2006 October Meeting Issue #96

The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes October 2006 Issue #096
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996
Cheers!  Here’s the October newsletter…
*  Cider Day, Colrain MA Nov 3-5th
*  Split Rock Comp entries drop off @Luke’s by Nov 8th
*  AHA Big Brew at Jody’s house 11/11
*  Split Rock’s Great Brews of America Festival Nov 18-19th
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.
"Let’s all work to get people to drink more good beer, so if someone walks into your office and says he drinks Corona, don’t immediately call him a dickhead." – Michael Jackson
The WHALES held their Tuesday 17th October meeting within the friendly confines of JJ Bittings.   We thank Mr. Cerami whose generosity has been instrumental in the continued success of the club.  On hand were KeithS, Rob & Kristen, Gary, Luke, Prez, MikeV, Brad & Jenn, HarleySteve, Jody, newbie Wayne and the triumphant return of Darin.
The Club Only Competitions are American Homebrewers Association (AHA) sanctioned nationwide.  This month’s COC was Category 6 Light Hybrids.  This includes Cream Ale, Blonde Ale, Kolsch and American Wheat or Rye.  The entrants:  Prez (American Wheat), KeithS (Kolsch) and Gary (American Wheat) each received one point for HBOY.  Voting members definitively spoke and congrats to Gary who will be representing us on the national level and basking in the glory of his hard earned second HBOY point.
The next COC?  We’ll judge Low Gravity Beers at our January meeting.  It can be in any BJCP style but 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 2006 categories and dates.
The Final Belgian Barrel Report:  At the May brew bash, ten participants each brewed the same all grain Dubbel recipe.  It was fermented in a large foodgrade plastic barrel at KeithS’s house, then transferred into a Weyerbacher bourbon barrel for four months aging.  We racked 9/29 and each participant got between 4-5 gallons.  Initial tasting reports have the beer hot and a little thin, in a Kate Moss kinda way.  Thanks to Donna for the pizza and KeithS for babysitting our collective Whales Belgian Love Child.
Homebrewer of the Year report:  Thru and including the September Stouts COC, the top five round out at Darin 28, Gary 15, Paff 13, Prez 11 and SteveG 9.  The Tropicana Fun Fact for this month is that we now have 15 brewers who have officially racked points in the HBOY contest.  The last chance for 2006 points…Split Rock’s Great Brews of America.  The January COC for Light Hybrids will begin the new clean slate for HBOY.
The first of the four 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.
Congrats to Luke, who captured two silver medals in the ’06 Valhalla Mead Competition in West Chester PA on 10/14.  Winning both in the semi-sweet (D-47 Mead) and metheglin (Chili Mead) categories was made even sweeter knowing that medal placing entrants came from ten different states in the union.
The Lehigh Valley Brewfest was held September 30th in Riverside Park in Easton PA.  Despite over forty brews from the mid-Atlantic region, the festival got a thumbs down from Whales attendees Brad Ebert and Jenn Roper who described it as “vastly overcrowded”.
Prez and Janet hosted their annual Octoberfest Saturday 10/7.  Whales hi-lites included an appearance by Kenny Schrader, who of course, brought a Crave Case of White Castle burgers and Paul St. Marie, who of course, brought a four foot bottle of oak aged Arrogant Bastard.  Accordians, exotic beers and the best food on this side of the Delaware River make for a memorable event.
Split Rock’s Great Brews of America Festival is Nov 18-19th, Lake Harmony PA.  The festival 1-5PM features nearly 50 breweries pouring beer into your 2 oz. tasting glass ($23 admission).   The Saturday nite beer dinner $50 includes a flight of beers paired with each course.   Check www.splitrockresort.com for additional info.
In conjunction with the festival is the Split Rock Homebrew Competition.   This is a Whales sanctioned event for HBOY points.  Whales who wish to participate can drop off entries to Luke’s by Wed Nov 8the at the latest.  He will get them to Brad who will make the run to Keystone Brew Supply in Bethlehem PA.  Thanks Brad & Jenn.  Go to http://www.splitrockresort.com/beerfest/homebrew-competition.php for entry info and downloadable forms.
The last few years many-o-Whales have participated at Split Rock and spent the weekend at the resort.  Both the Prez and the Kings have already booked accommodations at Big Boulder Ski Resort, just a short drive from the festival and much more cost effective.  If you’re interested in spending the night in the Poconos, reach out to Prez for contact info on rentals.
The AHA  “Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day” is typically the first Saturday in November each year.   This year’s event date will be moved to Sat Nov 11th due to Cider Day.  Our host will be Jody Moffett at his Hightstown home.  Basically, we all get together and brew outside.  Everyone brings something to eat/drink, and we make a picnic out of it.  All grainers may arrive anytime after 8AM, rain or shine.  Jodi will send an email as we get closer with directions and contact info.
The aforementioned Brew Bash corresponds with the annual Cider Day in Colrain Mass.  We’re doing another barrel aged batch of hard cider, so a contingency of Whales will be heading up north 11/3-11/5 to pick up juice and attend apple fermentation festivities.  Luke’s brother has a vacation home about 35 minutes north in VT, so comfortable rustic lodging is gratis.  If you are interested in attending contact Luke asap so we can coordinate transportation and lodging.  Shares of the Whales cider barrel sold out at the meeting.  For more info on the festival visit www.ciderday.org
Treasurer’s report:  None
Tom Paffrath has some freebie Santiam (an American noble clone) and Cascade hops available thru a Tom Baker donation.  Contact Paff at bumzbrew@comcast.net.
Please continue to save those White Lab vials and bring them to Uncle Leo at the next meeting.
Next meeting we will introduce The Beer Swap.  Bring some extra bottles of homebrew to the next meeting and swap with your Whale comrades.  Tired of drinking that same damn IPA??  Show off your brewing prowess, trade for some different styles and enjoy the 28 BJCP categories with some help from your “Third Tuesday” buddies. 
The Flight:  Without a doubt, this flight was a non-stop first class adventure.  You know you’re fired up when you start with a New England hi-gravity cider from Darin.  Next, onto Jody’s Farmhouse Saison with wonderful fruity/spicy flavors supported by a soft malt character. A side-by-side cyser tasting from Darin and Luke came next.  Both elixirs are the fruit of last years Cider Day.  Brad offered a dark Vienna lager aka Modelo Negro clone.   Back to Darin for a fine Belgian dubbel (keep those Belgians rolling, folks!).  Jody then weighed in with his American Brown Ale, then Darin finished us all off with his Old Ale.  Make sure to enter that one in Split Rock, sir.  For those of you keeping score at home, that was 8 in the flight and 3 in the COC.  Thanks to all who brought homebrews to share at this meeting.
Be well and brew well!
-Luke, Editor WHALES Official Newsletter.