Enough was enough. The most recent thing I had brewed was the Oatmeal Milk Stout way back in July and to say I was itching for a brew day would be an understatement. With the holidays well behind us, my family and friends safely back to the States, and a short break in-between business trips I broke out my brew kettle set about the task of brewing up a mild ale. I’ve been into English style malty, low-alcohol brews pretty deep lately so it was obvious choice for me. What says England more than a Mild? Since I’d never brewed a mild before I was not up to the task of formulating my own recipe but unfortunately all of my brewing books are geared towards U.S. brewers which means hops or alcohol bombs. One mild recipe was found but I wasn’t all that excited about it. After scouring the homebrewtalk.com forums for a couple days I came cross a simple, yet tasty looking dark mild ale recipe. I felt pretty confident in it as it was designed by one of the sites more seasoned contributors and even if it isn’t all I hoped for it would give me a jumping off point (not to mention five gallons of homebrew).
Crystal 60, Chocolate malt, DME, and fuggles (only brewed an extract + specialty grains due to my limited kitchen space) and I had a mild ready to pitch my yeast onto. I took a hydrometer reading but failed remarkably at it because my sample was pre-diluting to the five gallon size. It took me nearly a day to figure out how a mild ale could have an OG of 1080. Anyway, the yeast was already forming a nice layer of bubbles when I awoke Monday morning and by the time I was home from work it was bubbling at two-second intervals with an inch and a half of krausen sitting on it.
Happy with the outcome (so far) of that brew I decided it was finally time to bottle my stout. I’m fairly worried about it because of how long it’s been in the fermenter, but the wort tasted fine and didn’t seem to have any off aromas, so in a couple weeks time I may have 50 beautiful Oatmeal Milk Stouts to suck down.
A productive brew weekend to say the least. The problem (not a true problem) is that when the Mild is done with it’s primary fermentation I’m going to have to brew something new to keep that carboy earning it’s keep. I’m thinking something hoppy (I’m still an American, ya know). IPA? What about a strong ale? Will I go back to England and brew up a Bitter? The excitement overflows!