Feedback on English Dark Mild Recipe?

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Miraculix

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I agree. I bought 3lbs each of Becker's Invert #3 and #2 and those six pounds came uncomfortably close to the price of a 55lb bag of domestic malt. I would like to support what they're doing, I think it's great, but I just can't justify having such a high proportion of the cost of batch tied up in 11% of the grist.

So after swearing off ever trying to make invert again, I'll get back on that horse. Fortunately, there's a lot more information available on the process and thanks to Becker's I'll have the benefit of knowing what it looks and tastes like, how it behaves in beer, and how to write recipes for it.

As for the crystal rout, I certainly can be done! I used to have a banger of recipe that revolved around domestic C-120, C-150 and jaggery. Unfortunately, it died in a hard drive crash.

Some water, some raw cane sugar, a dash of lemon juice, boiling it slowly during mash and the boil, adding it at flame out equals invert number 2 with a nice aroma for a few cents and no time lost.
 

monkeymath

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Some water, some raw cane sugar, a dash of lemon juice, boiling it slowly during mash and the boil, adding it at flame out equals invert number 2 with a nice aroma for a few cents and no time lost.

Just out of curiousity: Have you compared to "the real deal", both the product itself and the resulting beer?
 

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6AC6A4A8-5253-40FC-AF59-235401849010.jpeg

Nitro mild. This ones a bit different to my usual ones in that it has 5% cara aroma, where normally I use very little crystal. I guess mine are more like low gravity porters haha. The dark fruit of the cara aroma stands up well against 5% black, 5% pale choc and Maris Otter. Next time I’ll drop the cara aroma to 2% max.
 

Miraculix

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Just out of curiousity: Have you compared to "the real deal", both the product itself and the resulting beer?
I'm afraid not. I was only able to check it against Lyle's golden syrup, which is supposed to be very close to invert number 2 and is fairly often used as a substitute by British home brewers. I can say that it is probably not 100% the same, but definitely close. I probably would prefer my homemade version in a 1 on 1 comparison, but I never had them aside by side. I think the flavour of my version is a bit stronger.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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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.


I'll be using the #3 invert I made from this piloncillo sugar in a beer tomorrow or Tuesday. I haven't decided whether to observe MILD MAY, or do an amber thing tilting in the British direction. Leaning toward the latter, honesty, with something like this:

1.050 5.5 gal AMBER 28 IBU
65.5% GP
15% Wheat
11.5% Piloncillo invert #3
8% Caramel Munich 60 (Franco-Belges)
Bittering @ 60
2 oz EKG @ 15 & 1
Mangrove Jack's M36 Liberty Bell

Open to having my mind changed though.
 

Northern_Brewer

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Personally I'd knock the wheat down to 5%, knock the BU:GU up a little and save a bit of the EKG for whirlpool or dry hop, but that's just me.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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Personally I'd knock the wheat down to 5%, knock the BU:GU up a little and save a bit of the EKG for whirlpool or dry hop, but that's just me.

I don't often whirlpool. If I do 20 minutes at 160F (71C), can I expect negligible ibu increase or should I account for some extra bitterness?
 
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Hey everyone,

I'd like to brew a batch of beer based on a dark mild that my dad used to enjoy back in the old country. If I can get it close, I'll brew it again for the parents over Christmas. He mentions Timothy Taylor's Dark Mild as a favorite, and describes it as having the following characteristics:

- Dark ruby, almost black. Slightly lighter in colour than Guinness.
- Thick creamy head, and very good head retention.
- Good body and mouthfeel. Definitely not thin or watery (as many attempts at mild can be)
- Chocolatey in flavor, somewhat like cold hot chocolate. Slightly sweet, smooth tasting and neither roasty or hoppy.

Now, there's also a good description on the Timothy Taylor website, which gives more insight. It describes some subtle flavors that he may not be picking up:

Based on all of this, I've come up with the following draft recipe. Absent is brown malt, which I considered adding if I were to reduce the chocolate malt by a percent or so. I'm considering mashing high. Very high in fact, around 160F to get the body. I realize this breaks with convention, but may be necessary to get the appropriate mouthfeel in such a low abv beer. I could cheat and use rye, but would rather not.

