Dark Mild Session Mild (E)

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Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2007
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Christiansted, St Croix, USVI
Recipe Type
Yeast Starter
Rehydration per instructions
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter
Batch Size (Gallons)
Original Gravity
Final Gravity
Boiling Time (Minutes)
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
~7 65degF
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
Additional Fermentation
in package

4.00 lbs. Light DME
8 oz. Crystal 55L
6 oz. Chocolate Malt
4 oz. Briess Special Roast Malt


1.00 oz. US Hallertauer pellets, 4%AA, 60 minutes


Note: 3.5 gallon boil, with late Extract addition!

* Place cracked grains loosely into grain bags. Apply heat to 2.5 gallons cold liquor in kettle. Immerse grains in kettle liquor. Raise temperature to 155F and hold for an hour. While the "mash" is resting, heat another gallon of liquor in second pot to 170F.
* After an hour has passed, place grain bags in strainer; rinse with 1 gallon hot liquor from second kettle. Discard spent grains.
* Bring kettle to boil. When boil is reached, remove from heat and add 1 lb DME, stirring until dissolved.
* Return to heat, return to boil. Add hops.
* At end of boil, remove from heat and dissolve the rest of the DME.
* Cool wort using your preferred method. Rehydrate yeast according to packet instructions; pitch when temperature reaches ~65degF.


* Ferment at ~65degF. Usually finished by day four, but I leave it in the primary for at least seven days.
* I do not secondary this ale, for Nottingham drops bright for me in the primary. I tried secondary, and noticed no improvement. Thus I avoid the hassle. YMMV.
* These days I've been fermenting it with Windsor for more body. YMMV.


* Package targeting 1.75 - 2.0 volumes of CO2. I prefer this on draught, but bottling is all right, too. Too much carbonation completely ruins such a delicate beer, so no matter what you do, do not exceed 2 volumes!
* If draught, fine with Isinglass or gelatin, and prime for cask. Use only just enough CO2 to push the beer to the tap.


This beer is light-bodied, smooth and easy-drinking. Malt character comes through nicely, just enough to keep you interested, but not enough to overwhelm the drinker. I modified the recipe recently from the original - over ten years old - to replace the dark extract with light, reflecting modern practice. I must have hit it, because nothing has changed in terms of flavor!

THIS JUST IN! For your convenience, I've set up this recipe at Brewmaster's Warehouse. Now you can buy it with one click.
* Bring kettle to boil. When boil is reached, remove from heat and add DME, stirring until dissolved.
* Return to heat, return to boil. Add hops.
* At 50 minutes, remove from heat and dissolve the rest of the DME.

How did you split up the 4lbs of DME? 2lbs and 2lbs? I was thinking the more you add later, the lighter it will be.

Also... I'm looking for a good mild recipe, did this turn out well? Would you change anything?
Sorry about that; I'll have to change it. Since I buy DME in bags, it comes in 3lb and 1lb bags. The first addition is 1 lb; the other 3 lbs go in at the end.

This is a recipe I brew over and over and over. I try to keep some always on hand. I personally love the stuff, and friends and fellow brewers have smacked their lips. So yeah, I think it turns out well. ;)

I'll have to change the OP, because I've stopped doing the Papazian steep method and now maintain at 155F for an hour. The recipe is written that way because I developed this recipe ten years ago, and I was loath to change anything too drastically. But the last three times I've brewed this, I used the more modern steeping technique and can perceive no difference in the beer.

Hope it works for you!

This looks like a great session beer, since I am unable to keg I was wondering about bottling. Your enthusiasm on the subject doesn't seem profound. Any hints?
You can bottle this Mild or any other without complication, so long as you avoid overcarbonation. Use one of the carbonation calculators carefully.

Much more than 2 volumes of carbonation takes the beer out of balance. Carbon dioxide is also called "carbonic acid gas", and can be quite bitter. It is also a harsh bitterness which detracts from carefully-induced hops bitterness. In such a delicate beer, excessive carbonation can mask the subtle flavors we've so carefully added.

You are shrewd to deduce that my enthusiasm for bottling such styles as Mild and Bitter is not profound. :D Both styles are traditionally draught styles, and it is my opinion that neither are at their best in the bottle, even if bottle-conditioned to appropriate draught levels. Further, both styles are best served on draught from a handpump. But that is, except in the rarest of cases, beyond the ken of most homebrewers.

So we are forced to bottle-condition, and it's no bad thing! Just don't do the Papazian 3/4c of corn sugar. Use a measured amount to create the volumes desired and go for it!

A more than sufficient answer, thanks for your help! I believe the next course of action to be the purchase of a chest freezer and some co2. Thanks for the great answer.
Sure! I most often package this in 5L minikegs with built-in taps. I can usually kill one of those in a weekend if I dispense into Imperial pints, and it gives me perfectly-conditioned Real Ale.

I brewed this on the 16th and had some time on Friday to possibly bottle. Do you think 12 days in the primary is long enough or would you let it go a little longer to allow the yeast to clean up. I was trying to have this ready by mid February but would not hesitate to wait if it will help my brew. Thanks for the advice,
Depends on how long it took to ferment out. My standard practice is to let it sit on the cake for a week after the vigorous ferment is complete to clean up before packaging. As my ferments with this beer are usually quite vigorous - like, over in 24-36 hours vigourous - there's no reason why you can't be bottling this inside a fortnight.

You wanna bottle tomorrow, you have my blessing. ;) Just triple-check the gravity and roll on. I like Demerara sugar to prime this.

I like Demerara sugar to prime this.


I'm in yer user-profile, lurk'n 'bout yer recipee :ban: - this because you keep popping up on the english ale threads I keep gravitating towards.......

.....so what's Demerara sugar, FCS?
Demerara sugar is, like Turbinado (or Sugar In The Raw), a cane sugar which has been less processed than white table sugar. It still contains a proportion of impurities which give it color and a hint of flavor.

When you process cane sugar, you get white sugar and molasses at the end of the process. White sugar is white sugar; molasses is all the impurities they refine out. Clever of them to make you pay for trash, innit? ;)

Note Demerara sugar is not the same as brown sugar, which is white table sugar with molasses added back!

While Demerara and Turbinado sugars are different, in brewing quantities the differences are not pronounced. Thus, if you cannot find Demerara, Turbinado can be substituted with a clear conscience.

Cheers (and thanks for your interest),

Hey Bob... I am ready to bottle this brew... found the Demerara Sugar.. and am wondering for a 5 gallon batch ... how much (weight or measuring cup volume) do you recommend to adequately "low" prime carb this style of brew?
thanks much in advance
I suggest you consult one of the online carbonation calculators for a specific number. The exact amount depends on so many factors, it's really quite unwise to dedicate oneself to a specific amount of sugar.

Here is a good calculator which has given me good results. Use "Cane Sugar" as the type of sugar.


which style should i choose from the drop down menu... there isnt one for a British Brown or Session style? should i just go with one of the English ones to do the calculations?
Thanks again for your help in walking me through this Bob
which style should i choose from the drop down menu... there isnt one for a British Brown or Session style? should i just go with one of the English ones to do the calculations?
Thanks again for your help in walking me through this Bob

Choose English Dark Mild.
Hey Bob... i put in to calculate for 1.5 volumes of co2... is that cool? cause then it tells me to add 1.48oz(or 41.8g) of cane sugar... or should i have calculated for the 2 volumes?
would i notice a difference between 1.5 to 2.o vol?
Probably. 1.5 volumes is Real Ale area. If you're used to cask-conditioned ale, you'll know what to expect. If this is your first foray into low-carbonation beers, and your experience only extends to fairly standard levels of carbonation, I submit you'll be more satisfied with higher numbers, like the 2.0 volumes you've suggested. The difference is pretty obvious, side by side.

By way of comparison, most bottled microbrews are bottled at between 2 and 2.5 volumes. Hefeweizen can go as high as 3+.

You dig?
Ok then... i am gonna try the 1.5 ! Thanks again for all your help and solid input in this!

