Briess Ashburne Mild - any good for English milds?

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Gadjobrinus

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Just wanting to do some vintage British milds. I've been shy of using the Ashburne and wondering if people who are into the British lineage can tell me their experiences, if they've used it.
 
I have not used Ashbourne in an English mild yet, but I have recently made 2 beers with it. There's very little buzz about it anywhere on the internet, and yet morebeer carries it. I don't know who's buying it or what they are doing with it. But I really, really like it so far.

I wish people on the forums here who do use it would pile on and share what they use the stuff for.

I would personally describe it as a "high-color pale ale" malt. It is about as diastatic as English base malt, but darker. Huge kernels. I think the flavor is mostly sweet. It's not grainy or grassy (like us 2row)at all. It's really not biscuity or bready (like Maris otter). It's not rich and sweet in the way Munich is. It's loaded with flavor, but it's the sweet part of the malty flavor, but lightly sweet--not sticky like crystal.

It seems to be fairly dextrinous. Based on my very limited experience, I would estimate that Ashburne mild malt adds as much body as about 20% as much crystal. I just brewed one with 50% ashburne, and it's like I used 10% crystal. (it turned out drinkable though, thanks to 25% corn). Flavor is like amped up pale ale malt--I don't taste it and think "loads of specialty malts in this one"

I'm big fan so far and will keep experimenting with it.

I will brew an English mild with it at some point. Probably a pale mild. When I do, I'll probably split evenly between ashburne mild and something biscuity, plus a bit of torrified wheat and a load of brown sugar. And I predict it will be delicious.
 
I will add that I've used it in 2 beers, both at around half, with us pilsner malt and flaked corn. Very American. If US pale ale malt is bland or unremarkable compared to English pale ale malt, then subbing in 25-50% ashburne mild brings it up to parity. Same amount of flavor, different flavor.

You can brew an ale that lacks nothing with 100% MO + EKG + [English yeast of choice]. Similarly, I think you could brew an ale that lacks nothing with 50/50 US pale ale/ashburne mild + [US hop of choice] + Chico.

Edit: Mash for maltose, though, to get that FG down--there's some body in the Ashbourne mild malt.
 
I'm gonna find out how good this malt is. Will be making some SMASH beers with it next month. IF I can remember, I might come back to this thread later in May with results. Not sure yet which styles (I'll split the batch several ways) but one will definitely be a bitter, guess I should try it in a mild as well, and likely something else with wackier hops more like an APA.
 
I'm gonna find out how good this malt is. Will be making some SMASH beers with it next month. IF I can remember, I might come back to this thread later in May with results. Not sure yet which styles (I'll split the batch several ways) but one will definitely be a bitter, guess I should try it in a mild as well, and likely something else with wackier hops more like an APA.

I like it with cluster hops and a fruity yeast, so far.

You might get more body than you want if you use it alone. I would at least use a high percentage of sugar, if not a fraction of adjunct+something with more dp. On the other hand, a SMASH will be informative even if not the most balanced brew.

Either way, l look forward to hearing about your results.
 
Awesome, thanks for the input guys. Probably no way to know without just trying it. @DBhomebrew , interesting your mentioning UK Vienna. A British brewer for whom I have immense respect gave me his mild recipe, which includes 26% Vienna. To be honest I'm not a fan of mixing in malts outside the "house", (e.g., German malts for more "maltiness" in English ales), but that's just my thing. Should definitely try it.

By the way, in case anyone is interested, Matt Brynildson (now of Firestone-Walker, I knew him when he was head brewer at Goose Island, when I worked there) loves munich in his pale ales, including their flagship IPA and Pale 31.
 
Awesome, thanks for the input guys. Probably no way to know without just trying it. @DBhomebrew , interesting your mentioning UK Vienna. A British brewer for whom I have immense respect gave me his mild recipe, which includes 26% Vienna. To be honest I'm not a fan of mixing in malts outside the "house", (e.g., German malts for more "maltiness" in English ales), but that's just my thing. Should definitely try it.

By the way, in case anyone is interested, Matt Brynildson (now of Firestone-Walker, I knew him when he was head brewer at Goose Island, when I worked there) loves munich in his pale ales, including their flagship IPA and Pale 31.
To be precise, subbing Vienna in lieu of mild malt is supposed to be specifically UK malted Vienna from UK barley.
User @Peebee and some others I've seen on UK sites seem fairly certain Crisp's Vienna malt actually is what used to be their mild malt, renamed for marketing reasons.
I use it as the sole base malt in my milds and 50/50 with GP in brown's and some other maltier ales.
It certainly gives those flavours I associate with the few commercial milds I've tried and behaves/tastes like mild malt is described...
 
To be precise, subbing Vienna in lieu of mild malt is supposed to be specifically UK malted Vienna from UK barley.
User @Peebee and some others I've seen on UK sites seem fairly certain Crisp's Vienna malt actually is what used to be their mild malt, renamed for marketing reasons.
I use it as the sole base malt in my milds and 50/50 with GP in brown's and some other maltier ales.
It certainly gives those flavours I associate with the few commercial milds I've tried and behaves/tastes like mild malt is described...
Great point, thanks Erik. Worth a try.
 
