In Fall 2011, Gagster and I took our first crack at doing a clone brew of Stone IPA. The results were less that what we hoped for. I mean, the beer was awesome. We’re finishing the corny keg up while we start our second attempt but it definitely wasn’t Stone. Hell, we even used it as the main ingredient of the baste in our brewing burgers. But in the end, the alcohol volume was low and the hops were high. We attributed the outcome to an inconsistent heat.

How we fixed the problem

Instead of using the kettle to hold the mash while prepping for a boil, Gagster bought a 10 gallon Coleman cooler to see if we could keep the temperature more consistent.

The result: it lost less than two degrees from when we struck it.

The temperature reading had us excited and as we went back through the recipe we thought we’d have a perfect Stone IPA clone. So much so that we even took time to make some pretty killer burgers on the grill.

  • Onion, chili red pepper powder, goldfish crackers, & oregano
  • Baste – while grilling: Stone IPA Clone Brew #1, BBQ sauce, garlic paste, chili powder…

Then we went to add the hops to our Stone IPA clone.

And things went to Hell

What went wrong?

Well as we went to put in the Hops, Gagster asked the question:

What hops do we put in?

I went, “Oh, s***. The directions are at my house.”

So we started thinking about what to do. We had three choices:

  • Try to find the directions.
  • Guess on some new hops.
  • Throw out the mash.

With only a couple minutes to decide we choose to go with plan B – put in some new hops.
I didn’t even think about the fact I had our notes from the first trial on the first attempt at the Stone IPA clone.

But, it lead to us making a new IPA – I Have No Choice IPA.

What’s in the name I Have No Choice IPA

Well, as we were starting the second round, we started watching season 5 of 24 and we considering a 24 drinking game. One of the drink we were going to include was every time someone said, “I had no choice.” And since at the time we thought we didn’t have a choice we named the new brew trials, I Have No Choice IPA.

What hops were used to create I Have No Choice IPA

We did everything we did in the first Stone IPA clone trial.

  • Centennial Hops (bittering hops). 10.9% alpha acid. 1 hour.
  • Kent Goldings Hops (flavor hops). 3.9% 10 minutes.
  • Williamette Pellet Hops for (aroma hops). 3.9% End of boil.

We also kept with the White Labs California Ale Yeast and followed the directions.

The results

We’re not sure yet. It’s only 8 hours old at this point. We reached our 5 gallons and the initial flavor tastes divine. We think we might have something. We’ll update as we go.

Images of I Have No Choice IPA #1

Video for I Have No Choice IPA Brew #1

What to do next?

We don’t know. We’ll take suggestions!

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