2008 August Meeting Issue #118

In preparation for the November club only competition (IPA’s) Brad spent a portion of the August meeting calibrating our palates.  Brad brought in excellent commercial examples of the 3 IPA sub categories.  The group tasted Sam’s Smith’s IPA (English IPA), Bear Republic’s Racer 5 (American IPA), and Stone’s Ruination (Imperial IPA). The group tasted these excellent examples of the style while Brad described the “typical” characteristics of each from the BJCP style guidelines.

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes August 2008 Issue #118


Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996




* August 23rd Whales and Winos Canoe Trip

* September 6th Malt Madness Homebrew Competition

* September 16th Club Only Competition (Imperial Anything)

* September 16th Luke’s Mead Barrel Distribution (5 PM Luke’s House)

* September 20th Central Jersey Beer Festival

* September 27th Movie Night Bobby’s (6:00 PM)

* October 21st Meeting at Harvest Moon

* October 25th Valhalla: The Meading of Life (HBOY comp)

* November 1st and 2nd Cider Day (Greenfield, MA)

* November 8th Big Brew (TBD)


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.



“Damn, there’s beer on my job application” –Brian Tully


The Tuesday August 19th, meeting was held up on the deck of J.J. Bitings.  Thanks again Mike and August for their continued support of the club endeavors.


Occupying almost every seat on the deck were Uncle Leo, Big Bill, Jay, Jimmy D, Craig, Colin, Nick, Steve G, Rob G., J.D., Brad, Heather and Rick, Luke, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Nate and Lisa, Alex, Newman, the Schreyer trio (Steve, Jim and Bill), Prez, Keith, Harley Steve, Tom S, Gene, Karl, Gary and Beth, and new visitors Bob and Becky S, Ben and Adriene.


Belgium Comes to Cooperstown was reviewed at the August meeting.  An awesome time was had by the 25 plus Whales and friends who made the trip to Cooperstown.  Several Whales volunteered, and for their 4 hr shift, they received free entry to the beerfest, a campsite, and a case of Ommegang beer.  Following the tasting official tasting, the Whales continued the party back at the Whales city campsite.  A shrimp boil provided some much needed sustenance, and Brian the Milton Delaware brewer for DogFish Head, leant the Whales a keg of 90 minute IPA.  While memories did get hazy as the evening progressed, I do recall something about shrimp tossing for distance.  See you again next year!


Several Whales made a trip to Delaware’s Iron Hill Brewery for an AHA Rally.  There were 6 beers from Iron Hill and DogFish head on tap.  Including $3 pints of Red and White and Midas Touch.  Sam Caligione and several of the Dogfish Head brewers were in attendance, one of which was a former Whale.  The proceeds of the AHA rally go to support local Homebrew clubs and the Whales may receive a share of the proceeds.


The next Whales away meeting is being looked at for October or December at the Harvest Moon in New Brunswick.  Bobby will look to talk to Matt the head brewer and try to arrange the details.


The 2008 Cider Day is scheduled for November 1st in Greenfield, MA.  Several Whales are planning to make the migration to MA to both partake in the events and pick up the special cider blends.  In the past the Whales have purchased over 100 gallons of cider, and are now known as those guys from New Jersey.   Look for more details at the September and October meeting and on www.ciderday.org.


Because of the Cider Day conflict, the Whales version of the American Homebrewers Association Teach a Friend to Homebrew day will be held on November 8th instead of November 1st.  The club is looking for volunteers to host the event at their home.  More details to some soon.


Brad spent some time talking about a new event he is organizing for the November big brew.  Taking a page from TV’s Iron Chef, Brad is organizing the Iron Brewer.  At the September meeting folks who are participating will randomly pick a yeast strain and special ingredient from a hat.  After the yeast and special ingredient are selected, the grain bill will be revealed.  Brewers will be asked to use their creativity to utilize the yeast/special ingredient, and grain to brew something good.  These subsequent brews will be judged at the January 2009 meeting against the BJCP guidelines for whatever category you choose.  To date 15 brewers have signed up for the event, and the cost is $15/share for grain.


The first barrel of the Whales Mead project was distributed at Uncles Leos house in August. The second barrel of the Whales Mead (365 day mead) will be distributed one year to the day on Sept 16th at (5:00PM), before the 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.


Luke and Gary felt it would be wasteful to leave the perfectly good oak barrels empty.  Folks who made the August meeting had an opportunity to sign up for the 2008 Whales Mead project.  The project may be a combination of Basswood and Buckwheat honey, and will cost around $25 for a 5 gallon share.  The full details and price of the project will be fleshed out soon.


Luke and Gary organized a huge Basswood honey buy from Grant’s Apiary. A total of 360 lbs were purchased and distributed between the Whales.  Luke also talked to Grant about doing another “Boy Scout Tour” of the apiary.  More to come soon.


Bobby had also organized a massive group grain buy.  Between the Whales and the Brewers Network a full pallet of Barley and Wheat malt was mysteriously delivered to a loading dock somewhere in NJ.  Craig helped Bobby quickly gather the grain and deliver it to his garage.  The Whales send their thanks to Bobby for pulling this together.


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.


The next Whales HBOY competition is Valhalla: The Meading of Life.  This competition is a mead only comp being held on October 25th.  The Whales will be trying to organize a group drop off of meads.  Look for more into to come.


The 2nd annual Central Jersey Beer Festival will be held at Parker Press Park in Woodbridge.  Our friends at J.J Bitings organize this festival for charity.  The Whales will again have a homebrew demonstration table, and Mike and August will be looking for volunteers to help work the event.  For more info, or to purchase tickets go to www.njbrewpubs.com.


In preparation for the November club only competition (IPA’s) Brad spent a portion of the August meeting calibrating our palates.  Brad brought in excellent commercial examples of the 3 IPA sub categories.  The group tasted Sam’s Smith’s IPA (English IPA), Bear Republic’s Racer 5 (American IPA), and Stone’s Ruination (Imperial IPA). The group tasted these excellent examples of the style while Brad described the “typical” characteristics of each from the BJCP style guidelines.


Newman provided the August edition of Beer in the News.  This report involves a Northern California brewery that had been wrangling with federal regulators concerning their slogan “try legal weed.”  The slogan was a play on words regarding the breweries home town Weed.  The town was founded by timber baron and eventual state senator Abner Weed.  Weed eventually won the battle.


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:

August’s flight of fancy started with Luke’s Riesling Pyment and a sample from the Whales Mead Barrel from Leo’s House.  Nate followed these meads with his Biere de Garde, then Big Bill served his and Gretchen’s GABF Pro Am entry (Billy’s Best Bitter).  Nick poured an excellent Dunkelweizen, and Craig passed out his first all grain Irish Red.  Bobby distributed his American Amber, and Jody poured some of the Whales Bourbon Barrel Belgian.  JD closed out the flight by taking a page from Stone Brewing, and serving his More Arrogant ale.


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter