Monday, January 18, 2010

Born To Be Mild

Brewed three 5 gal. batches of Mild last Sunday and just got done puttin' them to bed in some kegs. Impaling Alers are hosting the AHA Club Only Competition for February, "The Session Challenge" featuring English Brown Ale which includes Northern & Southern English Brown Ale and Mild. I had planned on brewing a Ruby and a Dark mild. I broke out my copy of "Brew Your Own British Real Ale", a good reference featuring recipes based on commercial beers. I surveyed the Dark Mild lists and came up with a recipe based on the average amounts of grains used, which I tweaked a bit with an addition of brown malt. Love the brown malt. Then onto Brewing Classic Styles "Mild" for something ruby-ish. Decided on the AK, more a light tawny brown in color than ruby which was fine. The Dark and the AK use a fair amount of adjunct, both with brown sugar in the kettle and the AK with a bit of flaked maize in the mash. Mark made a comment calling the quality of adjunct Milds into question, saying that a low-gravity style like this will thin out too much. Perfectly reasonable observation. So what the hey, I'll brew an all-malt version too, and we'll see what's what. So the Ruby Mild is all-malt; 5 1/2 pounds Marris Otter and 1 pound Crystal 120 in five gallons for 8.5P. Ruby, Tawny, and Dark. Boom, boom, and boom.

So after racking into kegs; the Ruby terminal gravity is just a bit higher than the beers with adjunct as expected, and shows that nice juicy Marris Otter malt character very nicely. The AK and the Dark are nice but definitely drier, interesting combination of higher kilned/roasted malt flavors and low terminal gravity. All three are still a bit dusty, I'll have a better idea of the final result after we drop bright and condition.

The AK
5 gallons 8.5P wort

5 pounds Marris Otter
1 1/4 ounces Chocolate Malt (Powderized )
1/2 pound flaked maize
1/2 brown sugar (at end of boil)

The Dark
5 gallons 9P wort

5 pounds Marris Otter
6 oz Crystal 120
4 oz Brown Malt
3 oz Chocolate Malt
1 oz Black Patent Malt
8 oz brown sugar (at end of boil)

All three were bittered with East Kent Goldings for 22-24 IBU's and pitched with the Safbrew S-33 (Edme-style) dried yeast.

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