2004 February Meeting Issue #64

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes
February 2004 Issue #064
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996

Huge Imperial IPA Brew, Special Guest Tom Baker of Heavyweight

"I'm not afraid to brew anything."
"Yep, Piper is tied for last again."


  • 02/23/04- PALE ALES meeting at Harvest Moon 7:30 PM (WHALES invited)
  • 03/05/04- Big Beer Night at Luke's
  • March Apr/04 - AHA Club Only #25 Mead
  • May/04- BREW BASH hosted by Leo and Kim
  • 05/13/04- Deadline for AHA Club Only "Extract Brew"
  • 05/20/04- Judging for AHA Club Only "Extract Brew"

J.J. Bitting hosted the WHALES for an annual Big Brew where club members get hands on experience working on a professional level.  Many thanks to brewer August Lightfoot and owner Mike Cerami for allowing us this special event!  The brew is an Imperial IPA and should be on tap soon.  You won't want to miss this one!

We went the night before brew day to mill the grain.  620 pounds of it!  We used 550 lbs of Marris otter, 50 lbs of Cara 8L, 30 lbs of Briess 30L, and 14 lbs of Briess 60L.  The next morning we went to work.  We used 203 gallons of water in the 10 BBL kettle.  We sanitized the fermenter, washed down the paddle, tanks, etc.  We set up the vorlaff (recirculate the wort), emptied the sanitizer from the fermenter and filled with CO2.  We cleaned out the mash tun of spent grains.  They are shoveled outside via a shoot to a waiting container on ground level.  The grain is picked up and used to feed cattle.  We weighed out the hops.  24 oz of Newport @ 11.1% for 90 minutes.  24 oz of Centennial @ 12% for 45 minutes.  32 oz of Newport @ 11.1% for 15 minutes.  32 oz of Cascade @ 5.9% steep.  Also, 4 lbs of Cascades for dry hopping.  The club took turns adding the hop additions.  We added Irish Moss and whirlpooled.  We filled the heat exchanger with oxygen and introduced the yeast and wort into the fermenter at the same time.  The beer checked in at 17.7 Plato.  We reversed the beer loop and added PBW to scrub the kettle and heat exchanger.  Finally, after clean up, time to kick back a few at the bar.  Job well done!  August may put some of this batch aside in casks.

WHALES held their monthly meeting at J.J. Bitting as usual on the third Thursday.  We were upstairs and attendance was strong with Keith, Luke, Kenny, Tom T, Chris, Gene, Steve, August, Tripka, Leo, Kim, Dave, Jim, Tom Baker, and Peg.

HBOY (Homebrewer of the Year) 2004 kicked off with War of Worts.  Keith sent in 5 entries, Mike 8, Steve 3, Luke 4, and Tom T 2.  Each member entered more than one entry into competition so there is a 5 way tie for first place with each man earning 2 points.

Prez is looking into getting a cask barrel for us to use for the next Brew Bash in May.  We would most likely want the batch to age in the cask for 6 months.

The Chilifest went well.

03/05 is Big Beer Night at Luke's.  This year he has heat and toilets!

MT will be presenting a Club Treasury Statement each month.  As of the end of January, the club has $323 on account to cover bills, expenses, etc.

The Breweriana show in Clark is 3 times a year.  The next show is in April.  It's $15 for nonmembers or you can possibly get in for free if you bring homebrew.

Tripka is looking into T shirts or shirts with a collar with the WHALES logo.  MT will e-mail the info when he gets it.

Guest Speaker Tom Baker of Heavyweight Brewery took the floor.  Tom was a brewer at J.J. Bitting before starting his own business with his wife Peg.  Tom is know for his big malty beers and most brews weigh in at over 8% abv.  He brews a Stickenjab Alt in the summer and strives to make homebrew brews, for example brewing a 5 gallon batch as well as a 7 barrel batch.  The "One Time One Place" brews are doing well.  His Wheat Bock is more like a strong hybrid Scotch ale.  Mr. Baker told us of how he brewed an Imperial Porter and then used the second runnings to make a fabulous Swarzbier.  Next week he will be brewing up a Trappist Pale ale from yeast cultured out of a bottle.  Tom would also like to try his hand at an Imperial Stout.  "I'm not afraid of brewing anything" Tom boldly states.  Wild yeast, bacteria, etc. is all fair game for experimentation.  Heavyweight brews about 2 or 3 times a week with most of that being the Lunacy and Porter.  There is an Orval clone in the near future.  The brewery equipment can make 2 double batches and 2 single batches.  Tom usually has 2 or 3 yeasts going on at any time, and he offered the club members yeast whenever they need it.  Currently, he has Belgian and German Lager yeast.  We tried the Cinderbock which is available January, February, and March.  This is a "campfire recipe" using German hops and the lager checks in at 7%.  The Cinderbock is similar to Schlenkera but the smoke is not overpowering.  There are notes here of an 11% English style brewed with lager yeast and fermented at 66*.  Tom has brewed a 4 hour boil Bierre DeGarde at 7.8%.  Old Salty, the barleywine has been doing very well.  The last 3 barleywines were 9%, 11%, and 10.5%.  Tom spoke of his personal opinion that oak destroys beer and should not be allowed to age in oak for too long.  Yes, there really are BEANS in the Perkuno's Hammer!  Thanks Tom and Peg for dropping by and the fine presentation.  Thanks also for the samples!

Homebrew samples abounded at this meeting.  We started with a Kolsch by Luke lagered for 2 weeks and a side by side Kolsh by MT lagered for 10 weeks.  The beers were lagered at 38*.  The 2 weeker was a bit rough on the edges and the 10 weeker more blended.  Tom T brought in his Amber Ale bottled in January and contains Centennial, Challenger, and Willamette.  We tried Keith's Dopplebock which had a creamy white head and was nice and malty at 8.7%.  We compared the WHALES brew Imperial IPA with Steve's homebrewed version of I2PA.  The Bitting brew was hoppier and Steve's beer was lighter in color.  Both were superb!  Steve also shared his Chocolate Hazelnut Porter which he counter pressure bottle filled a few for us.  Somewhere in here, we snuck in some Heavyweight Old Salty and used that to toast congrats to Tom T who is an expecting father.  Leo brought some Winter Warmer.  The bottle quality was inconsistent but still a good beer.  It was spicy not from spice, but spicy from hops.  We backed that up with another Winter Warmer from Mike T.  To polish the night off, Leo shared Degroen's Rauchbock smoked beer and Two Heart IPA from Kalamazoo.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR GUESTS DAVE AND JIM!  We hope you enjoyed the meeting and plan to attend again.  THANKS AGAIN, TOM AND PEG!

That's all for now.  CHEERS!
Kenny- Divorce Court Brewery