Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mild Brewday

While today’s title makes a nice homophonic pun, the focus is on the style, not the level of exertion, although with the lighter grain bill, one does kind of lead to the other, doesn’t it? But I digress. Today is also my first solo all-grain batch, which also accounts for the mild focus—smaller grain bill means (hopefully) less chances to drop the metaphoric brewing ball. After all, ain’t sports and beer what it’s all about?

76. Mild
7 lbs. Muntons Mild Ale malt
8 oz. Muntons Crystal 60 L
6 oz. Muntons Dark Crystal 135-165 L
4.5 oz. Breiss Organic Chocolate

Mashed w/3 gallons water @ 154° F for 60 minutes; raised to 170° F
Batch sparged with 1 gallon of 170° F water

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (60 minute) and added:
.85 oz. Willamette leaf 4.8% AA
Cooled wort, racked to bucket, and pitched White Labs WLP 002

Brewed: 10/9/2010 @ 73° F
Secondary: 10/14/2010 @68° F; 1.010
Bottled: 10/30/2010 @ 66° F with 2.75 oz. table sugar (2 volumes CO2)

OG: 1.038
FG: 1.010

Tasting Notes: Nice depth of color for such a light beer; 76 is a clear brown with rich red highlights that are barely discernable through the light. The head is creamy and light tan that has decent retention; the nose is a mix of nutty, grainy, and chocolate aromas coupled with flat creamy background, although all are very light and subdued. Flavors start dry and malty; coupled with carbonation and lighter body, the maltiness is a bit flat. There are chocolate, nutty, and toasty malt flavors in the front, while the middle is drier—there is a touch of bitterness and a creamy character that rounds the beer. The finish has a touch of roasted flavor with a slight molasses and coffee backdrop. While flavors are good (although not spectacular), the carbonation is too bright on the palate; the bite contrasts the light body, covering over lighter flavors. The elevated carbonation flattens the beer across the profile. A decent beer, but not as interesting as it needs to be; in the next version, I need to experiment with a more complex malt profile (a couple of ounces of roasted malt/black patent and something like Cara 45 or Special B) to expand the flavor range in the body, and lessen the carbonation to allow those flavors better expression in the beer. The initial tasting of 78a. points to the benefit of a more complex malt profile, although the Paw Paws helped meld and build the flavors across the beer.

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