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Style of the Week: Beers Gone Mild!

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November 26, 2014 by fhsteinbart


Mild Ale

Style guide book from the Brewer’s Association has everything you ever wanted to know about Mild Ales, but were afraid to ask!

One beer that continues to defy categorization is the English style Mild Ale. All that can really be said is that they are mild in flavor, aroma, and character. While they can be as pale as a blonde like with the AK Mild, or amber, as we see with the Northern English Brown, and even darker like we see with the Southern English Brown, they all share one common denominator according to the BJCP Guidelines: “A light-flavored, malt-accented beer that is readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing, yet flavorful.” I really liked these “beginner” beers back in the UK, as they were easily consumed by the Imperial Pint, yet flavorful enough to be consumed again and again. If you were to walk into just about any pub there, you’d see several beers labeled mild, and they’re all really quite different beers. My preference is towards the darker, more caramel side of the style. Beer’s like Highgate Mild, Sara Hughes Mild, and Woodforde’s Mardler’s Mild. Below is a recipe of mine that makes a typical British Style Mild Ale:

Extract version:

OG: 1.045 FG: 1.015

5 lbs. Light DME

1½ lbs. Crystal 15L

1½ lbs. Crystal 150L

5 AAU’s Golding’s hops for 60~90 minutes

5 AAU’s Golding’s hops for 20 minutes

1 oz. Golding’s hops at 7 minutes

1 oz. Golding’s hops at end of boil (steeping hops)

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 15 minutes

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in boil

Wyeast 1968, WLP002, or S-04

Procedure:

  • Heat 2-5 gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains to kettle and steep for 30 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring to boil for 5 min. then add bittering hops.
  • At 20 minutes add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss.
  • At 7 minutes add the aroma hops.
  • At knockout (0 minutes), turn off the heat, add the last addition of aroma hops, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller.
  • Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 64°F to 68°F for up to two weeks.
  • Allow to age an additional 1 to 2 weeks before packaging up as usual.
  • If you cannot get the terminal gravity to be around 1.015, add 1 lb. of Malto-Dextrin powder to the finished beer as a boiled and cooled syrup.

 

All Grain version:

OG: 1.045 FG: 1.015

8 lbs. British Pale Ale or ESB Malt

1½ lbs. Crystal 15L

1½ lbs. Crystal 150L

5 AAU’s Golding’s hops for 60~90 minutes

5 AAU’s Golding’s hops for 20 minutes

1 oz. Golding’s hops at 7 minutes

1 oz. Golding’s hops at end of boil (steeping hops)

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 15 minutes

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in boil

Wyeast 1968, WLP002, or S-04

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in both mash and boil

Procedure:

  • Infusion mash at 158°F for 90 min with the Brewing Salts.
  • Sparge until 6~6½ gal wort has been obtained.
  • Add the rest of the Burton Water Salts after the boil commences.
  • Boil for 1 to 1½ hours total time.
  • Add the bittering hops after 15 minutes boiling and continue to boil for 60 more minutes.
  • Add the flavor hops at 20 minutes remaining.
  • Add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss at last 15 minutes.
  • Add the first aroma hops at 7 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Add the second charge of aroma hops at flameout.
  • Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 90 gms. corn sugar (approx. 2/3 cup), or kegged to 12 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50~55°F in a 20 oz. British pint mug, share and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming weeks, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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