Friday, January 17, 2014

#17 Dark Mild - Recipe

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

When Steve and I were getting ready to brew together last November, he suggested we brew a brown ale.  It would be a good idea to brew something different from all the IPA's, IRA's, IIPA's, IPL's, IIIPA's and other over-hopped palate wreckers you find year round in the PNW.  And when was the last time you had a really good brown ale?   ...   Well that didn't work out.  We ended up brewing yet another pale ale, this time an ESB.  When we got the chance to brew together again, we decided to revisit the idea of a brown ale.

The term "brown ale" is as descriptive a name as it sounds: not very.  While it is certainly of English origin--otherwise it would be something outlandish like geuze or dunkelweizen--it seems like more of a broad descriptive term that Americans just assume should be a rigid style.  In Designing Great Beers, Ray Daniels breaks the genre into distinct styles for northern England, southern England, and the United States (see the BeerSmith blog or a synopsis).  I wasn't particularly struck by any of the descriptors here, but Daniels also mentions that before the advent of coke-fired maltings and pale malt around 1700, most English beer would have been brown in color and made from brown wood-smoked malted barley.  We considered doing something in this vein but ended up going a different direction.

If you read the ESB recipe post, you might remember that I spent a couple weeks in Europe last February.  One of the beers that caught my attention while we were nestled beneath Castle Rock in Nottingham, was Nottingham Brewery's Rock Mild.  The beer was rich and chocolatey, but only 3.8% ABV.  Steve liked the idea as if fit the goal of getting as far away from IPA's as we could.  Milds are similar to bitters but often with less hops or lower alcohol or darker color or something--it's all a bit murky (Daniels notes that some English breweries have even been known to swap labels as their portfolio changes).  The key here is that the beer was dark and malty and certainly low alcohol compared to American beer.

Like with the ESB, here we will be trying to extract as much flavor from as little malt as possible.  And again, like with the ESB, I'm going with a fairly simple approach so I can learn a bit about the ingredients.  I couldn't find a recipe to work from that would get me close, so I put this together from scratch.  It should be an interesting experiment.

Dark Mild
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Estimated ABV: 3.2 %
Estimated OG: 1.039 SG
Estimated FG: 1.014 SG
Estimated Color: 20.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 21.2 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 55.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 66.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt           Name                                     %/IBU         
8 lbs         Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)         84.2 %
1 lbs         Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)    10.5 %
8.0 oz        Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               5.3 %
1.00 oz       Goldings, East Kent [6.30 %] - Boil 60.0 21.2 IBU
0.25 tsp      Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins)              -
1.0 pkg       English Ale (White Labs #WLP002)         -

Mash Schedule: BIAB, 156F
Total Grain Weight: 9 lbs 8.0 oz
Estimated Cost: $19.22

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