2008 October Meeting #120

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes October 2008 Issue #120

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996



* 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 Homelawn Fire Dept.

*December 15th Club Only Competition (Belgian French Ales)

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 may have tasted Bud Light in college, but I never swallowed” –Jody Moffett, in response to heinous accusations of being a closet Bud Light drinker

The Tuesday October 21st, meeting was held upstairs at J.J. Bitings. Thanks again Mike and August for your continued support of the club endeavors.

Again, the Whales occupied every available seat upstairs at JJ Bitings. In attendance were Art, Big Bill, Mike and Sharon C., Jay, Jimmy D, Craig, Colin, Nick, Rob G., J.D., Brad & Jen, Heather and Rick, Luke, Jody, Nate and Lisa, Newman, Chris and Lisa N., the Schreyer trio (Steve, Jim, and Bill), Jim Shelton, Prez, Bob and Becky, Keith, Tom S, Mike V., Gene, Karl, Gary and new visitors Adam, John M., Jake, Brad M., Shawn, and James. Another meeting with 4 or more Whales and Friends

The Whales December meeting will most likely be held at the Homelawn Fire house. The fire house is only a few miles from J.J. Bitings, and it should be large enough to hold all of the Whales. Luke’s brother is a member of the volunteer fire department, and says as long as the Whales bring extra beer and forget to bring it home, the place is ours.

About 12 Whales made the migration to Dog Fish Head. The group discovered that Heather will drink just about anything. The group visited Dog Fish Head and had a distillery tour and lunch at Iron Hill. Overall, a nice trip to Delaware was had by those who made it.

Big Bill, Nick, and Nate relayed some great stories of Octoberfest in Munich. The trio spent some quality time in the beer gardens. Big Bill also talked about his trip to the Great American Beer Fest. His Best Bitter was served at the fest by Basil T’s, but did not place in the Pro Am competition.

The 2008 Cider Day was scheduled for November 1st in Greenfield, MA. The Whales are making 3 cider projects with Cider Day cider. The club will be making a New England Cider, a Laird’s Cider Jack barrel cider, and a Raspberry cider. Luke also took orders for cider day cider to be brought back from MA. More info can be found on www.ciderday.org.

The Whales version of the American Homebrewers Association Teach a Friend to Homebrew day will be held on November 8th at Bobby’s house. Whales bring community food and drink to the event, and Bobby opens his kegerator to the attendees. Big Brews are an excellent forum for members to share ideas and techniques for brewing. Brad was also looking to get an equipment swap meet going at the big brew.

Ingredients for the Iron Brewer competition were passed out at the October meeting. The secret grain bill was revealed. Overall, the grain bill was designed for 5 gallons at 1.060 O.G. and 10.4 SRM. Participants will have until the January meeting to turn these grains plus their special ingredients and yeast into a BJCP judged beer. Thanks again to Brad and Jen for all of the hard work organizing this project.

The Whales Flanders Red Project which has been residing in Bobby’s basement will be ready for distribution sometime in December.

The Whales 2008 mead projects were brewed at Luke’s and Keith’s house in September. The barrels have subsequently been racked into the 2007 Laird’s barrels. Some Vanilla beans have been added to add to the complexity of one of the barrel mead projects.

Brad pulled together another great presentation and tasting associated with a BJCP category of beers. In anticipation of the December Club Only Competition, Brad prepared a presentation for BJCP category 16 Belgian and French Ales. A description of Witbier was accompanied by a sample of Unibroue’s Blanche de Chambly. Brad and Jen provided some Ommegang Rare Vos as an example of Belgian Pale Ale. Saison was well represented by Saison Dupont Vieille Provision. Saint Sylvestre 3 monts was provided as an example of Biere de Garde. Finally, the category of Belgian Specialty Ale was well represented by La Chouffe.

The next Club Only Competition will be held at the November meeting for IPA’s. The group will judge beers from BJCP category 14 for English, American, and Imperial IPA’s. This will be your next opportunity to earn Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) points.

The next and last major Home Brewer of the Year (HBOY) competition is Split Rock. Brad will be bringing a delivery of club entries to the Lake Harmony in November. The Whales will also have a contingent of members going to celebrate the Great Brews of America Classic Beer Festival at Split Rock. Look for more info at www.SplitRockResort.com .

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 19, and Keith Story following closely in third with 18 points. The final tallies will come from Valhalla, Split Rock and the IPA and Belgian French COC’s.

Newman gave the October edition of Beer in the News. The first of the two newsworthy stories involves Rogue’s release of Canned Yellow Snow. Rogue’s Yellow Snow IPA will be released in a 5 liter pull and turn draft can. The other newsworthy story concerned Discovery Channel’s Mike Rowe picking hops in a future episode of Dirty Jobs. The episode is expected to air sometime this winter.

Member’s in attendance were reminded that the hotel has been named for the 2009 American Homebrewers Association conference. The conference will be held in the San Francisco Bay Area. The hotel for the conference will fill very quickly, so if you are interested in attending it is worthwhile making reservations now. For more info follow the attached link http://www.beertown.org/events/hbc/index.html.

Heather was looking for people interested in participating in an Absinthe night. Absinthe was an illegal alcoholic beverage in the US for many years. If interested in participating contact Heather or Rick at jester750@comcast.net .

Mike V. presented the Whales treasurers report. The club is well represented with 43 members and $1343 in the coffers.

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:

The October flight consisted of 9 beers, wines, and meads. Starting the flight was Prez with a Special Bitter. Jay followed by serving a tasty watermelon wheat. Gary poured a vanilla cyser and Karl shared his Burly Brown. Nate showed off his brewing prowess with his tart cherry dubbel, and Big Bill served another Belgian Dubbel. Newman poured a tasty Belgian Tripel and JD served his Germans Chocolate Stout. Art finished the flight off with some Lemon Cello.

Jody, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter (2 and counting….)