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Feedback on English Dark Mild Recipe?

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rhys333

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I decided to force carb the main batch for speed, so I was able to sample the beer last night. It tastes nice but it's not exactly what I had in mind and plan make a few adjustments for the Christmas re-brew. It also has poor head retention for some reason, which is a head-scratcher given the ingredients and high mash temp. Not sure what happened there.

The overall flavor is "mild", so that's a plus, and it has the right amount of body. There's a pronounced dark fruit flavor and a mild but noticeable dark malt character. For the rebrew, I plan to reduce the chocolate malt and flaked barley, but increase the C80. I'm just now recalling my dad commenting on an amber ale I brewed a few years ago that had 13% C80 and he remarked at the time that it tasted like the milds he used to drink. With that in mind, I'm tweaking my recipe as follows:

DARK MILD, v2
77% Golden Promise
12% UK C80
8% Flaked barley
3% UK Chocolate
Willamette (or EKG) @ 60 to 20 IBU
Wyeast 1469 West Yorks
 

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Made a half batch of Boddington's Oldham mild and hopefully revived WLP026 (I got this in the vault purge and kept a little bit in the original White Labs tube.) I've got a 3 gallon conical, and this has become my mild fermenter as I try to perfect a recipe or three. Since milds are low ABV, it also works well to propagate yeast at the same time. So, I dial in a recipe and at the same time rotate thru yeasts to backfill the yeast bank.
 

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Simpson's Golden Promise 42%
Vienna 32%
Crystal 40L 9%
Brown malt 5%
Crystal 120L 4%
Special Roast 4%
Chocolate Wheat 4%

Willemette 17 IBUs at 60 min
Willemette 4 IBUs at 20 min

LalBrew New England dry yeast

OG 1.038
FG 1.010
ABV 3.9%

20201210_174921.jpg
 

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Here's a Mild that I am going to brew on New Year's Day:

5 lbs Maris Otter (71.4 %)
1 lb Corn Grits [cereal mash] (14.3 %) (I would use flaked maize but I hate my LHBS and I have grits on hand)
1 lb #3 Invert [Boil] (14.3 %)
Mash at 152F

1.00 oz Goldings [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min (19.2 IBUs)
0.50 oz Goldings [5.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min (1.9 IBUs)

West Yorkshire Ale (Wyeast Labs #1469)

OG 1.035

I want to keep it as simple and traditional as possible to start with and then tweak it from there. I have brewed a few of Ron Pattinson's mild recipes in the past but never with the #3 invert sugar. I've heard him tell the story several times (including again yesterday on a webinar) about working with Fullers on a beer and getting to taste #3 invert sugar and realizing that that is the key flavor and key ingredient for mild. I've made #1 and #2 invert before but didn't feel like putting in the time to boil for 3 hours, but a few weeks ago I bit the bullet:

IMG_5397.JPG


I'm hoping with just malt, corn, #3 invert and Goldings that I can tell the contribution that each makes. I'm not a huge fan of crystal malt so I don't want to include any. And I'm curious to see what the color is. I have some Brupaks caramel from a UK homebrew shop and I might add that for future brews or competition since people expect a certain color for mild but I'm also leaving that out for this batch.

And since we are sharing, here is my keg-cask beer engine setup (with a pint of my Batham's Bitter clone):

IMG_5467.JPG


Cheers!
 

ba-brewer

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If this is new, you can make your own invert: Making Brewers Invert | half a cat
A while back I tried this approach to make some darker invert(2 or 3 I forget which) using plantation backstrap molasses. The flavor of molasses(black licorice) was quite strong even in small quantities.

Now the reason for bringing this up now. I was on amazon and seen a combo pack of Lyles golden syrup and black treacle for a reasonable price so I bought it to taste the black treacle. The initial flavor of black treacle was similar to the black strap molasses but then there was a very strong sulfur aftertaste. The taste was just a bit from the back of the spoon but the flavor lingered for quite a while so I don't think I will be use it for brewing.
 
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It tastes nice but it's not exactly what I had in mind and plan make a few adjustments for the Christmas re-brew. It also has poor head retention for some reason, which is a head-scratcher given the ingredients and high mash temp. Not sure what happened there.
30 Dec 2020 update:
Revising the above because the beer has changed since my pre-Christmas tasting. It's been 2 maybe 3 weeks now and the dark fruit flavor has mellowed considerably. Head retention has improved, but still a little light for my liking. I'm happy calling this a dark mild. That said, I still intend to raise the C80, and the chocolate malt will be reduced slightly to compensate.

