Dark Mild Recipe - Thoughts?

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Piperlester

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I recently tried a dark mild and rather enjoyed it, finding it fits with a desire to drink more homebrew while being less drunk. I'd appreciate any thoughts or comments.

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: Late Night Dark Mild (10G)

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Dark Mild
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 11 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 12.56 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.033
Efficiency: 72% (brew house)


STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.038
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 3.7%
IBU (tinseth): 18.12
SRM (morey): 20.26

FERMENTABLES:
12 lb - Maris Otter - Bairds (76.2%)
1.5 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 40L (9.5%)
0.5 lb - American - Caramel / Crystal 75L (3.2%)
1 lb - American - Victory (6.3%)
0.5 lb - United Kingdom - Chocolate (3.2%)
4 oz - American - Black Malt (1.6%)

HOPS:
1.5 oz - East Kent Goldings (6), Type: Pellet, AA: 6, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 18.12

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Temperature, Temp: 154 F, Time: 90 min, Amount: 13.11 gal

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
12 ml - Lactic acid, Time: 90 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash

YEAST:
Fermentis / Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 75%
Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 54 - 77 F
Fermentation Temp: 61 F
Pitch Rate: 0.75 (M cells / ml / deg P)

Water Profile: Tap Water, you get what you get.
 
I'd mash a little higher to retain more maltotriose and dextrins for body and mouthfeel, 156-158F. Try to keep it close to that range as dropping below will cause beta to be more active.
 
If you can get your hands on some, I'd recommend using Mild Ale Malt as your base malt. It makes a big difference for this style in my opinion.

Also, with almost 5% roast malts, it might be a little roastier than you'd like. I use about 2.5% in mine and find that about right. YMMV. You can make up some of the color by using the Mild Malt (~5 SRM) as your base and using a little darker crystal malt.

Dan
 
I'd mash a little higher to retain more maltotriose and dextrins for body and mouthfeel, 156-158F. Try to keep it close to that range as dropping below will cause beta to be more active.

I'll give that a try; body was my biggest concern.

If you can get your hands on some, I'd recommend using Mild Ale Malt as your base malt. It makes a big difference for this style in my opinion.

Also, with almost 5% roast malts, it might be a little roastier than you'd like. I use about 2.5% in mine and find that about right. YMMV. You can make up some of the color by using the Mild Malt (~5 SRM) as your base and using a little darker crystal malt.

Dan

I tried to find it close by but it seems to be not that popular. Is there a different specialty malt that will still lend the color, chocolate and roast notes? I'd considered some amber, but the color won't quite be there. My usual lhbs seems to have some, but is a fair drive away, and I won't have time before this brew.
 
I'll give that a try; body was my biggest concern.

Body starts with getting the right yeast - you want one that's low attenuating and as characterful as possible. Which means that you struggle with dry yeast - Windsor/S-33 is the least bad option, but you'd be better off with something like WLP041. It's a shame that there's no proper Black Country yeast available outside specialists like Brewlab.

I tried to find it close by but it seems to be not that popular. Is there a different specialty malt that will still lend the color, chocolate and roast notes? I'd considered some amber, but the color won't quite be there.

Argghh - North American brewers seem determined to wreck their British-style beers by using flavour malts to hit an arbitrary colour number. Forget it - get the flavour right and then adjust the colour with caramel or black malt like a normal brewer would.

The thing about milds is that they were traditionally a bit of a dumping ground (particularly after WWII, when they often got recycled dregs) so the recipe could vary dramatically - Lees Best Mild in the 1950s is perhaps an extreme example as the recipe varied almost every brew. It's also unusual in using things like chocolate and brown malts - see eg 1952 and 1958.

More typical was just pale malt or a pale/mild blend, with ~10% invert #3, like this Whitbread XK from 1905 - unusually early for a dark mild, they were pretty rare until the 1930s or so. Again it's got a touch of brown malt in there but as Ron says it's unusual. 5-10% maize was pretty common, a minority had crystal (mebbe 5%).

As I always say, a good rule of thumb for your first shot at a British style is that if you use crystal, always use at least as much sugar as crystal, and if anything tend towards more sugar than crystal. See Unholymess for how to make invert. And use a characterful yeast, and don't let it clean up too much after itself - this thread is good on temperature profiles.

Thing about classic mild is that it was a cheap beer for rehydrating workers after a hard day in a coal mind or steel foundry. So the classic versions didn't actually taste of that much. When you start talking of rich chocolate and roast notes you may be describing a tastier beer, but it's getting away from the classic incarnation of a mild. You can just about justify it by reference to Best Mild like those Lees beers, but they're pretty unusual.

