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Belgian Mild

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Ajhutch

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Ever since @strange-steve posted this funny craft w***er video here: What are you drinking tonight 2020., I’ve been thinking about brewing a Belgian Mild, and now I’ve decided that on my next double brew day it’ll be my small stove top brew.

After going back and forth with what a Belgian Mild should even be, I’ve come up with a recipe. I think it needs to have some characteristics that make it a Belgian beyond just the yeast, but also it should have some elements of Mild. I think roastiness doesn’t go well with Belgian yeast character in a low gravity beer, but maybe a little debittered chocolate malt could work. I’m targeting OG of 1.040, that could still end up with an ABV over 4% which is pushing it for Mild, but I need something to work with! Here’s my current recipe, feedback gratefully received.

10 Litre batch:

Mash:
1.2kg Munich malt - for malty flavour
0.5kg flaked barley - for body
40g Carafa Special II

Mash pretty high, say 68ish, again for body

In the boil add 200g of homemade Candi syrup, 100g Amber-ish and the rest left in to boil to a darker colour.

Hops: Saaz to the OG/BU ratio of a dubbel, probably around 8-10 IBUs

Yeast: As it’s an experiment I’m not spending on a liquid yeast so I’m going to use CML Monk dried yeast.

Basically I’m aiming for as much malty flavour and complexity as I can while staying true(ish) to a Belgian recipe concept and keeping the OG somewhere in Mild territory. My biggest concern is the beer feeling thin, hence the high proportion of flaked barley, and will aim for high bottle conditioned carbonation.

Any and all thoughts welcome!
 

Zephyr259

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Should be tasty, I managed to get a 3.4% 60/- to not feel thin but it's got munich, amber and 2 crystals in the grain bill and I reduced some of the first runnings to a syrup which can also improved body. At 1.040 you should be fine, my bitter starts there and ends about 1.010, you'll get lower with the belgian yeast and touch of sugar but I suspect body is often more a factor of OG than FG, you'll have plenty of protein from the munich and flaked barley.

I'm interested to see how this comes out as it's along the lines of the split batches I've done this year where I've split the wort and pitched 2 different yeasts, which has resulted in some less than traditional, but tasty beers.
 

chthon

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Hope it works out! I think brewing a mild this way is probably a challenge. I think it was simpler for me to brew a Continental Porter, meaning I only use German hops and Dingemans malts.

Would the flaked barley really give that much extra body? It's just unmalted barley that has been through a high temperature wringer, so if it is combined with malted barley, the starches will be converted normally.
 

Zephyr259

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Hope it works out! I think brewing a mild this way is probably a challenge. I think it was simpler for me to brew a Continental Porter, meaning I only use German hops and Dingemans malts.

Would the flaked barley really give that much extra body? It's just unmalted barley that has been through a high temperature wringer, so if it is combined with malted barley, the starches will be converted normally.
Flaked barley is more about additional protein I believe, it's meant to create a bit of creamy mouthfeel similar to oats if I recall correctly and help with head like wheat.

In a similar train of thought to your comments about starches, I've always wondered if dextrin malts (carapils etc) actually do anything since if they're mashed then surely the dextrins will be broken down into fermentable sugars, but that's a bit off topic. :-)
 

Broken Toe

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I would love to know what you think of that yeast. I attempted a similar brew I classified as a Belgian table at 2.6% with CML monk. It has been in the bottle now for a couple of months and has some flavours I'm not sure how I feel about.
 

chthon

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Flaked barley is more about additional protein I believe, it's meant to create a bit of creamy mouthfeel similar to oats if I recall correctly and help with head like wheat.

In a similar train of thought to your comments about starches, I've always wondered if dextrin malts (carapils etc) actually do anything since if they're mashed then surely the dextrins will be broken down into fermentable sugars, but that's a bit off topic. :-)
Well, I have wondered about that too, ever since Brülosophy did a test with adding Carapils and didn't detect a difference between beer with and without it.
 

strange-steve

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I've always wondered if dextrin malts (carapils etc) actually do anything since if they're mashed then surely the dextrins will be broken down into fermentable sugar
I believe that during the malting of dextrine malts some specific processes are used to protect the dextrins from enzymatic activity during the mash. I've no idea how they do it though.
 

JonBrew

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I would love to know what you think of that yeast. I attempted a similar brew I classified as a Belgian table at 2.6% with CML monk. It has been in the bottle now for a couple of months and has some flavours I'm not sure how I feel about.
Yeah I used the CML Monk yeast in a brew in the early part of this year. My note keeping is sh*te but I remember not being all that impressed with it - there's an internal voice telling me not to use it again.

Although I've not used many, so far my experience with dried Belgian stains hasn't been great. I've a few more to try, including BE-256, T-58 and Mangrove Jack's Belgian Tripel. However, so far, I'd say the Belle Saison/MJ French Saison yeast is really good and gives a nice Belgian (if a touch generic) impression. Possibly not ideal for a Mild though.
 

PhilBrew

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Hi @Ajhutch

For me, a little bit of Special B will always add a "Belgian" impression ... if you just chew on a few grains of it you'll see it's like a solid version of Leffe Brun, IMHO :?: ... you may want to consider adding a touch of that into the mix, just about 75-100g or so wink...

Cheers, PhilB
 

Ajhutch

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Hi @Ajhutch

For me, a little bit of Special B will always add a "Belgian" impression ... if you just chew on a few grains of it you'll see it's like a solid version of Leffe Brun, IMHO :?: ... you may want to consider adding a touch of that into the mix, just about 75-100g or so wink...

Cheers, PhilB
Great idea, I can squeeze a bit in I’m sure!
 
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