DARK MILD
1.042-1.013 (3.8% abv), 20 IBU, 18 SRM
80% Golden Promise
9% Flaked barley
7% C80
4% UK Chocolate malt
1.5 oz Willamette @ 60 (5.5 gal)
WY 1469 (or 1968, which I have on hand)

I appreciate your feedback and suggestions, or advice based on experience brewing this tricky style. Thanks in advance!
How Do Rhys ,
Try this nice and simple historic Mild recipe, from Dutton's of Blackburn in Lancashire 👍🍺😋👍
Cheers 🍻
Edd
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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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.


Okay, so I finally used the #3 invert I made from this raw sugar. This is the same one I added baking soda to after the cook to reduce acidity. Admittedly, I've strayed a long way from dark mild on this one, but I'm posting here as it brings this invert baking soda experiment to a conclusion.

Due to available ingredients, time and weather factors, here's what I ended up brewing:

AMBER ALE
1.047-1.012 (predicted). 33IBU. 4.7% ABV

73% 2 Row (Domestic)
9% Caramel Munich 60 (Franco-Belges)
12% Raw sugar Invert #3 (boil)
5% Flaked barley
1% Roasted barley (for colour)

Bittering hop adjustment @ 60
2 oz EKG @ 15
1 oz EKG @ 5
2/3 oz each EKG & Willamette @ 150F 30 min whirlpool.
voss Kveik yeast

Results at kegging time:
- Actual gravity 1.051 - 1.010 (5.4%, 80% attn).
- Colour is noticeably darker than the software prediction of pale amber colour based on clear invert sugar. The #3 invert seems to have contributed to this.
- Aroma is pleasant but I can't discern much at this stage. Aroma hopping isn't noticeable at all. Will revisit after carbonating the batch.
- Flavor is pleasant. Well rounded and malty with a subtle licorice note, presumably from the invert.

20210529_122328.jpg
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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Here it is all carbed up and conditioned. It started out as a liquorice bomb, but in the couple weeks since kegging it has really mellowed to more of an interesting background flavor. I think something like this could support a fee ounces of chocolate malt to make it a porter or stout. For an amber, I might use the lighter of the two raw piloncillo sugar options, or take this darker sugar to #2 invert. It has plenty of body and you'd never know it has 12% sugar content.

20210624_180857.jpg
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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Here's a closer look at what my beer made using the Mexican raw sugar #3 invert looks like under different lighting conditions.

In regular lighting, it's very dark (first image). I do have some crystal malt and 1% Black Patent malt included, but the #3 is contributing significantly to SRM. Against strong backlighting, the colour is apparent (second image).

It pours with a dense white head that almost looks like nitro, and maintains a ring of foam all the way to the last sip. The pictures unfortunately don't convey this well. The appearance does remind me of milds I've had in the old country.

The flavor and aroma impact is significant. Dark fruit and liquorice all the way. Not mild-like, but I'll get to that.

The beer also has plenty of body. Despite full attenuation of the invert sugars it has a medium to full body. Not at all thin as you might expect from 12% sugar in a sub-5% ale.

This amber ale experiment helps inform my next steps in mild ale brewing. I'll be doing the following in an upcoming brew:

1) Use medium colour raw Mexican sugar instead of dark. The above beer used dark.

2) Shoot for late stage #2, a 2.5 hour cook. The above beer was a three hour #3.

3) Neutralize the acid I used at the start of the cook for inversion with baking soda at the end. I used this method with the above beer and it worked out very well.

Normal lighting:
20210729_223150.jpg


Bright backlighting:
20210729_223234.jpg
 
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Miraculix

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Here's a closer look at what my beer made using the Mexican raw sugar #3 invert looks like under different lighting conditions.

In regular lighting, it's very dark (first image). I do have some crystal malt and 1% Black Patent malt included, but the #3 is contributing significantly to SRM. Against strong backlighting, the colour is apparent (second image).

It pours with a dense white head that almost looks like nitro, and maintains a ring of foam all the way to the last sip. The pictures unfortunately don't convey this well. The appearance does remind me of milds I've had in the old country.

The flavor and aroma impact is significant. Dark fruit and liquorice all the way. Not mild-like, but I'll get to that.

The beer also has plenty of body. Despite full attenuation of the invert sugars it has a medium to full body. Not at all thin as you might expect from 12% sugar in a sub-5% ale.

This amber ale experiment helps inform my next steps in mild ale brewing. I'll be doing the following in an upcoming brew:

1) Use medium colour raw Mexican sugar instead of dark. The above beer used dark.

2) Shoot for late stage #2, a 2.5 hour cook. The above beer was a three hour #3.

