Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stone Soup IDA

My littlest boy asked me if I would put his "dressed up" picture on a beer label.  Since I am such a nice dad (some people would disagree with that sometimes, but really I am a nice dad), I told him I would certainly do that.  Unfortunately, all the brews I had planned near future already had labels or were really not ones that I wanted to put a cute little boy on.

Obviously, I needed to come up with a new recipe for Connor's label.  The name of the beer came to me almost immediately:  Stone Soup.  Connor loves the story of Stone Soup.  Quite often he collects rocks and other ingredients to make his own stone soup.  And, I've always thought that Stone Soup would make a good name for a beer ("always" might be an exaggeration considering I've only really been thinking about good beer names for a little over a year).

I called Connor over to help me design the label.  Of course, Tyler saw Connor's picture on the label and wanted me to add his too.  Together, the boys decided they wanted the river background (rushing over stones) and came up with their own beer quote.  The quote is not quite as funny as some of my others, but that is just my opinion.  The boys like it.

So, what kind of beer would be called "Stone Soup"?  Well, you probably know the story, but basically, in the book, stone soup started out as a real simple recipe of stones and water.  As villagers got more and more curious, everyone started bringing and adding their own additions until a wonderful meal was made for the whole town.  So, a beer called "Stone Soup" should be highly flavorful, and probably pretty complex.  But, I do want a good beer, so I don't want to add too much random stuff to the recipe.  Really, the way I declared Tweedle Beetle Ale as a way to use up unused hops would make sense for something named "Stone Soup" as well.  Since, that philosophy would make for a hoppy beer, I thought maybe an Imperial IPA would be an appropriate style.

However, I recently listed to Jamil's Can You Brew It on Nogne 100 .  The head brewer at Nogne told Jamil that the idea behind the 100 was the desire to make a huge hoppy American -style Imperial IPA, but that his partner said that he really liked dark beers.  The two guys ended up compromising by making an Imperial IPA and simply adding enough black patent malt to get the SRM up into the dark beer range.  I've never tried it (don't even know if my liquor store has it, and I sort of doubt it does), but Jamil and his crew really liked the Nogne 100, and were amazed how such a simple recipe yielded such an interesting tasting beer.

This approach really appealed to me, so I decided that rather than make a regular old Imperial IPA, I'd darken it up a bit and see what happens.  I added in a few extra ingredients that have been in other beers I've brewed, but really this ends up being simple enough that I do not think I am over-doing the flavors.  We'll see.

I was going to call it an Imperial Red Ale, which is what Jamil proposed that the Nogne 100 might be appropriately categorized as.  But, I would have to abbreviate to fit in the site menu, and I did not want IRA in the name, so I decided to go with IDA (Imperial Dark Ale).

You can review the recipe at the Stone Soup IDA page at the SheppyBrew website.  I have no idea when I'm going to brew it.  I do have my brewing schedule pretty full, but I may bump other things back to get this one in sooner.  Not sure.

By the way ... I bottled up my Quarter Life Crisis Red Ale, using 14 of the cool customized bottle caps that my sister's family got me for my birthday.  I actually hit both my OG and FG numbers on this beer.  The sample tasted great.  It was not as intensely hoppy as I figured it would be, but great non-the-less.  Might have to increase the dry-hop on the Stone Soup to get more hop intensity into this one.

Another BTW ...I tried a QA taste of Tweedle Beetle Ale today (technically yesterday) after the bottling session.  It is simply the most Tweedleicious beer ever created.  It is dark and roasty / chocolaty / coffee-like with an amazing head and is wonderfully balanced with the hops.  It is absolutely a "stay-at-home" beer, and I could really feel the alcohol, but absolutely no alcohol taste.  This is a great beer.  Of course, I am supposed to let this condition for a long period of time.  I cannot imagine it will get much better, but I will wait another month or so before trying it again.  That is, unless, I crave it and find myself "needing" another QA taste.


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  2. It's just like those sneaky tweedle beetles to pack a powerful alcoholic punch without the warning taste...

  3. Have you tried Hop Haze from these guys:

  4. I have not tried it, Jamie. Where can I get Hop Haze? Just at the brewery tap room?