This is a recipe for a low-gravity, darker English mild. I used lots of dark English crystal to really emphasize the toffee and nutty flavors. I made this on my indoor 3 gallon set up (shot for around 1057 OG), then just topped up with water to reach around 4.5 gallons of lower-gravity 1038 wort.
- 5.5 lb Maris Otter Pale
- 0.5 lb Dark Crystal (160L)
- 0.2 lb Chocolate malt
- 1 oz Fuggles (4.1% a.a.) 60 min
// Mash-in at 156 for 50 minutes. Mash-out and sparge w/ 168F water to collect around 3.25 gal 1063 wort. Boil 60 minutes. Add ice to chill to 120F and reach around 3.5 gal. Collect 3 gallons of 1058 wort, add 1.5 gallons filtered water to reach 4.5 gallons at 1038. Brewed 1/26/16 //
1/30/16 Gravity at 1014. Pleasant malt flavor and aroma – caramel and subtle toffee / toasted flavors with a dry finish. Slightly thin, but expected with the lower OG. Moved over to the nitro keg (no CO2 pre-fill).
2/2/16 Still rather flat and no head coming out of the nitro tap. Might have needed some of the CO2, but the last beer I did that with had way too much head. Tastes a bit watery when it’s chilled – might want to consider putting this on the hand-pump to liven it up.
After about a week in the keg this turned out to be a delightfully sessionable and cozy beer. Great with food, or when you feel like having two mid-day without derailing your Saturday. It’s amazing what head retention the nitro gives in a beer that’s this light and with low hopping, too – the pictures show a fairly small head but it lasted throughout the entire pint. The turbulence of the nitro tap definitely helped to boost the body and give the beer some life. Despite being a lower OG ale there was still a modest amount of malt flavor and some buttery English yeast character to bring it home. It’s not an overly complex beer, but it’s not one-dimensional either and keeps your taste buds entertained, navigating through the rich malt character, even though the overall flavor magnitude is less that usual. It was a mild ale by design, but I did think it just a tiny bit thin in the end. I’ve made beers of this strength before on my standard 10 gallon setup, but never with this 3-gallon-then-top-up-with-water method – that may have something to do with it. I will make this beer again, maybe just slightly bumping up the specialty malts. Cheers!