- Written by Gary Weston
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The Official WHALES Newsletter and Minutes September 2006 Issue #095
Woodbridge Homebrewers Ale & Lager Enthusiasts Society Established 1996
* Whales’ Barrel Dubbel Racking 9/29
* Lehigh Valley Brewfest, Easton PA 9/30
* Prez & Janet’s Octoberfest 10/7
* Valhalla Mead Competition, West Chester PA 10/14
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.
"We brewers don't make beer, we just get all the ingredients together and the beer makes itself." -- Fritz Maytag, President Anchor Brewing
The WHALES held their Tuesday 19th September meeting at JJ Bittings, where honest brew makes its own friends. We thank Mr. Cerami for his continued support. On hand were Gene, KeithS, Rob & Kristen, Gary, Uncle Leo, Luke, Prez, Paff, MikeV, Brad & Jenn w/buddy Jeanette, SteveG, Harry, Jody, SteveS & BillS. Holy seating chart, Batman. Note: From here on out Steve Schreyer will be known as SteveS, and Steve Sutkowski will be HarleySteve.
This months presentation was Rob’s “Brewing with Rye”. Although rye can be somewhat difficult to find and troublesome to work with, the results can make it all worthwhile. Because it’s so damn gooey, the great fear is a stuck mash. This risk can be lessened by keeping the rye under 20% of the grain bill and using rice hulls. Rye beers have an almost chewy graininess typified by German Roggenbiers, essentially a dunkel with a rye addition. Rob’s tasting included four beverages with rye; Rob’s version of EJ Phair’s Rye Beer, The Four Kings Rye, Heavyweight Slice of Bread and Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey. Thanks to Rob and Kristin!
The Club Only Competitions are American Homebrewers Association (AHA) sanctioned nationwide. A particular style is chosen, each participating club holds a preliminary comp with the winner competing against all other winning entries across this great land. This month’s COC was Category 13 stouts. With a record breaking eight entries, we learned that Whales like to make (and drink) stout.
The entrants: Prez (American Stout), Luke (Imperial), SteveS (Dry & Choc Cream), Jody (Oatmeal), Brad/Jenn (Imperial), Gene (Imperial) and Gary (Milk). With such a fine array of quality craft brews, this was one of the most difficult flights to choose a single representative. Although the winner was Luke, his submission was a collaborative effort of 12 brewers at the May 2004 Brew Bash hosted by Uncle Leo. Prez developed the recipe for both all grain and extract and this was the first Laird’s Applejack Barrel aged experiment. If memory serves us, the participants were Prez, Leo, Tripka, Maggs, Crazy John, HarleySteve, Paff, Gene, Luke & Rob/Kristin. This beer took a first place at Split Rock in ’05 and was fourth overall in the BOS round. Good Luck to the club with this true team brew.
The next COC? We’ll judge Category 6 Light Hybrids (Cream Ale, Blonde Ale, Kolsch and American Wheat or Rye) in October (Attn. Gary…that’s next month). The following comp will be judged at our January meeting, Low Gravity Beers. 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 Belgian Barrel: 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 will be racking at Keith & Donna’s PIScataway Palace on Friday 9/29 7PM. If you can’t make it, make arrangements to get a sanitized carboy there.
Homebrewer of the Year report: None
The Lehigh Valley Brewfest will be held rain or shine Saturday September 30th 1-5PM in Riverside Park in Easton PA. Over forty brews from the mid-Atlantic region will be featured along with live music and lots of food. Tickets are $35 at the door. For more info check out www.lvbrewfest.org
Prez and Janet host their annual Octoberfest Saturday 10/7 from Noon until whenever. Bring a covered dish, dessert or something for the grille. All Whales are invited and a splendid time is guaranteed rain or shine. BYOB. (Note to Gary…that means bring your own beer).
The rumblings have begun for Split Rock’s Great American Beer Festival Nov 18-19th, Lake Harmony PA. In previous years, we’ve rented condos for the Saturday nite to celebrate our bling-bling (Gary, this means medals) from the afternoons comptetion. This is a Whales sanctioned event for HBOY points. Mock your calendar now.
The AHA “Teach A Friend To Homebrew Day” is typically the first Saturday in November each year. We are looking for a volunteer to host this years event. Basically, we all get together and brew outside. Everyone brings something to eat/drink, and we make a picnic out of it. At the next meeting, we will decide a location and further discuss the possibility of moving the date to the next week (see below).
The aforementioned Brew Bash corresponds with the annual Cider Day in Colrain Mass. It looks as if there is enough interest in 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. For more info visit www.ciderday.org
Treasurer’s report: As per Uncle Leo, we have $520.61 in the account. Some small increases will be reflected in next months balance because of additional new member dues.
Tom Paffrath has some freebie Santiam (an American noble clone) and Cascade hops available thru a Tom Baker donation. Contact Paff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The puddle jumper flight: In addition to the amazing stout comp and Rob’s rockin’ Rye flight, Bradley poured his hefeweizen- a great summer, fall, winter, spring type beer. Next up, Luke offered a variation on the Whales Wee Heavy. The wort came from Tom Baker during our collaborative effort, but used instead a traditional Scottish yeast as opposed to the Amer/Eng blend used in the commercial brew.
Be well and brew well!
-Luke, WHALES Corresponding Secretary.