2008 September Meeting Issue #119

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes September 2008 Issue #119

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996





* September 20th Central Jersey Beer Festival

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

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

* November 8th Big Brew (TBD)

*November 18th Club Only Competition (IPA’s)

*November 22nd and 23rd SplitRock

*December 15th Away Meeting (Harvest Moon) (Tentative)


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.



"I’ve got your honey in the truck." –Luke Kostu talking about another member’s "honey"


The Tuesday September 16th, meeting was held upstairs at J.J. Bitings. Thanks again Mike and August for your continued support of the club endeavors.


Holly cow, the Whales occupied every available seat upstairs at JJ Bitings. Filling the seats were Kristen, Art, Big Bill, Chris, Jay, Jimmy D, Craig, Colin, Nick, Rob G., Mike G. J.D., Brad & Jen, Heather and Rick, Luke, Matt, Bobby, Neal, Jody, Nate and Lisa, Alex, the Schreyer quartet (Steve, Jim, Bill, and Kristen), Jim Shelton, Prez, Bob and Becky, Keith, Tom S, Mike V., Gene, Karl, Gary and new visitors Chris and Lisa, and Mike C. and Cheryl. Count ‘em folks that’s 42 Whales and Friends


The Whales 365 Day Mead was distributed one year to the day from when it was racked into an oak barrel. Prior to the Sept 16th meeting the lucky participants picked up their shares of the golden elixir.


The Central Jersey Charity Beer Fest was discussed at the September meeting. Gary had been conversing with Mike Cerami to get additional volunteers for the festival. Volunteers would get free entrance to the festival, and a post festival dinner at Bittings. The Whales also planned the set up of a table and home brewing demonstration at the September 20th festival.


The plans for the 2008 Whales Mead project were discussed at the meeting. The participants in the barrels were divided by geographical location. The barrels were planned to be brewed on September 21st. Luke would host one barrel and Keith Story would host the other. The project was planned as a combination of Basswood and apple blossom honey.


The next Whales away meeting is being looked at for the December meeting at the Harvest Moon in New Brunswick. Harley Steve’s dining room was ruled out. Bobby will look to talk to Matt the head brewer at Harvest Moon to try and arrange the details.


Gary was planning an October 4th and 5th Whale migration to Dog Fish Head. If you are interested in going, look for details on the Whales Yahoo group.


The 2008 Cider Day is scheduled for November 1st in Greenfield, MA. Numerous 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 and bring some money to the October meeting if you want some cider from the bulk purchase. More info can be found 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. Bobby volunteered to host the event at his Piscataway home. Bobby was able to convince his wife despite the brewpot lawn circles from last year. Please plan to bring some food and brews to the event. Big Brews are an excellent forum for members to share ideas and techniques for brewing.


A large portion of the September meeting was devoted to Club Only Competition for Imperial Anything Brews. The competition was specific to all Imperial beers or beers over a 1.100 original gravity. The Whales had 9 entries for the COC, and it takes a long time to pour and serve 9 beers to 42 people. The entrants were Jody and Bill each with a Chocolate Cherry Imperial Stout, Brad and Jen with an Imperial American Amber, Bobby and Colin each entered an English Barleywine. JD entered his Quad Pistoles, Jim Schryer entered and Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Gary and Suzuki Steve served an Imperial IPA, and Kings Keith served an Imperial Porter. All entries in the competition were excellent, but JD’s Quad Pistoles carried the extra HBOY point with 7 votes. 3 other beers, Jody’s CCIS, Colin’s Barleywine, and Brad and Jen’s Imperial American Amber, tied for second with 6 votes each. JD will represent the Whales at the National Club Only Comp for Imperial anything. Good Luck JD!


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 organized a group drop off of meads. Get your meads to Luke or Brad by 10/8.


During a portion of the Club Only Comp, Brad started the Iron Brewer competition. Each entrant picked a group letter from a hat. The letter came with a choice of yeasts and special ingredients. Each participant must then select a yeast and special ingredient before Brad will reveal the grain bill. 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. The grain should be available at the October meeting.


The New Jersey Craft Brewers Guild is sponsoring OctoberFestival at the Newark Bears RiverFront Stadium in Newark. The festival will be held on Sunday October 19th. Go to www.njbeer.org for all of the details.


Gary is coordinating a vanilla bean buy. Normally Bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans cost several dollars per bean, when bought by the pound, Gary was able to sell them at 5 beans for 3$ and 10 for 5$


Colin gave an HBOY (Home Brewer of the Year) update at the meeting. The 2008 HBOY points shake out with Gary leading with 21 points, Brad and Jen in second with 18, and Keith Story following closely in third with 17 points.


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. Sign up if you want to borrow a book 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:

There were 8 beers, wines, and meads for the September flight. Leading off was Big Bill with his GABF pro AM entry of Billy’s Best Bitter, followed by Matt’s 1999 College Mead. Matt also served a dry ho pale ale, Mike G. poured a scotch ale. Gary or Luke had some bottles of Uncle Leo’s maple porter that were served, and Brad and Jen showed off their tasty smoked porter. Craig shared a tasty Big Honkin’ Stout, and Gene raised the sophistication level in the room, by serving some of his excellent 2005 Cabernet.


Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter (3 and counting….)