20201230_155418.jpg
 

kevin58

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A while back I tried this approach to make some darker invert(2 or 3 I forget which) using plantation backstrap molasses. The flavor of molasses(black licorice) was quite strong even in small quantities.

Now the reason for bringing this up now. I was on amazon and seen a combo pack of Lyles golden syrup and black treacle for a reasonable price so I bought it to taste the black treacle. The initial flavor of black treacle was similar to the black strap molasses but then there was a very strong sulfur aftertaste. The taste was just a bit from the back of the spoon but the flavor lingered for quite a while so I don't think I will be use it for brewing.
I wouldn't use molasses or treacle to make invert. Look for turbinado sugar. Often packaged and sold as "Sugar In The Raw". Blackstrap molasses is basically the dregs of the sugar making process and imo is pretty nasty stuff. For those not willing or able to make their own a proper Invert Sugar has been available in the US through Adventures In Homebrewing: Welcome to Adventures in Homebrewing - What is your Adventure?
 

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so I bought it to taste the black treacle. The initial flavor of black treacle was similar to the black strap molasses but then there was a very strong sulfur aftertaste. The taste was just a bit from the back of the spoon but the flavor lingered for quite a while so I don't think I will be use it for brewing.
I had a couple cans for black treacle a few years ago, and from my brewing notes from back then: 1/4 - 1/2 cup black treacle in 5 gallons produced superior dense bubbles in the head, and no noticeable treacle taste.

I have dabbled in making my own invert in the oven (takes hours but all you have to do is watch it in the oven). That said, just added invert #3 to my shopping cart to have a benchmark.

I wish there was a tester pack of the US invert 1, 2, 3 & 4. $8/pound of invert is pretty pricy and I don't want to pay $32 for the pleasure of comparing the 4 grades.
 

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ba-brewer

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I had a couple cans for black treacle a few years ago, and from my brewing notes from back then: 1/4 - 1/2 cup black treacle in 5 gallons produced superior dense bubbles in the head, and no noticeable treacle taste.
Did you pick up a sulfur flavor? Maybe mine is bad. I have seen molasses identified as unsulfured so I assumed it was a normal flavor.
 

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@ba-brewer I didn't pick up sulfur in that 1/4 - 1/2 cup amount. When I used more treacle, the treacle taste definately came thru and wasn't exactly unpleasant. FWIW, I don't remember a marked sulfur taste.
 

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Hmm - treacle has a distinctive after-taste, but I'm not sure I'd call it sulphury.

One of the best things to do with it since you have it, is parkin.
 

ba-brewer

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Hmm - treacle has a distinctive after-taste, but I'm not sure I'd call it sulphury.

One of the best things to do with it since you have it, is parkin.
So I went back and gave the treacle another taste and I am not getting the same level of sulfur as I did when I first opened the tin(maybe 2weeks ago) but it is still there. It may also have a gasoline/petrol character. In all fairness I tried the blackstrap and I would say it also has a gasoline/petrol aftertaste.

I might give the Parkin a try, but a treacle flapjack is closer to how I use the blackstrap now.
 

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Everytime I see a post about or a picture of a Dark Mild, I immediately think "Why am I not making one right now? Why do I have so many other beers on my to-brew list?".

Currently have a rye porter fermenting with WY 1469. I've been meaning to try that yeast for a while and with everything I've read about it, I should definitely use the captured yeast (top-cropping is fun!) for a dark mild in the near future.

I know hops are not particularly important for a mild, but I am a bit confused. I've read (and heard it on this "virtual brewery tour"
) that Timothy Taylor uses Savinjski Goldings. The clone recipes of Landlord I've found call for EKG and lots of Styrian (!) Goldings in the aroma.
Unfortunately, I've never had any TT beers myself, but the common descriptions of Landlord do not match the description of Savinjski Goldings, which all revolve around herbal, spicy, noble-ish aspects.
Is Savinjski Goldings appropriate as an aroma hop? I didn't drink nearly enough beer whilst in the UK, but somehow the hops descriptions don't match with my idea of "classic" British ales.
 
