Dark Mild - should I use sugar syrup?

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ballantynedewolf

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Hi Aussies,
One of my all time fave beers is Brains Dark Mild, from Cardiff, Wales, where I failed to do well at uni thanks to see above.
From what I can gather, Brains Dark and other milds of its ilk use invert sugar at some low percentage.
Obviously brewing a low alcohol ale (3-3.5%) you run the risk of thin body, and this adjunct will encourage that. So it's in the style and the tradition, but seems counterproductive, so I don't know what to do. I assume there were originally commercial reasons for doing it: cost, control of colour, production time etc.
It looks like for a 23L brew, 200ml of dark invert syrup will be about right.
What to do?
 

MHB

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I wouldn't for the reasons you have given, getting colour from dark invert being the one exception.
Personally I would rather get the colour from dark malt, if you are trying to reduce the astringency that comes from some roast malts try getting the colour from either Roast/Chocolate Wheat or Carafa Special (de-husked barley) Belgian de-bittered black may be another option.

Invert was a very 70's thing, people have mostly figured out that yeast can and will invert sugar itself. These days inversion is only really used to stop the sugar syrup crystalizing in storage.

Thought I remembered a couple of recipes for Milds from Brain

S. A. Brain & Company, Cardiff, Wales
Red Dragon Dark/Dark OG: 1035
Malt bill: Pale malt, Chocolate malt, Invert sugar, Glucose
Hops: Fuggles, Goldings
Rich ruby mild, fine tasting and eminently quaffable, classic dark mild

Mild Ale
OG: 1035
Malt bill: Pale malt, Chocolate malt, Crystal malt, Invert sugar, Glucose
Hops: Goldings
Bronze colour, well balanced and refreshing

Both from "The Real Ale Almanac" Roger Protz / CAMRA
Mark
 

scomet

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Hey ballantynedwolf, the first beer I purchased in a public house was a half of Tetleys Dark Mild, age 13! I can still taste it :-}. Having spent the last 10 years replicating a Yorkshire bitter and just starting on Mild I can offer some advice, but not definitive - yet!

200 to 250ml of brewers invert #2 is where I’m starting (23L), are you making your own Invert? In my experience bi#3 takes about 2 hours to make and you have to get it just right or it will caramelise and taste like toffee which is the last thing you want… Getting #3 just right is so hard (you have to watch the temp ALL the time) I now just make #1 & #2 and adjust colour with midnight wheat and taste with a few extra darker grains.

I assume you dont have a beer engine (I dont yet) which a good mild needs, I compensate with a touch of flaked barley

Good beer is process driven (imho) so I’d keep the mash temp low and not mash out, a long boil, a healthy pitch of yeast and clean and sanitise like your beer depends on it - It does…

You dont mention which hops your using? these will be critical, when I get a recipe i’m happy with I’ll post it here - Cheers and good luck..

Links

http://www.unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert/comment-page-1
 

scomet

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Invert was a very 70's thing,
I hope your talking 1870s' it was a huge business in those days and expensive, so much so the breweries started manufacturing their own invert. I'm sure it was initially a cost driven adjunct, that and the scarcity of good malt, that's what drove the development of the 'Perfect English Pint'!
 

ballantynedewolf

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200 to 250ml of brewers invert #2 is where I’m starting (23L), are you making your own Invert?
...
I assume you dont have a beer engine (I dont yet) which a good mild needs, I compensate with a touch of flaked barley

Good beer is process driven (imho) so I’d keep the mash temp low and not mash out, a long boil, a healthy pitch of yeast and clean and sanitise like your beer depends on it - It does…

You dont mention which hops your using? these will be critical, when I get a recipe i’m happy with I’ll post it here - Cheers and good luck..

Links

http://www.unholymess.com/blog/beer-brewing-info/making-brewers-invert/comment-page-1
I'm not going to make syrup - I reckon CSR Treacle is close enough.

I don't have a beer engine, I bottle. I assume the flaked barley is for head retention? I might try that, or oats can be good too a la Belgian dubbels. I like to prime low and pour from a height!

I'm definitely not going to mash low - I want the highest possible FG.

For hops I'll used EKG and Fuggles - IBU 22, no detectable aroma.

The point is, I know I CAN use invert syrup, and how to, but should I? I'm making 23L of a beer I like for my fridge, not 1000HL for sale throughout South Wales. If it were to have imperceptibly more body (see the relevant exBEERmnt) than the style I'm copying, is that such a bad thing?
 

ballantynedewolf

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S. A. Brain & Company, Cardiff, Wales
Red Dragon Dark/Dark OG: 1035
Malt bill: Pale malt, Chocolate malt, Invert sugar, Glucose
Hops: Fuggles, Goldings
Rich ruby mild, fine tasting and eminently quaffable, classic dark mild

Mild Ale
OG: 1035
Malt bill: Pale malt, Chocolate malt, Crystal malt, Invert sugar, Glucose
Hops: Goldings
Bronze colour, well balanced and refreshing

Both from "The Real Ale Almanac" Roger Protz / CAMRA
Mark
I never knew RD stool for Red Dragon. I guess everything stands for Red Dragon in Wales! Tails for Wales, as they say at the coin toss.
This will be my first go with chocolate malt.
Thanks
 

ballantynedewolf

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By the way, I hear that the hydrating and dehydrating properties of beer are equal at between 2.7% and 3% ABV, hence my rekindled interest in milds. We didn't see much need for supplementary hydration in South Wales, but here it could be a good thing. Is not Australia's most popular beer a 3%er? I'm thinking XXXXGold
 

mje1980

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It’s non traditional but I just mash low for 60 mins. I prefer light bodied milds ( I can hear the boos already haha ) so i just mash at 62-45-60 mins.


Whoops, I just saw you wanted a high fg. Disregard the above.
 

scomet

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I prefer light bodied milds ( I can hear the boos already haha )

A good mild should be reasonably light bodied it gets its body and apparent sweetness from the way it’s poured (in a good pub)
 

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