American Mild v3

denny's picture

Well, after living with the first 2 versions of the American Mild for a few weeks now, I have some thoughts and ideas about the direction of this project.....

I ended up dry hopping the second batch in order to try to give it more flavor. The taste of both batches is pretty good, but as I feared, they're both pretty thin. My wife refers to them as "water beer" because of the mouthfeel and the fact that the flavor is pretty watered down. So I think that instead of the incremental changes I was gonna make, it's time for a rethink and change of direction. I've considered the fact that maybe I need to bump the OG up to 1.045 so I can get more ingredients in there, but I'm going to try a different grist bill first. With that in mind, here's where I think the next batch is heading....

4 lb. Great Western Munich 10L
2 lb. Rahr pale malt
1 lb. C60
1 lb. carapils

I may chicken out on that much carapils and dial it back to 1/2 lb., but the beer sorely needs something to give it some body and mouthfeel. In addition, I came to the conclusion that I really didn't care for the Special Roast being the primary carrier of flavor. It seemed a bit harsh, so I decided to just remove it completely in this version. I'll keep the BU:GU ratio about 1:1 or a bit less with most of the hop additions in the last 10 min. or so, and likely will dry hop it again. I'm really liking the no sparge technique for this, so I'll keep that. I bumped the mash temp up to 165 for the last batch, so I don't have a lot of room to play with there. An interesting discovery from doing that is that the change from a 153 mash temp to 165 really didn't change the body or sweetness much, if any. It certainly didn't change the fermentability. Both batches started and finished at the same gravity. That's contrary to the conventional wisdom about mash temps, but in line with research presented by Greg Doss of Wyeast at the 2012 NHC in Seattle. So I think I'll stick with the 165 mash temp, since I seldom mash that high and this is a good chance to collect some data about it.

I had expected this project to be a challenge, and I'm certainly getting that. The flavor of the first two batches is actually pretty good...there just isn't a lot of it there. I'm hoping I don't hit a brick wall on this, but only more experiments will tell!

denny's picture
Someone suggested that

Someone suggested that instead of the carapils I use flaked barley. Not a bad idea, but I've never cared a lot for the flavor of flaked barley. I'm not ruling it out, though. Thoughts, opinions, anyone?

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!


I've used Torrified Wheat to add body in my Mild.

brulosopher's picture

Perhaps I missed it, but I'm curious what yeast you're using for the beer? I ferment my version of this non-style with 002 and get a surprisingly good body/mouthfeel for being so low ABV.

denny's picture
I've been using 1450..yeah, a

I've been using 1450..yeah, a real shocker, I know! I think the mouthfeel from it will work well.

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!


You could add some lactose or unfermentables or ferment on medium toast oak and rely on tannic structure instead of body.

denny's picture
Doubt I'll try the oak for a

Doubt I'll try the oak for a couple reasons...first, I don't care for oaked beers! Second, the Special Roast I used in the first couple batches gave it a kind of tannic bite and I really didn't care for it. Lactose is a possibility.

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

DirtyHippy's picture
Dunno about Special Roast, but...

Denny- I don't know what's out there for domestic malts, but I like(d) to put a small amount (~6oz out of 9lbs) of Euro/Brit 200L Chocolate in my traditional Mild. The roast/chocolate was softer than with a typical Chocolate malt. I also used Paul's Mild Ale malt for extra dextrins. Again, don't know how that translates to New World grain. -Joel

denny's picture
OK, mash is going on this one

OK, mash is going on this one. Here's what I decided on...

4 lb. GW Munich 10L
2 lb. Rahr 2 row pale
1 lb. Briess organic C60
1 lb. carapils
.25 oz. Magnum @60
.5 oz each Cascade and Chinook @ 10
.5 oz. Columbus @5
1 oz. each Cascade and Simcoe - whirlpool
WY 1450
Bru'nwater "amber balanced" profile

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

Been meaning to try this myself...

Interesting site, had not visited until now..... just what I need, one more homebrew site to steal my time:) I have often thought about an American Mild, but never really taken the time to try it. Looking forward to see what you come up with. I brew british dark mild as much or more than any one beer I make. A couple things I think I would carry over in an attempt if (when) I try it..... I use about 33% Briess Ashburne Mild Ale Malt in all my milds and I like the sweet/fullness it gives. I used to use munich for this, but found that the mild malt worked better. I also use flaked barley and flaked oats in small quantities - about 2-3% each. It seems to add to the fullness/creaminess of the beer. Other specialty malts I use in small quantities (2-3% each) - not sure if there is an american "equivalent" to any of them or not, but possible food for thought: pale chocolate, golden naked oats, brown malt. mine tends to lean more toward the roasty and dark end of the mild spectrum....... which may not be what you are shooting for. I think your yeast is actually a great option - I love the mouthfeel it gives my Amber Ales.