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English Dark Mild 1.1 (Barrel Aged)

Although I was pretty happy with my original Dark Mild recipe, it unfortunately picked up a bacterial infection and had to be dumped.  A second Dark Mild suffered the same fate.

In my notes on the original version, I mentioned that I wanted a little more crystal malt and more body.  Toward that end, I've shifted the mash temp upward for most of the mash and added another ounce of Medium English Crystal malt. I've also added some flaked corn, which the BJCP notes is a common ingredient in the style.


3 pounds Munton's Pale Ale Malt
6 ounces Medium English Crystal Malt
4 ounces Flaked Corn
4 ounces Crystal 120L Malt
2 ounces English Pale Chocolate Malt
1 ounce English Black Malt
1 ounce Acid Malt
0.35 ounces East Kent Goldings hops @ 6.1% AA (60 min.)
1 large pellet East Kent Goldings hops @ 6.1% AA (15 min.)
1/8 tsp. Brewtan B in the mash
1.5 tsp. pH 5.2 Stabilizer in the mash
1/4 tsp. Brewtan B in the boil (20 min.)
1/4 tsp. Irish Moss (15 min.)
1/4 tsp. Wyeast yeast nutrient (15 min.)
1/2 vial White Labs Clarity Ferm (in fermenter for gluten reduction)
1 packet Mangrove Jack's MI5 Empire Ale Yeast
8 liters mash water
7.7 liters of sparge water

The beer is expected to have the following characteristics:
  • BJCP Style: 13.A Dark Mild
  • Batch Size: 2.5 gallons (2.8 gallons)
  • Original Gravity: 1.037 SG estimated (1.042 SG actual)
  • Pre-boil Gravity: 1.027 SG estimated (1.035 SG actual)
  • Final Gravity: 1.009 SG estimated (1.003 SG actual)
  • IBUs: 20
  • ABV: 3.8% estimated (5.1% actual)
  • SRM: 21.5
  • Fermenter used: McCoy
  • Bottling wand used: Stainless #2
  • Carbonation method:  1 Coopers carbonation drop per bottle
Mash schedule:
  • 15 minute Mash-in at 102F
  • 20 minute Protein Rest at 120F
  • 15 minute Saccharification Rest at 150F
  • 55 minute Saccharification Rest at 158F
  • 20 minute Sparge at 168F

The Protein Rest is something I've added since using the PicoBrew Zymatic and Brewie+.  In my experience, beers brewed in the all-in-one electric systems have had a tendency to develop chill haze.  Adding this rest seems to help the enzymes break up Beta Glucan and get me clearer brews.

Boil schedule:
  • 90 minutes: No additions
  • 60 minutes: East Kent Goldings
  • 20 minutes: Brewtan B
  • 15 minutes: Yeast nutrient, Irish Moss, and EKG pellet
Fermentation plan:
  • Chill to 68F or less
  • Pitch yeast
  • Hold within the 62-72F optimum range of the yeast for days 1-4 of fermentation
  • Raise temp to 72F until fermentation finishes
  • Add gelatin finings and cold crash until clear
Once fermentation is finished, the plan is to bottle the beer using 3 small Brewer's Best carbonation tablets (low carbonation) and to allow it to condition at ambient basement temperatures until carbonated.

Post-Brew Notes and Observations

07/06/2019:  I decided to manually measure the water going into this batch to ensure that it's accurately loaded into the machine.  This took a little more effort, but allowed me to be sure I had the amounts right rather than relying on the Brewie's frequently-inaccurate sensors.  I loaded 8 liters in the mash and 7.7 in the sparge.  I had an extra pellet of East Kent Goldings when I'd finished measuring everything, and I decided to add this (it weighed 0.03 ounces) to the 15-minute addition to give a hint of EKG flavor and possibly aroma... rather than tossing out the pellet.

The beer finished above both volume and gravity.  Gravity came out at 1.042 SG vs. 1.037 SG expected.  Volume came out at 2.8 gallons instead of the 2.5 gallons expected.  Normally I would dilute the beer to hit my desired target, but the fermenter was pretty full with 2.8 gallons, so I decided to leave it high.  It's only 4 points above the high-end for the style in the BJCP guidelines, not enough that it's likely to be obvious.  The ground water is warm this time of year, so it took the Brewie a while to get the temperature down to 76F.  I'll need to use my temperature control system to get this down low enough and hold it there for the recipe. My plan will be to set the temp to 64F and hold it there until the yeast is nearly finished, then ramp the temperature up gradually to 72F.

Fermenter volume, before yeast pitching

  About 4-5 hours after the yeast was pitched, gravity in the fermenter began to drop from 1.043 to 1.042.  It's about 14 hours in as I write this, and gravity is down to 1.036 SG, which represents about 18% attenuation and an ABV around 1%.  I think it's safe to say at this point that the yeast is healthy and beginning to get to work.

About 22 hours after the yeast was pitched, the gravity had dropped to 1.023 SG. That's about 39.6% attenuation and 2.68% ABV.

07/11/2019:  The gravity seemed to stall at 1.020 SG, so I added a small drop of glucoamylase, swirled the fermenter, and raised the temperature to 71F.  Today the gravity is down to 1.014 SG and may still be dropping.

07/12/2019:  The gravity has dropped to 1.011 SG.

07/13/2019:  The gravity has dropped to 1.010 SG.

07/14/2019:  The gravity has dropped to 1.009 SG and the temperature is holding at 69F.

07/18/2019:  The gravity has continued dropping. It currently registers 1.005 SG.  I'm concerned that the fermentation has already gone past the style's lower limit and could drop low enough to take the beer totally out of style.

07/20/2019:  Gravity has registered 1.005 SG or 1.006 SG since somewhere around July 18.  It's showing no indication of going below 1.0005 so far.  If this holds another day, I'll bottle it and see how it tastes some time in August.  Around 12:30pm, I mistook this fermenter for another one containing a beer I'd intended to flavor with oak and Bourbon, and dropped medium toast oak chips soaked in Bourbon into it.  Rather than try to fish out the strainer full of oak chips, I've decided to leave them in and make this a "barrel aged" beer, too.

07/25/2019:  A sample of the beer was removed for tasting. There was a touch of barrel-aged flavor to it, but not as much as I'm looking for, so I'm going to give it a few more days.

07/28/2019:  Gravity is now registering 1.003 SG, which puts the beer at 5.1% ABV and 92.6% apparent attenuation. The glucoamylase, tiny amount that it was, seems to have severely over-attenuated the beer.  A taste of it yesterday showed a touch of barrel aged flavor and a thin body.

08/03/2019:  The beer was bottled today, using a Coopers carbonation drop per bottle.


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