One other thought, particularly appropriate for this time of year - have you considered a partigyle? Take some (not all) of the first runnings and use them in a big beer to keep until next Christmas which is effectively a "free" beer, whilst blending the rest of the first runnings and the second runnings to make a beer for immediate consumption?
 
Just another thought from Kristen England-- who used to help Ron (barclayperkins.blogspot.com) compile the Let's Brew recipes and also co-authored the Homebrewer's Guide to Vintage Beer.

"The thing I think US brewers, home brewers included, miss on this style is that the vast majority of these beers aren't all malt. More poignantly, a vast percentage of the character of these beers comes from these non-malt adjuncts. I really think it comes from a fright of non-malt adjuncts as some how things that aren't malt don't produce superior products.

The arguably 4 best Milds made in the world are not all malt. Moorhouse Black cat uses about 10% flaked maize and 10% dark invert. Batemans dark uses 4% wheat and invert. Brain's dark uses a lot of dark invert and glucose. Over 20% of Elgoods Black dog grist comes from non-malt which include Flaked maize, torrifed, wheat, roast barley and invert sugar. These beers have a combined 20 wins at the GBBF with Brains taking Supreme champion 3 different times, Black cat twice and Bateman's once.

Non-malt adjuncts are very good things...

Banks! Brain's! Cain's! Rudgate's Ruby! Tetley's & Tim Taylor's!"
 
Just another thought from Kristen England-- who used to help Ron (barclayperkins.blogspot.com) compile the Let's Brew recipes and also co-authored the Homebrewer's Guide to Vintage Beer.

"The thing I think US brewers, home brewers included, miss on this style is that the vast majority of these beers aren't all malt. More poignantly, a vast percentage of the character of these beers comes from these non-malt adjuncts. I really think it comes from a fright of non-malt adjuncts as some how things that aren't malt don't produce superior products.

To play devil's advocate a little bit, part of this is that mild's popularity peaked in the mid-20th century, at a time when there was a lot of adjuncts being used in general. There's less being used since CAMRA became a force - for instance the Fuller's partigyle is now all-grain, but in 1981 had 9% maize and 3% sugars - and I get the impression that "new" milds tend to use less adjunct. But as I said above, 10% invert and 5-10% maize is a good place to start for a traditional mild.
 
Thanks all for the feedback. I'm not looking to be perfectly true to historical style (maybe the recipe will morph that way as I tune it). My apologies to all the Brits that I've offended with my bastardized take, but hey, brew with what you have :)

The yeast suggestion is interesting, since I'll be splitting between two carboys, perhaps I'll hit one with S-04 and the other with something else (I won't be temperature controlling this batch and it'll start around 16C).
 
To the point about adjuncts, here is a recipe for a 1939 Barclay Perkins dark mild...
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2018/11/lets-brew-1939-barclay-perkins-x-dark.html

Here's one from Tetley's that I've made and really like. A Tetley's 1946 mild. Although it's not really dark with an SRM of 9.
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2017/03/lets-brew-1946-tetley-mild.html

And a little history of mild if anyone is interested. It's a favorite style of mine since its history is so varied. There were pale milds, strong milds, dark milds, hoppy milds....etc.
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/2008/05/short-history-of-mild.html
 
Resurrecting, a I'm going to do my first mild, after Bateman's Dark. I'm going off of Graham Wheeler's recipe. In that, there's no invert. 79.2% pale, 13.2% crystal (I'm going with 135-165 L, from Baird's), 3.8% each of black malt and torry wheat.

Anticipated OG 1.033, mashing at 153F x 90 minutes. My tap water treated with 8 M HCl for TA 92. I originally used 2.25 ml/gallon liquor to drop the TA to 77 (tap = 314, today) but doing a test mash gave me a (room temp.) pH 5.15, too low (looking for 5.5-5.8, for room temp mash pH, for mashing temp pH 5.2-5.4).

I'm also impatient. Normally I do a slow cooldown to 50F over 36 hours, as primary ends. I'll condition cool at 50F x 3 days, then rack (here, in a corney "cask"). But here I want to try to just keep it 70-72F throughout, racking into the corny warm, then drop to cellar temp for final conditioning. This will be drawn through an engine.

Wondering if anyone else has done the GW version of Bateman's Dark.
 
I'll give that a try; body was my biggest concern.



I tried to find it close by but it seems to be not that popular. Is there a different specialty malt that will still lend the color, chocolate and roast notes? I'd considered some amber, but the color won't quite be there. My usual lhbs seems to have some, but is a fair drive away, and I won't have time before this brew.
Not many historical dark milds would have had roast malt in them. Colour was mainly from sugar then adjusted with caramel. I would have thought losing the black malt but keeping the chocolate would put you in the ball-park for colour. Why not try about 10% of whatever dark brown sugar is available in USA. I'd use muscovado, if that helps.
 
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