July 2018 SCUBA Monthly Meeting Minutes

Urgent Info:  In order to assure the quality of judging (and an optimal workload for judges), entry registration for the NJ State Fair Homebrew Comp has been closed at 325 entries.  Last year we judged almost 400 entries. We have 23 judges at the moment, which is lower than we’ve had in the past.  We also need stewards.  Please register NOW as a volunteer/steward.

The meeting opened with a cheers from our 23 attendees at the Fairgrounds to Bob Smith, who took a Silver at the National Competition in Portland last month.  Check the Facebook page to see Bob limp up to accept his medal, and to see SCUBA’s name up on the big screen.  The NHC is, I think, the biggest beer competition in the world with 8405 entries (the World Beer Cup was about 8200).  So now SCUBA has two medals to its name (Chris and Craig took a mead medal a few years back).


We set the upcoming meeting schedule as follows:

August – no formal meeting, but NJSFHC judging July 27/28 and Awards August 4.

Sept 7 – Mohawk House, Eldorado hopped beers

Oct 7 SUNDAY – Angry Erik, beer pairing discussion (pending AE approval).  Bring Harvest Beers.

Nov 2 – Fairgrounds, German Beer Club-Only Competition

We selected El Dorado hops for our September Single Hop Brew.  You are welcome to bring to that meeting ANY beer that uses exclusively El Dorado hops.  We chose these hops over some other suggestions that included African Queen, Mosaic, and Magnum(!).  On the fly, Adam found Eldos on sale for $10/lb and ordered 7 pounds to be distributed as follows (in ounces):  Adam-16, Chris-12, Mark-8, Bruce-8, JJ-8, Robert-8, Bob-8, Wayne-8, Cait-8, Steve-4, Joe-4, Paul-4, Erik-4, Mike-4, Craig-4, Herv-4.  That was some awesome club decision making power and action.  We should have enough beer at the September meeting!

The SCUBA Beer Barrel was filled with its second batch, a Blonde, a few weekends ago.  11 brewers participated, and we sampled as we racked the beers.  As Chris noted “SCUBA brewers aren’t always known for their consistency!”... the 11 beers showed significant variety despite a single recipe.  The blend, however, was really good, and we hope that the choice of style will work well to pull some of the oak and red zinfandel flavors that remain in the barrel.  Thanks as always to North Jersey Homebrew for providing a home for the barrel.  We’ll sample the beer at the September meeting and decide when to keg it.    Mark announced that he’d like someone else to organize the next fill, so please contact him if you’re interested in taking over.

In our Saison Tasting, we sampled Saison Dupont and Ommegang Hennepin for commercial calibration.  We discussed the importance of high fermentation temperature in this style to produce the desired aromas and flavors, and to keep the yeast from stalling out.  Paul and Mark served some homebrewed samples using a variety of yeasts including the standard WL Saison yeast, as well as Belle Saison and Monastery.  Adam served a keg of something entirely different, but hey, at least he brought good beer. 

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to final planning of the NJ State Fair Homebrew Competition.  Bullet points for brevity:

  • Entry numbers are high, volunteers are low. Capping at 325 until we get more judges
  • NEIPA category was a good idea – we have lots of entries. JJ may have a commitment from a pro brewer to scale up the winner.
  • NJ Pride Category also going well with 9 entries. Jersey Girl will brew the winning beer.
  • The SORT will be on July 20 at the Eddys as usual. We do need volunteers for that.  Confirm with Coordinator JJ or Cellarmaster Chris.
  • ENTRY PICKUPS between the 15th and 20th. Call brewshop to confirm that they have entries and that they are open when you want to pick up.  Commitments:  Keystone-Steve, L2B-Adam,  TQ-Steve, BH-Adam, C&K-Joe, HU-Herv, Mistucky-Chris.  Deliver beer to Eddy’s or keep at your home away from light and heat.
  • The JOCKEY BOX will be at the judging for lunch. Bring a corny of beer (that you’re not entering into the comp).  Commitments – Bob, Mark, Wayne?, someone else?
  • FOOD DONATIONS: we are providing breakfast and lunch as usual.  Please make a tray of something and LET Cindy KNOW ASAP!  Also, please consider asking your favorite local restaurant for a tray, or talk to the owner/manager and ask them whether you can introduce them to JJ, who will ask for the donation.
  • PRIZES are harder to come by than in the past, maybe because of the number of competitons these days.
  • SCUBA is in second place in the club competition. If you’re reading this and you have not entered your best beer into the State Fair competition, then you’re a slacker and I’m personally very disappointed in you.  We need EVERYONE to participate if we’re going to get our name on that trophy!
  • HERV asked what date the competition is. It’s the final Friday/Saturday of July as always.  All the club info that you need can be found at http://scubabrewclub.com  Check it out, there’s lots of stuff there.

I’ll leave it to Chris and the rest of you to correct all of the innacurate info above, and add the stuff I’ve left out!