I just want you to be successful. I don't want someone trying my recipe and then slamming me for it. ;)

Seriously, I hope you enjoyed brewing it, and I hope you enjoy drinking it. :mug:

Gonna make this one tomorrow, I am really looking forward to a good brown ale.

It's only going to be my 2nd batch so I'm a bit new to all of this. I was wondering what your kegging techniques are. I have a 5 gal corny keg and might be making a pressure valve before I keg to get more accurate volumes.

Thanks for the recipe.
I naturally carbonate this beer, so I'm afraid I can be of little assistance. Should you choose to follow that technique, there are any number of online calculators which will tell you how much sugar to add.
I'm new enough that I haven't considered making a recipe with so little malt before. Is that really enough? What is you abv? I'm considering getting the ingerdients today.
This is a very subtle beer, comparatively speaking. If you're used to big, butch flavors, you might not be pleased. But for those who dig subtlety, Mild is a really nice style.

Yes, it's really enough. ABV depends on your FG - if you use the numbers above, you're looking at approximately 3.25% That means you can have a coupla-tree Imperial pints before impairment. :D

Let me know how it works out for you!

Brewed 5 gallons of this last night, initial taste out of the hydrometer was promising. My O.G. was 1.040 using your recipe. Mashed at ~162-164 for an hour in the oven and did a second "sparge" with the 1 gallon at 170*F for a solid 10-12 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!
I just racked this to secondary earlier this week. So far so good and the hydrometer sample at 1.010 left me thirsty for more! Can't wait to bottle and sample!
What are your thoughts on using 4oz Rauch malt instead of the special roast? I don't have the special roast on hand and want to brew tomorrow. Have all other ingredients but that.


would lend to a totally different flavor. the special roast lends to such a subtle nice flavor in this beer.

the rauch would make it much more smokey. worth a try, but will dramatically change the beer.
The recipe doesn't state, but I assume we're racking on top of the missing water in primary?
What are your thoughts on using 4oz Rauch malt instead of the special roast? I don't have the special roast on hand and want to brew tomorrow. Have all other ingredients but that.

My thoughts? Don't. :D

Special Roast is a unique malt. I'm going to paste Briess's own copy here, because it's correct: Toasty, Biscuity, Sour Dough, Tangy. Whoa! This is one complex malt. With its characteristic and bold sourdough flavor, it will contribute an exciting layer of flavor to Nut Brown Ales, Porters and other dark beer styles.

Rauch malt is a completely different animal.

If you don't have Special Roast, sub in Biscuit or Victory. That'll get you much closer than Rauch malt.


You are correct.



I am planning on making a partial mash version of this recipe using Marris Otter. What do you think? Should I just make the extract version?
not really on topic with the beer but on carbonation is there a style guideline as to how many "volumes of CO2" each style of beer should have. I have only carbed with the 3/4 c of corn sugar?
There is and there isn't. For example, any style of beer served as Real Ale should have a low carbonation level, whether it's Mild, Bitter, Porter, whatever. A bottled version of the same Porter should have a much higher level.

Here's a very rule-of-thumb set of guidelines to get you started (from BYO magazine and modified slightly by me):

Cask ales and bottled barley-wine
1.5 to 2.0 volumes
Bottle-conditioned craft ales
2.3 to 2.6
European lagers
2.4 to 2.6
North American beer, craft or otherwise
2.5 to 2.6
Wheat beers
3.0 to 5.0

Calculating volumes is fairly straightforward; I can't think of any brewing software that won't calculate bottle-conditioning sugar for you to reach a certain target.

Ok. Been lurking for a while and now I believe it's time to post something on here. I made this beer as my first brew back on November 11th. Sat in primary till the 18th when I bottled it. My OG was 1.041 and the FG was 1.015. It has a roasted coffee taste, but there is also an odd after taste that I can't quite figure out. It's not bad, just different. Anyways, enough chit chat and here are some pics.

There will be a roasty-toasty quality to the beer; the Chocolate and Special Roast combine.

The "odd after taste" I can't figure out without a better description.

The color in the images seems too dark, but that might be a function of the camera; most beers appear too dark without specialist photography equipment. Is it that black "in person"?