Monday, August 15, 2011

Free Bag O Malt Mild

Went into my local homebrew shop today on lunch to chat it up with the guys about the progress on their brew pub opening and about my upcoming spontaneous fermentation. While I was there one of the guys was doing a little clean up in the back room and found a brown paper bag full of malt that had been sitting there. Looked inside and saw that it had 5# Weyermann Munich I, and 2# Victory in it. He kindly looked over to me and said "You want 5# of Munich I and 2# Victory malt?" I, of course, accepted. I was tossin' around ideas in my head of what to make with it. They had said it could make a porter, or an ESB (Extra Special Bitter). I did some research on the malts and what they will give to the beer, and came up with the idea of doing a Mild. I have wanted to have a Mild for a while now, but no one makes them around here, and exporting them is difficult due to the low alcohol and hops. So I looked at the BJCP guidelines for Mild, and it boils down to this:
Clear copper to dark brown (12-25 srm), offwhite head with pour retention and low carbonation. Smells of malts (caramely, grainy, toasted, nutty, chocolate, or lightly roasted) and some fruitiness, with little to no hop aromas and no diacetyl. Tastes is very malt and yeast driven (malty, sweet, caramel, toffee, toast, nutty, chocolate, coffee, roast, vinous, fruit, licorice, molasses, plum, raisin), can finish sweet or dry with enough hop bitterness to balance the malts but not overpower them, and little to no hop flavors. Mouthfeel should be light to medium body with low carbonation. A flavorful beer very driven by malts and designed to be low alcohol for continued enjoyment.
Sounds perfect. The Munich I has a very malty sweet flavor and is typically used in malt driven beers such as Bocks and Marzens. The Victory is a nutty malt, and 2# should make it quite heavy on the nuttiness. I also had some Roasted Wheat and Brown Malt that they were sampling out a few months ago still around the brew house, as well as a 4-5oz mix of C60, Special B and Pale Chocolate left over from a malted milk bread pudding I made for our anniversary. Put all that together and we have what should be a fairly flavorful malt bill: sweet malt, nutty, a little roasty, slight caramel, light dark fruits, a dash of chocolate, and a hint of biscuit. Went with some UK First Gold hops for a nice smooth bitterness with a light spiciness.

Fermentables (60 min mash @ 151*F)
5.0# Munich I
2.0# Victory
7oz Roasted Wheat Malt
50z Brown Malt
2oz US Crystal 60
2oz Belgian Special B
1oz UK Pale Chocolate

1.0oz FWH UK WGV hop plugs 7.0% AA (24 IBUs)

45 minute boil

Yeast Wyeast 1968 London ESB (slurry from Ninkasi)

Kettle Additions Calcium Carbonate 2g (split)
Gypsum (C. Sulfate) 2g (split)
Baking Soda 1g (split)
Epsom Salts 1g (split)

Target OG 1.037
Target FG 1.010
Target IBU 24
Target Volume 5.5 gallons
Target SRM 26
Target ABV 3.6%

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