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Everytime I see a post about or a picture of a Dark Mild, I immediately think "Why am I not making one right now? Why do I have so many other beers on my to-brew list?".

Currently have a rye porter fermenting with WY 1469. I've been meaning to try that yeast for a while and with everything I've read about it, I should definitely use the captured yeast (top-cropping is fun!) for a dark mild in the near future.

I know hops are not particularly important for a mild, but I am a bit confused. I've read (and heard it on this "virtual brewery tour"
) that Timothy Taylor uses Savinjski Goldings. The clone recipes of Landlord I've found call for EKG and lots of Styrian (!) Goldings in the aroma.
Unfortunately, I've never had any TT beers myself, but the common descriptions of Landlord do not match the description of Savinjski Goldings, which all revolve around herbal, spicy, noble-ish aspects.
Is Savinjski Goldings appropriate as an aroma hop? I didn't drink nearly enough beer whilst in the UK, but somehow the hops descriptions don't match with my idea of "classic" British ales.
Nice. That presenter sounds like me.
 
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I'm making a test batch of invert #3 right now (oven method). If it works, it's going into a 100% Golden Promise 1.045 beer to test the flavor contribution. If I'm happy with it, I may try some in the next dark mild.
 
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After 7 hours I finally have a pound of reddish-black invert #3. That was an hour spent calibrating the oven, 3 hours to find out that a 230-255F oven isn't hot enough to keep the syrup above 240F, and 3 more hours at 245-270F to darken the syrup.

Now that I've dialed it in, this will be a set-it-and-forget-it next time around. That said, I have to wonder if just letting it tick over on the stove for a few hours is an easier way to go. As long as it's being made on brew day and going directly into the boil, is temperature really an issue? I'm only worrying about it solidifying if it has a chance to cool.
 
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Northern_Brewer

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I've read... that Timothy Taylor uses Savinjski Goldings. The clone recipes of Landlord I've found call for EKG and lots of Styrian (!) Goldings in the aroma.
Unfortunately, I've never had any TT beers myself, but the common descriptions of Landlord do not match the description of Savinjski Goldings, which all revolve around herbal, spicy, noble-ish aspects.
Is Savinjski Goldings appropriate as an aroma hop? I didn't drink nearly enough beer whilst in the UK, but somehow the hops descriptions don't match with my idea of "classic" British ales.
Styrian Goldings is the traditional name, but also got applied to other Slovenian varieties like Celeia etc and then there's also the fact that most of Styria is now in Austria, so Savinjski Golding is now the preferred name for the Slovenian variety that is a parent of Celeia (and other new Slovenian varieties).

Essentially it's a Fuggle grown in sunnier conditions that bring out the citrus more, see eg Farams : "Earthy, Floral, Lemon"

Compare with Timmy's description of Landlord : "Aroma: Citrus, Hoppy, Fruity"

But yep, Styrians are one of the traditional hops in British beers - not every beer uses them, but a meaningful fraction do.

But as you say probably wasted on mild.
 

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That said, I have to wonder if just letting it tick over on the stove for a few hours is an easier way to go. As long as it's being made on brew day and going directly into the boil, is temperature really an issue? I'm only worrying about it solidifying if it has a chance to cool.
I too was worried about the #3 invert I made a month ago turning into a block of sugar. I made 4 pounds and put it into mason jars and put them in the fridge. Today for the mild I am brewing I pulled out a one pound jar and set in in a pot of very hot water and it has turned back into a syrup. It has been a crappy brew day so far but that seems to be the one thing that hasn't gone wrong (knock on wood).
 
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I too was worried about the #3 invert I made a month ago turning into a block of sugar. I made 4 pounds and put it into mason jars and put them in the fridge. Today for the mild I am brewing I pulled out a one pound jar and set in in a pot of very hot water and it has turned back into a syrup. It has been a crappy brew day so far but that seems to be the one thing that hasn't gone wrong (knock on wood).
Mine looked like it was going to be really thick, so I boiled a half cup of water in the pot I made it in (to clean it out), then used it to thin the syrup. It seems to have done the trick.

I'm experimenting again today with some turbinado sugar and baking soda, and if I have time maybe another batch using a block of weird Chinese sugar that I found for cheap.

Hopefully your brew day improves. Shows us your beer when it's done!
 