3) Neutralize the acid I used at the start of the cook for inversion with baking soda at the end. I used this method with the above beer and it worked out very well.

Normal lighting:
View attachment 737307

Bright backlighting:
View attachment 737309
The liquorice comes from the dark sugar. Use a lighter sugar and you won't get it, even when going for the darker colour. I recently just did that, result was zero liquorice, even when almost too dark. I also never neutralised acids, I think that it is not important to do this, at least I cannot figure out why it might be good to neutralise them.
 

Miraculix

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Actually, just to add, I have tried making inverts with mixes of dark sugar and very lightly coloured sugars (beige ones) and it took ages for the liquorice to disappear when boiling the sugar. I would really advice against dark sugar and use raw centrifuged cane sugar instead. Being centrifuged but not fully refined, some impurities still remain and these are important for the Maillard reactions to take place. While completely raw and untreated sugar leaves the dreaded liquorice bomb in the invert which also will be present in the beer.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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The liquorice comes from the dark sugar. Use a lighter sugar and you won't get it, even when going for the darker colour. I recently just did that, result was zero liquorice, even when almost too dark. I also never neutralised acids, I think that it is not important to do this, at least I cannot figure out why it might be good to neutralise them.

I'm not finding the liquorice to be overpowering at all. I should clarify my description in my previous post. It was stronger at kegging time but mellowed considerably over the following week of two. I'd honestly use this dark sugar again, just in something bigger and bolder than a 4.8% amber ale. The lighter grade raw sugar and a 2.5 hour cook would be about right based on what I'm tasting.

I'm also in favor of continuing with the baking soda neutralization of the acid. There are a few reasons why I support this. From the various batches that I've tried so far using table sugar, turbinado and raw, I've found that the raw syrups with higher finishing pH have the most complexity. By comparison, my lower pH syrups have an acidic twang and one-dimensional flavor. I also like the idea of starting with ingredients that taste their best going into the beer, with a pH that approximates that of the finished product. This way I avoid the need to 'recalibrate' the base recipe to compensate for high acid syrups.
 

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Since this thread has become a clearing house of sorts regarding invert sugar, I decided to post a picture from today’s session. The recipe is a simple best bitter, just otter, 5% torrified, and 10% invert #2. On the left you see the first runnings straight from the tun, on the right is the entire runnings with the invert added, pre-boil. There was no difference in pH between both samples, both were 5.39.

I thought it might be interesting for those wondering about the color contribution of invert. Unfortunately, by the time I had completed the sparge, cold break had set in on the first runnings, but I guess it gets the point across.

8A6B401A-13EA-42DC-968D-6B949EA49D0C.jpeg
 
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monkeymath

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I bought a 5kg bag of Warminster Mild Ale Malt, thinking I could use it as a base malt for an upcoming dark mild. The Warminster website, however, says to use only up to 20% due its reduced fermentability.

Thoughts? Experiences?
 

cire

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I bought a 5kg bag of Warminster Mild Ale Malt, thinking I could use it as a base malt for an upcoming dark mild. The Warminster website, however, says to use only up to 20% due its reduced fermentability.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Would seem to be a dextrin malt, one that produces long chain sugars that are less fermentable and thus give body to a beer that might otherwise be too thin for the intended purpose.

Vienna malt would likely be best suited for your intentions. Meanwhile you might be best served by some basic pale malt to go with the Mild Ale Malt.
 

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I'm going to try my next English style ale(s) with somethign other than MO for the base malt. I have always loved MO, I think, but lately I'm not so sure. I have been getting a... rye sort of flavor, maybe peanuts out of my beers and I'm getting tired of it. I dropped the Victory from the last brew thinking that was it, but it didn't make a difference there.

Seems like a good place to ask if I'm the only one? I'd normally appreciate "nutty" but lately it's become distracting. I love crunching on a few grain kernels just before mash-in but I'm starting to lose favor with the final product.

(I think perhaps it was @DBhomebrew mentioned this in another thread and gave me an a-ha moment).
 

Miraculix

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I'm going to try my next English style ale(s) with somethign other than MO for the base malt. I have always loved MO, I think, but lately I'm not so sure. I have been getting a... rye sort of flavor, maybe peanuts out of my beers and I'm getting tired of it. I dropped the Victory from the last brew thinking that was it, but it didn't make a difference there.

