2006 November Meeting Issue #97

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes November 2006 Issue #097
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996
Cheers!  Here’s the November newsletter…
* Antone’s (Cranford NJ) Climax Beer Dinner Dec 7th 
* High Point Brewing Open House Dec 9th 
* Pizzeria Uno (Edison NJ) Beer Dinner Dec 11th
* December 19th Meeting at HarleySteve & Dana’s house
Check the members only AOL “WHALESCLUB” site for the latest announcements and calendar updates.  Feel free to upload pictures, review beers/bars and post comments.
"Cover a war in a place where you can’t drink beer or talk to a woman?  Hell no!"  – Journalist/Author Hunter S. Thompson on the U.S-Iraqi war.
The WHALES held their Tuesday 21st November meeting within the friendly confines of JJ Bittings, the hippest hop place in Middlesex County NJ.   We take not for granted the continued support of Mr. Cerami and Brewer August Lightfoot.  On hand were KeithS, Rob & Kristen, Gary, Luke aka Big Sexy, Gene, Prez, MikeV, Paff, Uncle Leo, Jody, newbies Colin ,Bill and David, and the triumphant return of Neal.
OUR DECEMBER MEETING WILL BE HELD AT STEVE SUTKOWSKI’S HOUSE IN CARTERET.  Directions and contact information will be forthcoming via email.
The Club Only Competitions are an American Homebrewers Association (AHA) sanctioned events held throughout the year.  We hold a local comp and our winner sends his/her beer in to be judged against all the other winners from across America.  The next COC?  We’ll judge Low Gravity Beers at our January meeting.  It can be from most BJCP styles and must have an original gravity of less than 1045.  Remember, only dues paying members have voting rights in club only competitions.   Go to www.beertown.org for all the 2007 categories and dates.
Homebrewer of the Year report:  Thru and including the October Light Hybrids COC, the top five round out at Darin 28, Gary 17, Paff 13, Prez 12 and SteveG 9.  The last chance for 2006 points was Split Rock’s Great Brews of America with final totals coming at the next meeting.  The January COC for Light Hybrids will begin the new clean slate for HBOY.
We have expanded the HBOY award to now include a fifth sanctioned competition.  Now point eligible is the Valhalla Mead Competition held outside of Philadelphia every October.  This was done at Luke’s suggestion to not only promote the making of mead within the club, but to support Dave Houseman who has founded this comp.  It will include BJCP Categories 24-25-26 (mead, cyser, melomel etc.) so if you’re looking to enter now’s a good time to start as mead takes at least 9 months to mature.  If you need to purchase honey, try www.honeylocator.com for specific varietals or give our local beekeeper from Fords a call; Grant Stiles (732) 661-0700
The first of the now FIVE sanctioned Whales competitions for the new year is the War of the Worts XII, traditionally held every February.  No details as yet, but keep yer eyes peeled to http://www.keystonehops.org for the latest developments.
Split Rock’s Great Brews of America Festival was held Nov 18-19th in Lake Harmony PA.  The festival featured nearly 50 breweries pouring including our own JJ Bittings.  In conjunction with the festival is the Split Rock Homebrew Competition.    Thanks again to Brad & Jenn for dropping off our entries.  Crashing at the Love Pad were Prez & Janet, Leo, Brad & Jennifer, Gary & Beth, Luke, Jeff the guy from work, Rob & Kristen, and KeithS.  Also on hand were Gene & Paola, Orth and Darin Reed (judging).  
With over 230 entries at 19 tables, Whales won 16 medals including 8 golds, 5 silvers and 3 bronze.  This is 28% of all medals awarded!!  We scored a hat trick on the Big Beer Table 17 and placed at least one beer at 12 of 19 stations.  I won’t go into who won what because if you’re reading this you already got the email with the name Darin plastered all over it.  Go to http://www.splitrockresort.com/beerfest/homebrew-competition.php for a complete list of winners.
The AHA  “Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day” was moved to Sat Nov 11th   to accommodate the cider makers and hoo-boy did the weather cooperate.  Thanks to our host Jody Moffett, his lovely wife and the Moff-ettes.  We tackled 60 gallons of wort with enough equipment to make a porn star jealous.  On hand were Jody (of course), Prez, Rob & Kristen, KeithS & Donna, Gary, Neal, Brad & Jennifer, Luke, HarleySteve and Gene & Paola.
At the annual Cider Day in Colrain Mass we’re now known as “the guys from Jersey”.  Trucking 90 gallons of premium blended cider isn’t nearly as much fun as drinking will be in March, but well worth the effort.   Thanks to HarleySteve for lending us his two 30 gallon transport barrels and to Paff, Prez, Gary & Beth, Jody and Jeff the guy from work who helped unload and rack hundreds of pounds of fermentable fun.  We’re doing another Applejack barrel aged batch of hard cider, which should be racked into secondary the first week of December.  For more info on the days lectures and tastings visit www.ciderday.org
Ain’t democracy great?  The December meeting will be where Whales head to the polls.  Anyone interested in stepping up for President, Secretary or Treasurer make your candidacy known.  In particular, we are searching for a Recording Secretary as this reporter will be stepping down after two years on the beat.  Responsibilities include paying attention at the meetings and writing this rag.
Treasurer’s report:  Uncle Leo says we have $515.61 in the kitty, or piggy, or wherever he keeps it.  With the new calendar year, it’s time to pay dues for 2007.  The good news, there’s no increase in the fee, still just $36.  See Uncle Leo, or our newly elected treasurer at your convenience.   “Convenience” is just polite talk for “pay-up, dammit”. 
Uncle Leo will give us a definitive count of White Lab vials at the next meeting.  We’ll then decide on how to cash them in and for what items.
Paff has alerted us to a couple up’n’coming beer dinners.  Antone’s in Cranford will be pairing their food with a fine selection of Climax brews on Dec 7th ($49 pp).   Just a few day later on Dec 11th Pizzeria Uno in Edison will pour their own craft brews with each course ($45 pp).  Reservations required for both.
The Whales 11th Annual Holiday Party is tentatively scheduled for Saturday Jan 13th 2007.  If anyone has any suggestions as to where we should hold it, we will be solidifying our plans at the December meeting.
Several Whales participated in the first ever Beer Swap.  By bringing some extra bottles of homebrew and trading, you can renew your faith in your fellow brewer while experiencing the delights of BJCP categories you’ve yet to explore.  Prez will announce another swap meet in several months.  
The tentative date for the BIG Beer Nite is Friday 1/19.  It’s held in the rustic ambiance of Luke’s garage.  No indoor plumbing = more fun.
The Flight:  Our first four selections were fine summer beers that warmed this crisp November night.  SteveS’s Golden Ale with orange, KeithS’s Gold medal winning Lemon Honey Wheat (made with real lemons, real honey AND real wheat),  KeithS’s award winning Kolsch (thanks for the dollar, buddy) and Prez’ Gold medal winning American Wheat.  Next, onto a mini-mead side trek with Luke’s Morning Wood Mead (aged 15 months) and Uncle Leo’s slightly young and hot Dry Mead.  HEY, let’s hear it for newbie David’s first ever brew…a Nut Brown!!    MikeV was kind enuf to share is own version of a Nut Brown, Paff poured his illustrious Old Ale, and Uncle Leo finished us off (literally) with the Tun Tavern’s Freedom Ale, a oak barrel aged barleywine.  Thanks to all who brought homebrews to share (and swap) at this meeting.
Be well and brew well!
-Luke, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter.