Following the..erm, slight failure…with the last brew, given that as part of the club rota I had to brew a beer with Belgian candi sugar, I decided to have another crack at it. As well as that, having missed gravity by a fairly large margin on all the last brews after having switched base malts, I wanted a simple grist, low ABV session ale to figure out if the malt was at fault. What better way than a dark mild?
I’ve not made a mild before, and the lowest ABV beer to date had been the Brewdog Dead Pony Club clone. I’ve also still got a fairly large stash of home grown Fuggles to get through, so I figured they’d fit in well here. The candi sugar would add some extra colour and dryness, so I decided to mash a little higher than my usual 67C to keep the body from thinning too much.
Basic pale malt for 85% with some medium crystal malt for some extra sweetness and body. I’m adding roasted barley just for colour adjustment as I want to get a nice ruby tint to it when held up to the light. Candi sugar will continue to darken the colour but also lighten the body, and will be added with 15 minuted left to go in the boil. Endeavour hops will hopefully add a little blackcurrant flavour but it’s pretty high alpha, so I’m not adding much. Maybe Bramling Cross would be better for this purpose.
Batch size: 20L
3kg Pale Ale Malt
250g Crystal 60L
70g Roasted Barley
150g Dark Belgian Candi
25g Fuggles 4%AA @ 60 mins
10g Endeavour 10.3%AA @ 15 mins
Mash @ 68C for 60 mins
Fermentis S-04 dry yeast
After a fairly short time in the fermenter, this beer came out really clear without finings. While I had not yet set up the chiller coil on the FV with the shelf chiller, I had managed to hook it up to my old mash tun, which I’d converted into a basic chiller. By adding an aquarium pump and some frozen bottles of water to the cooler box full of water, I managed to keep fermentation temperatures low enough outside of the fridge. By swapping out the bottles day and night, I managed a steady 15C for some conditioning, and it seemed to do the trick.
After a week or so of natural carbonation in the bottles, I cracked one open for a taste. It pours dark with an off-white head and there’s a definite malt aroma with some toffee notes. There is enough body there as well, and even given its meagre 3.3% it’s a pretty tasty beer. While I didn’t brew this with anything but a test in mind, it’s one I will be making again.