Sunday, May 13, 2012

Brew Day: Dark Mild

It being mild month and all, I was feeling a bit guilty for not having brewed one in what seems like ages. In fact, the last mild I brewed didn't turn out very well and I ended up dumping the whole batch. Time to remedy that. The beer I'll be brewing today is pretty similar to my standard mild recipe, although I'll change things up a bit as usual. Instead of going the brown and black malt route, I'll be focusing more on dark crystal malts with brown and chocolate for character. The yeast will be the wonderful wy1318 - the best yeast for milds in my opinion - and for the hops, some very aromatic new crop UK fuggles. Nothing out of the norm. Also, I went on CAMRA's website to see what types of milds they were touting for the month and what they were saying about the style. It was interesting to see that they have approximately three-hundred milds listed as available across the country this month. Many seemed to be of the dark mild type, with a surprising number of pale milds too. It is good to see so many milds being brewed. It is only too bad that they are practically non-existent on this side of the pond. I think the last beer I had on tap in the U.S that *might* qualify for a mild was a 4.2% oatmeal stout. Lastly, I was surprised to see that CAMRA had given the O.G and ABV for milds as less than 1.043 and 4.3%. Not quite the monolithic %'s for a session beer.

Ploughman Mild : Dark Mild

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 4.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 6.45
Anticipated OG: 1.042
Anticipated FG: 1.012
Anticipated SRM: 28
Anticipated IBU: 18
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

77.5% - 5.00 lbs. Pale Malt, Maris Otter
7.8%   - 0.50 lbs. Crystal 80L
4.7%   - 0.30 lbs. Brown Malt
4.7%   - 0.30 lbs. Chocolate Malt (330L)
3.1%   - 0.20 lbs. Crystal 120L
1.5%   - 0.15 lbs. Roast Barley (450L)

1.00 oz. UK Fuggles @ 60 min for 18 IBU

Yeast: Wyeast 1318 London III
Mash 158F for 75 min.
Brewed 13 May 


  1. Hi Will,

    Because of my love of British cask beers, I've been following your blog with great interest for the past few months (ever since I started brewing last summer, actually). You post a lot of really interesting stuff, and I always look forward to your new write-ups!

    I was thinking of brewing a mild as my next beer. I recall you mentioning in the comments to one of your other posts that you typically use a no-sparge method of some sort when you brew this particular style, and I was wondering if you'd be willing to answer a couple of newb-type questions about it. I'm interested mostly in how you go about doing a no-sparge mash. Are you essentially mashing your grains in the full volume of your pre-boil liquor? And, in your experience, how does no-sparge affect your efficiency (and how much extra grain do you typically use)?



    1. Cam, thanks for the kind words. I will sometimes do a no sparge for bitters and milds, especially if I am entering them in comps. The difference is mostly in the mouthfeel the flavors seem a bit bigger. Though, it is not necessarily the best way to brew these beers... often a thin, sparged out bitter/mild is more appropriate than a big and chewy one.

      Regardless, I basically do a modified BIAB to do this. I add all my brew water (usually 7 gallons) and grain to my big MLT and after a rest for 60-75 min, vorlauf, and drain the liquid into my kettle. I'll usually end up with around 5.5-6 gallons of liquid and that gets boiled down to 4 or 4.5 (my normal batch size). As for grain amounts, I find if I plan the recipe out for a 1.060 beer, it will generally make a no sparge beer with a SG of about 1.040 post boil. Give and take though. It obviously is a big drop in efficiency, since there is so much sugars still left in the grain. I'm sure there are probably more efficient ways of doing it though. Let us know if you try it out!

  2. Thanks for the tips! If I end up giving it a try, I'll let you know how it goes. :)


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