Home-brewing notes: English Mild
Entry updated June 6, 2011 at 9:15 a.m.
Every now and then it's fun to brew a style of beer that you can't find in the store. Or bar. Or most of the country.
This was the driving factor behind my decision to brew an English Mild. Though I have had the opportunity to drink a commercial version at Washington DC's wonderful Churchkey, I've never put one together myself.
The sitetube of my brew kettle shows 8.5 gallons of wort collected for my English Mild.
Credit: Patrick Beeson
According to Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer's essential brewing text "Brewing Classic Styles," the English Mild style is a malt-forward beer that gets much of it's character from toasty/bready English malts and low-attenuating yeast. This beer is sweeter than similar styles with more roasted, nutty and toffee notes. Hop flavor is restrained, with only a bittering addition used.
Here are the stats for the Mild style according to the BJCP:
- OG: 1.030 to 1.038
- FG: 1.008 to 1.013
- IBU: 10 to 25
- SRM: 12 to 25
- ABV: 2.8% to 4.5%
And here is the recipe I used:
- 7 lbs Thomas Fawcett Marris Otter
- 0.5 lbs Bairds carastan
- 6 oz Simpson Extra Dark Crystal
- 0.25 lbs Thomas Fawcett Chocolate
- 2 oz Thomas Fawcett Black
- 1 oz UK East Kent Goldings (4.8% AA) @ 60 minutes
- 2nd generation Wyeast London Ale (repitched from a Brown Porter)
Mash and fermentation
I mashed this beer at 154 degrees. I mashed the Marris Otter only, with an addition of the crystal and dark malts at mashout/vorloff.
This beer ferments at 68 degrees.
This was the second beer in which I used the mashout/vorloff addition of the malts that you would traditionally steep with an extract recipe. This is a technique I learned about from Gordon Strong's book "Brewing Better Beer: Master Lessons for Advanced Homebrewers." It allows you to control the astringency you'd normally get from mashing darker malts.
I mash my base malts until conversion is complete, then add in the other malts as I increase my mash temp with an addition of boiling water. Everything settles out at 165 to 170, and I proceed to recirculating the wort until it clears. You will need to wait about 15 minutes before this since the mash will need settle as a filter bed against your false bottom.
Otherwise, I used a medium thick mash at 0.34 gallons of water per pound of grain. My strike water temp was 168. I mashed out at 166 and ran-off 8.5 gallons of wort for a 5-gallon batch. Sparging took approximately 27 minutes to complete.
My preboil gravity for this beer was 7.6 Brix.
I achieved a good hot break, which meant a near boil-over. The break settled quickly, and I added the hops before starting the clock for 60 minutes. I added yeast nutrient at 10 minutes to flame-out.
My FG for this beer was 9.8 Brix, or 1.039.
I was able to chill the wort to 75 degrees using a plate chiller and pre-chiller combo. Unfortunately, Roanoke City's water temp is now hovering around 70 degrees, which means I'm likely stuck making ales until the Fall.
Fortunately, my MoreBeer Heated/Cooled conical fermenter made short work of the remaining degrees, and I was able to pitch the yeast at 68 a few hours later. I oxygenated the wort for one minute using pure oxygen.
My brewing environment is such that I have to use a device to transport the cooled wort from where I brew to the fermenter. To do this, I employed a seven-gallon bucket with a lid and spout. This allowed my to collect the wort in a sanitary manner -- the hose goes into the spout and is enclosed with sanitized foil -- and empty it into the conical without much trouble. Plus, the pouring action adds oxygen.
I anticipate this beer to be finished fermenting in one week. My plan is to again capture the yeast and pitch it into either an English Barleywine or English IPA.
Have you ever tasted or brewed an English Mild? What were your tasting notes?
Update: The FG for this beer looks to be 5.8 Brix, or 1.014. I harvest the yeast yesterday (June 5) and will let it sit in the fermenter until I have an open keg. ABV looks to be around 3.5 percent.