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Simpson's Golden Promise 42%
Vienna 32%
Crystal 40L 9%
Brown malt 5%
Crystal 120L 4%
Special Roast 4%
Chocolate Wheat 4%

Willemette 17 IBUs at 60 min
Willemette 4 IBUs at 20 min

LalBrew New England dry yeast

OG 1.038
FG 1.010
ABV 3.9%

View attachment 711202
Is this with a corny or a cask? I'd love to know details on how to set up this kind of basic beer engine.
 

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Is this with a corny or a cask? I'd love to know details on how to set up this kind of basic beer engine.
It's nothing fancy. The "engine" is an RV pump with an actual beer engine sparkler as the nozzle. It is hooked up to a corny keg in which I cask conditioned the beer. I don't belong to CAMRA so I have a CO2 tank set at a very low level to prevent oxidation.
 

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Can you share details on this beer engine corny keg set up? Looks like something I could totally get into...
The basic setup is the Valterra Rocket RV hand pump that @Schlenkerla first posted about 10 years ago (there have been multiple articles in BYO and Zymurgy that all point back to there). And then people add a low pressure propane regulator as a cheap cask breather. I cask condition in a corny (and use a spunding valve along the way to get the right pressure) and you just need a barbed line out to connect to the pump. Super simple.

I was going to build a fancy cabinet but in the process I started with a little box with some nailed together 1x8 (I think) boards and I set it on top of the keg and realized that I didn't need a cabinet. I had accidentally built it so that it perfectly fits on top the handles of a corny keg. Then I added a drip tray (positioned so that the gas in can fit underneath) and Bob's your uncle.

The next step is to add some nylon straps with a plastic snap/buckle attachment (for quick removal) to make it a little more secure. And I would like to add a proper handle like @shetc has and I think it will need to be more secure once I do that.

I'm also not a CAMRA purist (unless you are having a party, who is going to drink 5 gallons in 3 or 4 days?) so I don't feel guilty about adjusting the carbonation with the CO2 tank.

I also have a gravity cask for my "real lager" (mostly Franconian Kellerbiers) which ideally also should be drunk quickly once vented and tapped, but now that I have the cask breather I am going to have to try it on my next Kellerbier and I need to try it for some English styles to see whether I prefer the gravity pour or the beer engine (with and without sparkler). So much research to do in 2021.

IMG_3244.JPG
 

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Hopefully your brew day improves. Shows us your beer when it's done!
Ron Pattinson is always talking about "watery mild" and I think that is what I brewed since the hose into my immersion chiller was dripping water into the kettle. So unfortunately my brew day didn't get any better!

But, thanks to a healthy starter of Wyeast 1469, the beer is fermenting away nicely at 63F and smells lovely. Almost ready to clean off that first head of dirty yeast so I can top crop in the next day or two.

IMG_5479.JPG
 
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Ron Pattinson is always talking about "watery mild" and I think that is what I brewed since the hose into my immersion chiller was dripping water into the kettle. So unfortunately my brew day didn't get any better!

But, thanks to a healthy starter of Wyeast 1469, the beer is fermenting away nicely at 63F and smells lovely. Almost ready to clean off that first head of dirty yeast so I can top crop in the next day or two.

View attachment 712786

How much water got in there?

I see you're using the same Anvil Brew Bucket that I'm using. Any issues with 1469 needing a blow-off? Also, how do you like that seal under the lid? I find that its finicky to remove and I worry that it'll break easily. Overall, I do like the function and simplicity of the design, but it seems underbuilt.

Making my 3rd batch of #3 invert today using the Chinese block cane sugar. I have some interesting results from the first two batches where I played with baking soda and pH. I posted my results in another thread on that specific topic: Homemade Invert Sugar pH

20210102_104600.jpg
 
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How much water got in there?

I see you're using the same Anvil Brew Bucket that I'm using. Any issues with 1469 needing a blow-off? Also, how do you like that seal under the lid? I find that its finicky to remove and I worry that it'll break easily. Overall, I do like the function and simplicity of the design, but it seems underbuilt.
I don't think that much water got in there, but I was working in the dark at that point so I'm not sure. I was aiming for 1.035 and got 1.032 and the amount into the fermenter was the 5.5 gallons I was aiming for.

This is my first ferment in the new Anvil Brew Bucket. I brew in an Anvil Foundry (which I love) and overall I am pleased with it. Top cropping is easier than in my Speidel.

