Sunday, July 20, 2008

American Mild

I brewed a Mild Ale today. I call it an American Mild because I used an American hop, Summit (16.7% Alpha Acid), US-05 American Ale Yeast, and I am over the style guidelines on gravity and bitterness... pretty typical Americanization of a classic beer style. I did, however, use Maris Otter as my base malt, as it's still my favorite. At least I think I used Maris Otter... I bought my grains after attending the Master Brewers Association of the Americas Summer Social Picnic, which featured a pig roast, and MANY, wonderful beers all free for the drinking. I had a (sober) ride home, and I don't exactly remember which base malt I told Ed at The Red Salamander to give me. Judging by the total price, it must have been Maris Otter. So here's the recipe:

9lbs Maris Otter
1lb Flaked Corn
1/2lb Roasted Barley

1/4oz Summit First Wort Hop
1/8oz Summit 60min

With my low efficiencies, this should've yielded me 1.039 and about 27 IBU. I got 1.041 or so, which means that even if my efficiency is low, I can at least reproduce it consistently.

The Summit hops are new for me. They're a high alpha acid, and low co-humulone, so they should give a nice smooth bitterness. They're supposed to have a citrusy, tangerine like character. I'm hoping that I don't get too much flavor out of these, as the style shouldn't have much, but it won't be a problem if there's some small American citrusy hop character. I got 4 ounces of these for helping out at my local brewery, these are what the Brewmaster there, Scott Isham, uses as the bittering hop in his American Pale Ale, which I'm rather fond of. So we'll see how it is in an "American Mild".

So the brewday went well. I only had one minor problem the whole day... I put the wort chiller in the boil a few minutes before it was done, and either I did it too soon, or that's just not as good an idea as it seems with my chiller. The plastic tubing got pretty warm, swollen, and started to leak. I managed to get the clamps tightened down, so it seemed to be no problem.

I hit my gravities pretty much right on. Pre-boil gravity was about 1.030, and my OG post-boil was 1.041 or so. I probably could've actually gotten a little more gravity out of this, it seems that I used too much sparge water in the my second batch sparge. So I ended up with about an extra gallon of wort. Oh well

The beer smells nice and roasty, nutty, and toasty. Tastes pretty good too, perhaps a bit too much roast, but the bitterness was nice and I think this should be pretty tasty after the yeast adds it's character.

Finally a picture of my new kettle. I like it, much sturdier than the aluminum pot. It's a bit wider around, so I have to start with more wort, but that's no big deal. It's a lot easier to prevent boilovers in this kette, and that's really the major reason I got it.

And I did something else different today. I racked my beer out of the kettle and into the fermenter, I really should've done this in conjuction with some irish moss, and then made a big whirlpool with the wort after chilling. I did manage to avoid a fair amount of the trub though, and this should theoretically help with chill haze, even though chill haze doesn't really bother me.

If this turns out good, and doesn't dissapear too fast, then I will take this to my Father's wedding in August. I think at least a few people there will want to try it. So let's hope it's good!

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