Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Brewing a dark mild...

Sometimes, it just makes a ton of sense to drink a beer that is not too strong. I am talking about beers between 3.5% to 4.5% ABV. For the commercial beer drinker, this choice is not really available. However, for those who brew and/or have access to craft beers, choice of beer on the basis % alcohol is an option.

Along these lines, I brewed a Dark Mild today. Mild in the sense that it is not too bitter nor does it have sour notes as brown ales / porters of the past.

Fairly straightforward recipe. Starting gravity is 1.038 and has about 12 IBUs. The key to brewing this sort of light beer is a slightly higher mash temp of 68 - 70c to create enough dextrins so that there is adequate mouth-feel. Generous use of crystal malts is important. Hops should be fairly modest.

Here is my recipe: 6 Row Pilsner Malt 78%, Torrified Wheat 5%, Crystal Malt 70L 5%, Chocolate Malt 5% & Dark Wheat Malt 5%. That's it. You can use any English hop variety. I used English Kent Goldings with 4.2 Alpha Acid. Use the numerous online calculators to get the desired grams for 12 IBUs.

Ferment using an English ale yeast. Safale US-04 works very well. 0.75 gms per liter to 1 gm per liter is adequate. Ferment at 19c. Fermentation should not take more than 4 days. Post that, bottle using 4.5 gms per liter cane sugar. You don't need to over carbonate this beer. 1.5 to 1.8 volumes of CO2 would be just right.

If you do make this, let me know.

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