Modern mild - am I really the only brewer who makes it?

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The magistrate

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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?
 
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Oneflewover

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I'm not averse to a pint of mild.... what yeast are you using as I suspect that choice of yeast will make or break?
 

The magistrate

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I'm not averse to a pint of mild.... what yeast are you using as I suspect that choice of yeast will make or break?
When I lived in the Midlands I would use fresh wet from Batham's, which I believe was a Bass strain. I mnay be wrong on that, I never asked them! I used it for all my beers and when I was brewing every week managed to keep the same batch going for 18 months. I did work it hard though across many beer styles. Now that is denied me I use Nottingham (Gervin). I'm not so sure that within sensible reason it would be a make or break issue. I have also used SO4 and the packaged Nottingham but the latter is just as well replaced by the Gervin.
 
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Rodcx500z

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I brew mild now and again mainly dark, in the chesters dark mild style going back to the 60s early 70s was a fine pint and like you say 7 or 8 pints then round the local chippy for steak pudding chips and gravy, as for yeast try Beoir from cml it drops really clean
 

The magistrate

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I think an easy-drinking, satisfying pint or four is an absolute necessity. If I survey the hoard, it's the strong beers that get left behind; there's a big difference between half a gallon of 4% and half a gallon of 6.5+.
There is indeed. I formulated a recipe based on McEwan's Champion which comes out at 7%. The husband of a girl singer I worked with is a liver specialist and he was getting it down his neck at such a rate he had to 'retire early' .
 

An Ankoù

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If you have difficulty getting so called "mild" malt, Crisp's Vienna is more of a mild malt than it is a Vienna malt inasmuch as it's English spring barley rather than continental barley, kilned off to the same colour as mild malt.
 

Oneflewover

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When I lived in the Midlands I would use fresh wet from Batham's, which I believe was a Bass strain. I mnay be wrong on that, I never asked them! I used it for all my beers and when I was brewing every week managed to keep the same batch going for 18 months. I did work it hard though across many beer styles. Now that is denied me I use Nottingham (Gervin). I'm not so sure that within sensible reason it would be a make or break issue. I have also used SO4 and the packaged Nottingham but the latter is just as well replaced by the Gervin.
Fair enough. Neither of those options are really to my taste; Nottingham is a good standby but very 'neutral'. I'm sure your bass yeast would have made a cracking pint though.
 

An Ankoù

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A far as yeast's concerned, I tend to mash at towards the lower limit of the spectrum- say 65C and then use WIndsor or Young's Ale Yeast or Lallemand ESB. Nothing too dominant, but not too dry either. Fermentation temp also plays a part. and I go for 19-20C. Not to everybody's taste, perhaps, but I don't really like sweet-tasting beers and I'm very wary of using crystal malt in any style even if it has its place if used judiciously.
 

chthon

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Can anyone post some links here to mild malt specifications and suppliers? Somewhere down the road I would like to brew a mild, but I would like to compare malts first.
 

Scrattajack

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You're not alone, I've made more milds than any other type. Fully agree about the Mild Malt.
 

foxbat

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There's a good selection of mild recipes in the GW book. Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby is in my brew-queue and will done early next year with a few modifications from the Wheeler recipe. I can sometimes get it on draught when I'm in Nottingham. It's a bit of a legendary pint.
 

RoomWithABrew

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No you're not. I've got three I can choose from at the moment. I love mild. I do use fuggles and goldings in my mild- mainly fuggles, but I've got a pouch of bullion and I'm going to that a go.
I misread your post at first read, knowing you were in France and thought you said " I've got a pouch of bouillon and I'm going to give that a go"

That would be interesting!
 
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