I have never needed a blowoff tube in over 10 years of brewing. I almost always use a loose lid/open fermentation for the first few days (especially when brewing an English ale). So I have the brew bucket lid just sitting there without clamping the clamps. The silicone ring seems better than the one on the Foundry which fell off after one brew and I have never put it back in.
 

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The basic setup is the Valterra Rocket RV hand pump that @Schlenkerla first posted about 10 years ago (there have been multiple articles in BYO and Zymurgy that all point back to there). And then people add a low pressure propane regulator as a cheap cask breather. I cask condition in a corny (and use a spunding valve along the way to get the right pressure) and you just need a barbed line out to connect to the pump. Super simple.
Wow, really appreciate the time you put into this post Witherby. It's really what I was kinda looking for. Wish I knew about this before the xmas break but instead will have to make it a new years resolution.

@Schlenderla - you wouldn't happen to have a link to the original thread would you?
 
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I think I hit pay dirt. Found this piloncillo evaporated cane juice at the local Mexican grocery, and they had about 5 other varieties too. Probably going to make another batch of #3 with it tonight.
As i start the boil, I can tell this definitely unrefined sugar. It looks and smells different to the turbinado and table sugar versions. The aroma is of dark, rich honey.

Some impurities in the bottom including fibers and a small amount of grit. I decided not to strain it off. Also there's scum forming on top, which I could skim, but I think I'll just leave it and see what happens.
 

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These samples were both cooked for 180 minutes. On the left is my earlier attempt using the Chinese block sugar, which the manufacturer subsequently confirmed is just refined sugar with molasses added. On the right is the piloncillo (panela) I made yesterday. Such a difference both in flavor and appearance.
 

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I transferred my mild into my cask yesterday. It was going to be a pale mild, or rather, I wasn’t aiming for a color—I just wanted to see what color it would end up with a pound of my #3 invert. Turns out, not very much color at all. Here’s the bottom of my fermentor:
D16D50A0-E5B2-46C3-A9A5-ECD4FEFA4886.jpeg


So I added 20 ml of Brupaks brewers caramel to the priming sugar and we’ll see the final color in a week or two. After watching All Creatures Great and Small with them drinking pint after pint of dark mild down at the pub, I decided I did want it to be dark after all.
 

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After watching All Creatures Great and Small with them drinking pint after pint of dark mild down at the pub, I decided I did want it to be dark after all.
Although since the TV series is set in Grassington, they probably would have been drinking Pennine mild.... (whereas "Herriot" actually practised the other side of the A1 in Thirsk)
 

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@rhys333 I'm going to have to try this with different sugars. The mexican supermarket is a great idea. I did pick up a pound of #3 from Beckers Invert Sugars to use as a benchmark. Stuff is surprisingly dark. I wonder what invert #4 is like?

I also have coconut palm sugar.
 
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@rhys333 I'm going to have to try this with different sugars. The mexican supermarket is a great idea. I did pick up a pound of #3 from Beckers Invert Sugars to use as a benchmark. Stuff is surprisingly dark. I wonder what invert #4 is like?

I also have coconut palm sugar.

Nice. I wish I could get my hands on some of that Becker's invert to compare. At least I know now that I'm on the right track colourwise with my last batch.

That piloncillo is the real deal, and cost me about 3/4 the price of Sugar in the Raw for more than twice as much. I'm skeptical about that stuff anyway, TBH. I'm not convinced that it's any better than refined light brown sugar.
 

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Watch out when using piloncillo and jaggery as they are produced by reducing the sugarcane juice in cast iron pans. The amount of iron in the sugar is relatively high and can contribute metallic flavors in the final beer.

I dumped a 12 gal batch of my favorite porter recipe last year as I decided to replace the No 2 invert with piloncillo. Resulting beer tasted like nails.
 
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Watch out when using piloncillo and jaggery as they are produced by reducing the sugarcane juice in cast iron pans. The amount of iron in the sugar is relatively high and can contribute metallic flavors in the final beer.

I dumped a 12 gal batch of my favorite porter recipe last year as I decided to replace the No 2 invert with piloncillo. Resulting beer tasted like nails.

Well, that's not good. Which brand of piloncillo were you using? I don't pick up a metallic taste in the syrup I made.
 
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