Seems like a good place to ask if I'm the only one? I'd normally appreciate "nutty" but lately it's become distracting. I love crunching on a few grain kernels just before mash-in but I'm starting to lose favor with the final product.

(I think perhaps it was @DBhomebrew mentioned this in another thread and gave me an a-ha moment).
Don't know tbh. I've had great standard pale ale malt beers and great mo pale ale malt beers. I didn't taste much of a difference but also never did a side by side comparison.

You might get more answers in the English beer recipe thread though!

 
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DBhomebrew

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I do like MO in a lot of beers, but I'm a thrifty brewer with little interest in keeping more than one 55# bag of malt. Where I enjoy MO in milds, browns, etc, I found the nuttiness to be distracting when I started aiming for clean, fresh, EKG-foward light bitters.

I had ordered a bag of Simpson's GP, but they mistakenly sent a bag of Best PA (Concerto). They ended up sending the GP too. I enjoy both very much. GP a little more sweet grainy, PA a little more bready-biscuity.
 

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I'm going to try my next English style ale(s) with somethign other than MO for the base malt. I have always loved MO, I think, but lately I'm not so sure. I have been getting a... rye sort of flavor, maybe peanuts out of my beers and I'm getting tired of it. I dropped the Victory from the last brew thinking that was it, but it didn't make a difference there.

Seems like a good place to ask if I'm the only one? I'd normally appreciate "nutty" but lately it's become distracting. I love crunching on a few grain kernels just before mash-in but I'm starting to lose favor with the final product.

(I think perhaps it was @DBhomebrew mentioned this in another thread and gave me an a-ha moment).

Which maltster's MO are you using? I'm a fan of Warminster, not only because it is cheaper than either Simpson's or Crisp, but because it doesn't get quite as heavy at higher gravities. I think Simpson's and Crisp are designed to throw a lot of flavor into ~1.040 beers...and that can get to be a bit much when you start elevating beyond their 1.040 sweet spot.

Myself, I tend to stick to the 1.040-1.055 pocket and I find Warminster performs great within that gravity range. Around 1.050, and depending upon the style, I sometimes find it useful to reinforce it with 4oz of UK amber malt, or a pound of Breiss' Ashbourne Mild Malt--why can't we get UK mild malt in the States?! Dark Munich will work, in a pinch.

Lastly, consider your mash schedule. The longer I've brewed UK ales, the lower and more aggressive my mash schedules have become. Orthodoxy suggests that you should be doing a single rest at ~154F, but I've found that 145F for an hour, followed by a recirculation run at 158 for 30mins yields a satisfying, but as the Belgians would say, "digestible" beer.

That's going to make an overly thin beer, right? The trick, at least to my mind, is in how you treat your kegs. Carb them low, but amp up the gas for serving. When you're done, use the PRV to release your serving gas. Don't store your kegs on the gas. Learn the cellarmanship that makes the most of your beers.

That's what I think about this for now, a year from now I'll look back on this post with shame. And that's why I love UK ales so much. I'm always learning.

Edit: Also, who says you have to use MO as the entirety of your base malt grist? As Ron Pattinson has made clear, UK pale malt was frequently rivaled by, if not surpassed by, N. American malt, often 6-row. Feel free to use US 2-row or Continental malts to finesse your grain bill. You're not obligated to make your UK ales out of UK malts!
 
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I believe I've been using Warminster, but - it's the grain room at Midwest and with a few MO options near each other... there's always a chance of an error or substitution. I primarily use MO with a little medium (65-ish) and double roasted (120-ish) crystals (these could actually be what I'm tasting). Last batch had some #2 invert as well. Mash around 152 for an hour, OG 1.055-ish. Sits on about 12psi.

I'll give it all a thought, thanks again gents. Will probably first swap MO for GP or PA on the next brew, and scrutinize the crystals as well as candidates for the next brew if the base grain change doesn't take care of it. The rest will come next once I've got the flavor dialed in, or at least closer anyhow (is it ever perfect?).
 
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rhys333

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I've decided to have another go at making a pound of #2 invert.

This time I'm using quality jaggery as my base sugar and I'll be adding it to an upcoming ale made mostly of base malt to assess its influence. I'm intending this as a stepping stone to the next dark mild, assuming all goes well. Here's what I did today to make the #2 invert:
  • Starting with 1lb jaggery (rather, 15.4 oz J + 0.6oz table sugar);
  • Added 1 cup carbon-filtered water plus 1.5 ml 88% lactic acid;
  • Heated to 144F on the stove and then transferred to oven for 110 minutes cook;
  • Upon completion, I added 3.0g baking soda to neutralize. Then let foam 20 mins;
  • Added 0.5 cups boiling water to calm the beast and thin out the syrup;
  • Transferred to pint-sized mason jar ahead of brew day.
 

