- Oct 18, 2021
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OK the thread title is a bit of a hook! In fact the disappearance of modern milds began with the commercial breweries when they decided to partygyle them from their light ales or bitters. Even in what was one of the last remaining dark mild strongholds, the west Midlands, Batham's does not produce a genuine mild. I cut my drinking teeth in the late 70s/early 80s on the Ansell's mild then brewed at the famous Aston Cross brewery in Birmingham. It was creamy and nutty and one could easily sink 7 or 8 pints and then drift into Archer's fish and chip shop just round the corner where they cooked in beef dripping. Bliss. Ansell's ruined it by partygyling when they moved their brewing to Burton. However as a jazz musician familiar with the concepts of busking and improvisation, when it comes to home-brewed modern mild I simply make it all up on the hoof. It's really very easy. I like to use Mild Ale Malt when I can get it because it does add a lusciousness to the flavour being kilned at a slightly higher temperature than your vin ordinare pale; you also need to use a little more to get the same extract for that reason. Black malt and roasted barley (crushed) are what separate the fake from the real, but one should not go OTT; I recall a recipe in a very old CJJ Berry book which called for using 1lb of each in 5 galls. I tend to hover around the 5-8oz per 5 gall mark (of each) and I also add 12oz demerara sugar in the copper. Don't waste expensive hops on this style; I use Fuggles or Goldings. No need for high alpha types. It's a great busker! It never fails and is great for those hot summer days (few though they are). I up the ante a bit for a (modern) stout using pale malt (no mild, it's a waste) a little on the higher side with the black and roasted barley and like to use Northern Brewer hops exclusively. I might also add half a pound of flaked barley too. Why not try it yourself?