I just got another one with ashburne mild in the fermenter. It's one more in a series--I'm working toward a sparkling ale suitable to fill the place ice-cold light American lager holds in the Southern summer. I was told by a more experienced brewer that I was on the track of what the bjcp calls "Australian Sparkling Ale." Sweet, slightly fruity, bitter, thin, and carbed all the way up.

This was 60% ashburne, 20% US pilsner, 20% white sugar, a load of cluster at 45min, fermented with s-04 (warm). Should be crisp and clear in about 2 weeks....
 
I’ve used it and it worked fine for me, but I really don’t have any way to compare my homebrew Milds to what would be considered authentic.
It’s been a few years since I used it and can’t remember the recipe I used.
Briess website has a database where you can search their recipes by malts. Their mild recipe is using Ashburne 50/50 with 2 row.
http://www.brewingwithbriess.com/recipes/beer/display/mild_child
 
I've used Ashburne several times as a base malt with the Fullers strain and the Yorkshire strain and I can't quite get the hang of it. Even with a good proportion of invert, and a proper mash, it always hangs up several points above where I'd like it to be and where the usual Otters tend to land. In that respect, I guess it's doing its thing?

I prefer to think of it as dark munich. Yeah, dark munich is a base malt, technically, but it's best to think of it as a character malt. Ashburne is a lot like that.

The more I learn about UK ales, the more I think dryness is the key to success. I'm not sure how a malt like Ashburne figures into that. Why not use 2oz of Amber instead?

I don't plan to buy any Ashburne in the future.
 
I've used Ashburne several times as a base malt with the Fullers strain and the Yorkshire strain and I can't quite get the hang of it. Even with a good proportion of invert, and a proper mash, it always hangs up several points above where I'd like it to be and where the usual Otters tend to land. In that respect, I guess it's doing its thing?

I prefer to think of it as dark munich. Yeah, dark munich is a base malt, technically, but it's best to think of it as a character malt. Ashburne is a lot like that.

The more I learn about UK ales, the more I think dryness is the key to success. I'm not sure how a malt like Ashburne figures into that. Why not use 2oz of Amber instead?

I don't plan to buy any Ashburne in the future.
OK, that helps, interesting. Thanks.

100% with you on UK ales. Outside of very (very) few exceptions, my go-to mash for English ales is a single infusion @ 150F x 90 minutes. The one exception I might make is for an ordinary bitter of OG 1.036 or so. 152F x 90 minutes, so very little difference - just an intended nudge a bit.

Funny you mentioned amber malt - I just picked up 5# Crisp amber (significantly lighter than Fawcett amber). I plan to use it in a pretty traditional IPA at anywhere from 5-10%. Still deciding.
 
I’ve only used it in Randy Mosher’s oatmeal cookie ale. Like the OP I have searched around about it but have not found much, which is possibly a clue? That said I like this beer so far and will try it again.

To me it is landing somewhere between Munich and MO. The dextrins are definitely there. I would think this would be a nice base malt in red/brown to dark beers.
 
Here's a glass of the ale I mentioned above (the latest in a series):
1.042/1.006 (85% AA)
60% Ashburne Mild malt
20% US pilsner
20% white sugar
34 IBU of Cluster at 45 minutes
S-04, second pitch, fermentation started at about 69, raised to 72 when krausen subsided on day 2
carbed to 3 vol

water is low-alkalinity magic well water, calcium boosted to 125ppm, sulphate/chloride balanced

Currently suffering from a wicked chill haze as I am serving it at 37 degrees, but it was bright (not quite polished) before chilling. The chill haze seems to be easing off.
48.jpg

The color came through darker and redder than it actually is. I would call it on the dark side of golden.

The predominant taste is sweet, but a stout bitterness is right behind that, and light fruits and green hops are subtly present throughout. The finish is not crisp, but dry--somewhat surprising considering how sweet the whole package comes across. It is thick in the mouth, especially considering the low FG. Blindfolded, I would guess the FG over 1.015. It is lovely, but too thick and malty for the goal I am aiming for (a sparkling ale that fills the light lager slot in the Southern summer). The next iteration will have corn (again), less Ashburne, and less bitterness.

Drinking this now, I definitely stand by my prior description of Ashburne Mild malt: It is very malty--primarily sweet (and slightly fruity even) rather than rich (like Munich). It is very dextrinous. I don't see an effect on terminal gravity, but it is plain as day in the mouthfeel. Other than my "American sparkling mild" experiments, I can see a few good uses for it:

1. Adding a layer of real sweetness in a complex malt bill. A brown ale (American or English) for example. 10-20% would do it and nobody would know how you did it.
2. Direct replacement for light crystal in any beer. It is sweet and dextrinous, but in a different way than light crystal. I would say use 2-3 times as much of this as you were planning to use crystal.
3. Putting some substance into a very small beer. Contrary to some opinions above, I think it would go really nicely into an English mild at 15-30% or so. It would not be easy to pick out, but it would definitely make a 3.6% ale drink a lot bigger without adding strong flavors or syrupiness.
4. At some point, a time comes in a man's life when he wants to brew an English ale with US malt (I know, I know). If that time for me was now, I would use US pale ale malt with 10% of this for sweetness and 3% of a light roasted (biscuit, amber) for dryness--and maybe a pinch of sugar to get the protein down, depending. If I only had 2-row or pilsner, I might use 50% more of each. And I would not tell anyone.
 
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