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CharlaineC

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looks tasty. Personally, I think brown malt tastes like ass, so leaving that out is a good thing. Can substitute biscuit if you like.

Ron Pattinson is pretty adament that mild's should have invert/brewing sugar to have the authentic taste. As ba-brewer linked to Lees best mild

If this is new, you can make your own invert: Making Brewers Invert | half a cat

Or, this may be heretical to some, use honey. Honey is something like 80-90% natural invert sugar. Boil to dirve off any honey tastes, and Bob's your uncle,
Updating the link here as the other isnt working. Invert Syrups: Making Your Own Simple Sugars for Complex Beers
 
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rhys333

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Interesting results from the jaggery invert #2.

The baking soda added at high heat (~135F) seems to have darkened the syrup, as pictured on the right in the attached photo. It smells and tastes complex as per description of #2.

I decided to make another batch, this time #1 invert using mostly table sugar (beet) plus a small amount of demerara. Weights: 400g + 54g.

I cooked the #1 for a total of 45 minutes at 144F, so with the demerara and time I expected it to turn out slightly darker than typical #1. I once again added my 3g b.soda at high temp after the heating process and again it seems to have darkened the final product. This is shown on the left in the attached image. It looks more like typical #2 to me. It smells and tastes quite neutral.

Based on this, I'm now wondering:
  • Does the post-boil b.soda neutralization at HIGH heat cause a maillard reaction? Seems likely. Does it alter flavor and aroma aside from pH affects?
  • Would a post-boil b.soda neutralization at LOW heat prevent darkening? How does flavor and aroma compare to the high heat version?
 

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Miraculix

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Interesting results from the jaggery invert #2.

The baking soda added at high heat (~135F) seems to have darkened the syrup, as pictured on the right in the attached photo. It smells and tastes complex as per description of #2.

I decided to make another batch, this time #1 invert using mostly table sugar (beet) plus a small amount of demerara. Weights: 400g + 54g.

I cooked the #1 for a total of 45 minutes at 144F, so with the demerara and time I expected it to turn out slightly darker than typical #1. I once again added my 3g b.soda at high temp after the heating process and again it seems to have darkened the final product. This is shown on the left in the attached image. It looks more like typical #2 to me. It smells and tastes quite neutral.

Based on this, I'm now wondering:
  • Does the post-boil b.soda neutralization at HIGH heat cause a maillard reaction? Seems likely. Does it alter flavor and aroma aside from pH affects?
  • Would a post-boil b.soda neutralization at LOW heat prevent darkening? How does flavor and aroma compare to the high heat version?
I've witnessed the same regarding the darkening due to baking soda addition at high heat. I could also taste a difference before and after the addition. I used it with 70% demerara and 30% or more unrefined sugar cane sugar. Especially the unrefined sugar comes with big molasses flavour, a bit like licorice, this part of the flavour got changed with the baking soda adition, at least according to my taste buds.
 
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rhys333

rhys333

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I've witnessed the same regarding the darkening due to baking soda addition at high heat. I could also taste a difference before and after the addition. I used it with 70% demerara and 30% or more unrefined sugar cane sugar. Especially the unrefined sugar comes with big molasses flavour, a bit like licorice, this part of the flavour got changed with the baking soda adition, at least according to my taste buds.

I got the molasses/licorice flavor when I used one of the dark piloncillo raw sugars. Not a hint of it in either of these though. I'm contemplating brewing with that jaggery invert #2 today, if I can get a move-on. Just superior 2-row, a little flaked barley and the 1 lb #2 for about 10% of fermentables. Then hit it with a low attenuator like Windsor.

EDIT: 5:50pm brewing update

Brewed the following today. The LHBS was out of Windsor, so I went with London and mashed high.

INVERT 2 EXPERIMENTAL BREW
1.044-1.014, 3.9%, 25 IBU
81% Superior Pale Ale
12.5% Jaggery Invert #2 @ 60
6.5% Torrified Wheat
Bittering @ 60 to 22 IBU
30g Willamette @ 5
Lallemand London.
 
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