Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Think Spring, Drink Mild...

It is around this time each year - when the sun finally summons enough strength to burn off the clouds and mother nature gives us small glimpses of Spring - that I start to become restless. With each blue sky day, I dream of melting snow, green shoots of grass, the first brown trout of the season taken on a fly, and the subsequent celebratory pints shared with friends. It is maddening to think of such things here in the Northeast on the first of March; Spring is a long ways off and there are still many more snowstorms and cold mornings ahead.

Yet, while I drive myself crazy thinking Spring is just around the corner, this is also the time of year that I start getting back into serious brewing mode and begin to plan out my brew year. And as usual, my first beer of March is almost always an English mild. I don't know what it is exactly, but there is something about the dark, rich, earthy, caramel - maltiness of a mild that screams Spring to me. Why wait for mild month in May? This year, however, I decided I would brew something a little different than my normal dark mild as I already have a few in the bottle and one in the keg. The recipe I brewed is very similar to the the Ploughman's Mild recipe I had previously posted, though is a bit higher in strength and a tad more complex with the addition of chocolate and coffee malt. This will be the second time I have brewed this, the first time it got kicked in less than a week. For those of you who like their beers categorized into made up little styles, this beer would fall somewhere between a high gravity dark mild and a brown porter.

Happily fermenting
The Darker Side of Mild II: Mild/Brown Porter

Recipe Specifics
-----------------
Batch Size (Gal): 4.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.40
Anticipated OG: 1.054
Anticipated FG: 1.012
Anticipated SRM: 32.0
Anticipated IBU: 30.0
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Grain/Sugar
------------
74.5% - 7.0 lbs. Pale Malt, Maris Otter
8.0% - 0.75 lbs. Crystal Malt, 60L
5.3% - 0.50 lbs. Crystal Malt, 120L
4.3% - 0.40 lbs. Pale Chocolate Malt
3.7% - 0.35 lbs. Chocolate Malt
2.7% - 0.25 lbs. Brown Malt
1.6% - 0.15 lbs. Kiln Coffee Malt

Hops
------
Fuggles @ 60 min for 30 IBU
0.50 oz. Fuggles @ flameout

Yeast: Wyeast Labs 1318, London Ale III

Mash 155F for 75 mi, pitch cool ferment at 65-68F, crash cool, keg. 

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