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Style of the Week: Lawn Mower Beer

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May 27, 2016 by fhsteinbart


mild ale pic

Here we see a Nonic pint of Dark Mild Ale. Mild in hops, but not in flavor!

Okay, I’ll admit that it’s not a style per se, but we all know what we mean by “lawn Mower” beer — beers that are smaller, drier, and more drinkable on a hot day when out and about doing outside chores like mowing the lawn. The British have been ubiquitous in pursuing the lower end of the beer spectrum in regards to ABV, OG, and TG. So I realized that what people want in their outdoor beer is a thirst quenching beer with lot’s of flavor, but not a lot of alcohol. In England, they call these beers Mild Ales. While they can be light, bright, and cheery, they can also be dark, full bodied and full flavored. I prefer the latter, and even on a hot day these beer’s are quite tasty, and will make you want to pour another and another, and well, you get the picture! Below is a recipe of mine that makes a great low gravity mild ale that is sure to please any palate of any craft beer drinkers out there.

 

Extract:

  • 4 lbs. Light DME
  • ½ lb. Victory Malt
  • ½ lb. Honey Malt
  • 1 lb. Caramunich Malt
  • 1 oz. Goldings Hops (Bittering)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1968, WLP002, Imperial Pub, or Safale S-04 yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat 2½ gallons of water to 155°F.
  • Turn off heat and add DME, stirring until fully dissolved, and steep specialty grains for 20~30 minutes.
  • Add water to volume, return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min.
  • Add bittering hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
  • After boil has finished, turn off heat, then cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
  • Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 9 lbs. Pale Ale Malt
  • ½ lb. Victory Malt
  • ½ lb. Honey Malt
  • 1 lb. Caramunich Malt
  • 1 oz. Goldings Hops (Bittering)
  • Whirlfloc tablet or Irish Moss
  • ¼ oz. Calcium Chloride Salts in the mash and in the boil.
  • Wyeast 1968, WLP002, Imperial Pub, or Safale S-04 yeast

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 154°F for 1 hour, using a standard (1.33 qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. At 15 minutes remaining add the Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 0 minutes (knockout), cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 90 gms. corn sugar (approx. 2/3 cup), or kegged to 15 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 50°~55°F in a dimpled pint mug, or nonic glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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