Homebrew recipes are back! An important part of WIB since its inception has been our homebrewing community. We never cease to be amazed by the creativity, talent and sometimes utterly bizarre creations they come up with, using the ingredients from our shelves. We've often said we wish we could share the brews that make it to our monthly homebrew club with the rest of the world, so now we are!
The challenge for may was mild - we had some great examples of the style, plus loads of other great beers as usual!
The best non challenge beer chosen by the homebrew club was Fergal’s ‘Choco Orange Stout’, which was brewed to be dispensed as a nitro stout from Fergal’s keg system. To recreate the nitro stout from the beer poured from the bottle we used syringes to add air to the glass t6o give that creamy mouth feel!
Grain Bill (20 litres at 74% efficiency):
3 kg Golden Promise
1kg Golden Naked Oats
500g Flaked Barley
500g Pale Chocolate
500g Roasted Barley (late mash tun addition)
10g Mandarina Bavaria (8.5 AA) 60 min
30g Saaz 60 min (3.5 AA) 60 min
20g Mandarina Bavaria (8.5 AA) 5 min
20g Mandarina Bavaria (8.5 AA) whirlpool
Lallemand London English Ale Yeast (1 pack)
4g Gypsum in mash
4g Lactic Acid in mash
Zest of one orange 5 min
74g Cocoa Nibs secondary
100g Whiskey secondary
Zest of one orange secondary
Matt brewed a standard mild with often collaborator Mark, which was delicious. Nice and simple recipe, give it a go!
6.8kg Extra Pale Maris Otter
800g Pale Crystal
350g Chocolate Malt
35g First Gold 60 mins
30g First Gold 10 mins
30g First Gold whirlpool
2 packs WLP002 English Ale
Alban shared an absolutely brilliant dark mild with the club, we’ll let him to get it away from here…
For this year’s May Mild challenge I wanted to get as close to a post-war dark mild as possible with my homebrew set-up. Key style-markers would be low ABV, malty with much of the sweetness coming from sugar. To help me get there I used a whole can of treacle and mashed high to try to increase the body and sweetness.
Mashed the grains in 13L of PH-adjusted mains water at 73 C which dropped 3 degrees over the hour (outside in early April, even with blankets). After a thorough sparge about 30L went into the boil which reduced to 24L after 90 minutes.
Grain bill (29 litres at 75%):
2.5kg (51.4%) Golden Promise
1kg (20.6%) Pale Wheat Malt
254g (5.2%) Treacle
250g (5.1%) Caramunich
237 (4.9%) Roasted Barley
200g (4.1%) Pale Rye
121g (2.5%) Black Malt
100g (2.1% Dextrin Malt
15g Green Bullet @FWH
15g Fuggle @15 min
254g Treacle @15 min
(200g) Treacle 3 days in to fermentation)
So, the usual generous selection of fermentables which, like the hops, largely depend upon what I have got left. The purists out there may note that I have 5% of roasted barley, which is not strictly true-to-style. In my defence, it’ll take more than a few months for me to drink my way through this batch, so it’ll then cease to be a mild and a little bit of roastiness in an older dark ale is fine.
Lost 1L in dregs so 23L went into the fermenter at 25 C along with Lallemand’s London ESB yeast. OG 1.042, IBU 23, SRM 35. Added the last of the pot of treacle to the fermenter after 3 days and bottled 6 days later at an FG of 1.019, priming with just over 100g of demerara sugar. I was expecting a high FG but 1.019 surprised me, however, it wasn’t budging and nearly a month later there’s no hint of excessive activity so it was definitely done!
The end result was a full-bodied 3% beer which was indeed sweet and malty with a hint of sugar. The treacle seems to have been a good decision as it’s given a subtle but distinct flavour that appears to have been well-received.
Breaking with traditional storage / serving methods I used a recently emptied 2L bottle that had contained a decent Belgian Blonde and bought that along to the Homebrew Club. I had a feeling I could count on the members of SE London’s most prestigious brew club to help polish off 2L; I was not disappointed.
If I were to do this recipe again, I would possibly reduce the mash temperature a bit (maybe 69-70 C rather than 73 C) and aim for around 3.5% ABV.
waterintobeer homebrew club takes place on the first Sunday of the month, from 2pm onwards.