Nick, Rob G., J.D., Brad and Jen, Heather and Rick, Luke, Matt, Jody, Nate and Lisa, Alex, Newman, Paff, the Schreyer duo (Jim and Bill), Jim, Prez and Janice, Keith, Mike V., Gene, Karl, Gary, new member Chris, and new visitors Art and Alex R.


The membership spent some time discussing the pending Whale migration to the Belgium Comes to Cooperstown beer festival.  A food database was set up on the thewhales Yahoo group to coordinate community food.  Brad and Jen are planning to bring a full size grill and the trash can draft beer tower.  Those going to the festival are looking forward to tasting some of the best beers from over 30 breweries.  Special requests were made for a campsite right next to the 3:30 AM drumming dude.  See you there.


Big Bill and Gretchen from Basil T’s are entering a beer in the Great American Beer Festival pro-am competition.  Earlier in the week Bill, Gary, and Gretchen brewed a batch of Billy’s Best Bitter at Basil T’s.  The beer was put on tap at Basil T’s at the end of July.  Good luck to Bill and Gretchen.


Gary and Keith spent some time discussing the pending Whales and Wino’s canoe trip. This trip is an annual float near Double Trouble State Park.  The canoe pick up is down near exit 77 on the GSP, and the trip lasts from 9:00 to 5:00.   Following the trip, for those so inclined, Keith invited folks to his shore house for a Bar-B-Que.  For more info check out thewhales yahoo group or e-mail Keith at kstory@khov.com.


The Whales Mead Barrel Projects continue to sit in Luke’s and Leo’s basements.  The 1 year storage of these meads is up in September.  Leo's oak aged mead barrel will be racked in late August during Leo's visit (exact date TBD) and the participants include:  Gene, Kristen & Rob, Leo X2, Colin, Prez, Gary, Harley Steve, Bobby M and Glenn.


Luke's oak aged mead barrel will be racked one year to the day on Sept 16th at (5:30PM), which is the night of our September meeting.  Participants include:  Jen & Brad, Luke, Rick & Heather, Keith S, Jody, Tripka, Mike V & Newman, Bill C, Jim and Bill S.  If you are not able to make the mead racking or the September meeting please provide a sanitized vessel to Luke for your mead.


A large portion of the July meeting was dedicated to the Club only Competition for Meads.  There were a total of 10 entries presented by 7 members.  JD served an orange mead and dry cyser.  Colin entered a tasty pomegranate melomel, and Jim Schreyer poured a traditional semi sweet and interesting Mint mead.  Gary showed off his Blue Agave and daring chocolate raspberry mead.  Luke also chimed in with a delicious Porter braggot and triple berry mead.  Rounding out the COC was Brad and Jen’s Chamomile Tea braggot.  When all the votes were tallied Gary’s Blue Agave mead won with 12 votes.  Brad and Jen’s braggot came in second with 6 votes and Luke’s Porter braggot finished third with 3 votes.  Gary will represent the Whales at the national COC.


The next opportunity for HBOY points is the Imperial anything Club only competition at the September meeting. This club only competition will be for all categories of high gravity beer.  Go to www.beertown.org for more details on the requirements for the COC.


Following the July COC, Gary remained at the top of the Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) report.  Gary has 21 points, closely followed by Brad and Jen with 18, and Keith Story with 17 points.


The July Beer in the News report concerned the high profile buy out of Anheuser Busch by Belgian beer giant In Bev.


The treasurer reports that the club has $1,157 in the kitty.


A second Whales raffle was held at the July meeting.  Donations or prizes were provided by several members.  These included a sign from Big Bill, a propane tank from Mike V., a National Homebrew Conference Chachke collection from Brad and Jen, a side by side comparison of Heavy Weights Purkunos Hammer, and Victory’s Baltic Thunder from Gary, Hair of the Dog (Adam), Ale Smith’s Grand Cru, a bottle of Vanilla Mead from Long Island Meadery, and the Mystery Gift.  Overall the club generated over $100 from this second raffle.  The funds will be utilized to finance a black ops mission to be named at a later date.


Congratulations were given to Brad and Jen for becoming recognized as Certified Beer Judges.  They also spent some time talking about the fun had at the National Homebrewers Conference in Cincinnati.  They have posted electronic files of the presentations made at the conference.


Rick and Heather provided a review of the New Jersey Beer fest.  Overall it was pretty hot and crowded, so not the best beer festival they have attended.


Colin continues to collect the White Lab vials for the club.  There are over 210 vials in the treasury, and will be used to buy more books for the library or yeast for club projects.


Mike V. is the Whales librarian and will keep the database on thewhales Yahoo group to manage the newly created Whales library.  Mike checks the Database just before the meeting to see if anyone is on the waiting list for material from the library.


Jody continues to maintain the WHALES brewing database data.  Remember when you brew to send me an e-mail at moffamily@verizon.net.  In the e-mail tell me brewing date, how many gallons, what style you brewed, the OG, and what the % alcohol you expect.  I can also track wine, cider and mead as well.


The club continues to seek out volunteers to make presentations at club meetings.  Members can discuss anything from beer styles, equipment, techniques, ingredients, or any other topics of general interest.  The club is also looking for folks interested in setting up some class trips to different breweries or local apiaries etc.  Contact Gary or Luke if you are interested in making a presentation or setting up a trip.  It is important to let Gary, Luke or Jody know when a presentation is planned for the meeting, we will be sure to allow enough time for it, and we will try to ensure that the presenter has the floor.


The Flight:

A worthy flight of Homebrews and a few commercials followed a big Mead COC.  Leading off the flight was Jody’s Belgian Cherry Wit, followed by Nick’s weizen.  Brad and Jen poured a tasty common cider, and JD served a massive Oaked Arrogant Bastard clone.  Jody then served Hyland’s Brewing Sturbridge Stout, and Rick passed out some Wyerbacher Slam Dunkelweizen.  Finishing out the flight was Gary and Suzuki Steve’s superhop (imperial IPA). Oh and I think at the end of the night, Newman may have been pouring samples of some young mead from a mason jar.

 Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter