2004 November Meeting Issue #73


The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes November 2004 Issue #073

Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996


December meeting at Climax Brewing, Leo vs. Tripka- Battle of the Wheats!!


* Split Rock Competition is this Saturday 11/20

* Meeting nite is 3rd Tuesday of the month

* Holiday Party is 1/8/05...location?

* January Club Only Comp is category 9D Red Ales

The WHALES held their Tuesday 16th November meeting at the GABF Award Winning Brewery, J. J. Bittings. On hand were Keith, Dave Mags, Tripka & Juliana, Crazy John, Leo & Kim, Steve, Luke, Paff & Patty Paff and four newbies who names I didn‘t get (oops!) .


The 6th Annual Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day was Saturday November 6th. Steve and Dana were the gracious hosts this time around. Steve, Orth, Crazy John and Keith brewed 15 gallons of red and 5 gallons of IPA. Two were all grain, two were extract. Thanks to our hosts.


Split Rock Resort (Harmony PA) is hosting the Great Brews of America Beer festival Nov 20 & 21st. This is one of the “Big Four” competitions to earn points towards the Whales Homebrewer of the Year Award. The festival (Sat. admission $23) features over 50 microbreweries, live bands, craft & artwork sales, good eats, and the competition itself. Saturday nite is the beer dinner ($45). Keith & Janet, Luke and Leo plan to attend. Tommy Paff will be pouring for Basil T’s and will need some assistance. For more info visit www.splitrockresort.com

Special thanks to Ms. Kim who took the lengthy drive to Split Rock to drop off nearly 30 Whales submissions to the Great Brews competition.

Our December meeting (Tues 12/21) will be held at Climax Brewery. Dave Hoffman has been kind enough to offer us the use of his facilities (and maybe a tour?). The brewery is located at 112 Valley Road, Roselle Park just off Parkway Exit 137. Come and listen to Dave talk for hours about water salinity. www.1stpage.com/climaxbrewing

This months presentation was a double taste testing between a pair of Hefe’s and a pair of Dunkels. Leo and Mike T brewed the batches together and fermented them separately. The most distinguishing factor was Leo’s climate controlled 68F and MT’s basement which varied but ran in the 70’sF. Overall, the club tasted no discernable difference between the Dunkels. The Hefes, though, showed a slight difference. MT’s Hefe had a more pronounced phenolic, a slight band aid taste caused by the higher temps. All four beers were very good, but when judging in a competition they are going to look for these kinds of attributes to separate multiple beers of the same style. Temp control is just another variable that can make the difference between a good beer and an exceptional one. Thanks for the insight Leo and MT.

Any ideas for the WHALES holiday party?? The last couple of years we have held this event in January at such fine establishments as The Jolly Trolley, The Office and Killmeyers. Suggestions included renting a bus to Paff’s Basil T’s or The Fox & Hound in Menlo Park. Mark yer calendars for Saturday January 8th. This is Elvis’ birthday so dust off your blue suede brews (sorry).

$$$$$$Treasurer’s Report from MT$$$$$$$ As of 10/31 we had a balance of $295.81 in the kitty. We collected $210 from the Impy Stout debt and paid out $116.16. Remaining balance is $389.65.

The COC in January with feature (Category 9D) Irish Red Ales. This is the first opportunity to earn points for 2005 Homebrewer of the Year Award. It’s a clean slate, kids.

Save those White Labs tubes! We can collect them as a group for vouchers to get free yeast!

Tripka got the scoresheets back from the Schmokety-Smoke Beer Club Only comp. Earned a formidable score of 30.5 representing the club but didn’t place among the top three.

Mikey T & Juliana, Luke and Brother John attended the 10th Annual Ciderfest held Nov 6-7 in Deerfield Mass. Western Mass has a bastion of orchards many of which press their own specialty blends of apple cider for fermentation. Workshops, discussions and tastings were held in a magnificent old New England church with tin ceilings and 20 foot windows. Master cidermaker Alan Tringham spoke primarily of the history of the commercial cider industry in England. Mike and Luke picked up 10 gallons of sweet cider which is bubbling away and should be ready in March. www.ciderday.org

The Riverhorse Brewery Chilifest tickets are now on sale ($25). The shining star of the Winter Festival in Lambertville/New Hope, the Chilifest is Sunday Feb 6th from 1-4PM. The Super Bowl is 6PM that nite. Wash down Lambertville’s best chili with Riverhorse beer and vote for your favorites. It will sell out so get the form at www.winterfestival.net and get tickets early.

The Homebrewer of the Year standing has Prez in front with 30 pts, Luke 22.5, Tripka 20.5, Steve 18, Tom T 5, Leo 4 and Paff 3. This includes last months IPA Club Only Comp. Next chance to pick up points, the Split Rock Competition this Saturday. A first place medal can earn you 5 points so it ain’t over yet!!

The tentative date for the 3rd Annual BIG Beer nite @Luke’s is Friday January 21st. All barleywines, all night baby! Take a look in that special hidden crate because this is the night to whip it out! Luke keeps mumbling about a NYC pub crawl. We are looking at a March date for the Lower East Side (dba’s?).

Now for the good part...the tastings. Uncle Leo brought his Wit. Steve poured his bitter (a little young but it will certainly mature beautifully). We devoured Dave Mag’s Belgian Strong and Leo’s Baby Bath...a four year old Strong Ale. Steve rounded out the homebrew tastings with a Robust Porter. On the commercial side, Leo brought a Ramapo Valley Passover Honey Beer. It’s gluten free for Passover and, trust me folks, they need to leave the gluten in next time. Leo also brought two beer from Iceland... a Viking and a Guil both which were German ale Groelsh-like. Luke completed the flight with a Harpoon Union Street Ale. It’s one of those 100 Barrel series beers you can only get at the brewery in VT. Thanks to all who contributed.

That’s all folks! Hoppy brewing.

-Luke, Pissoff Brothers Brewing Co.