Newest Little Forker, Chromosomild 3.3% English Mild Ale, is making its debut on the Fork & Brewer handpull. Milds were originally brewed as the original thirst-quencher for the English working class, and at 3.3% this is a pint to defy the sun gods after a long day’s slog.
We’ll Kelly talk you through this one…
“Milds are a pretty diverse range and can actually vary in strength, even getting up to 6-7%! This one is based on a recipe that Brewing Historian, Ron Pattinson, had posted online about. He spends a lot of time researching brewing records and there is a wealth of knowledge on his website, Shut Up About Barclay Perkins, which is worth a look if you fancy a foray into brewing history.
“Chromosomild is based on a 1943 Barclay Perkins XX Mild. The Xs have denoted various things through history, but generally refer to beer strength. There’s a good article about the history of the Xs, written by Martyn Cornell (another excellent brewing historian) here.
“The original recipe uses Mild and Amber malts as well as a decent amount of oats. Although Milds often had invert sugar to keep the body light and used caramel colouring, I used neither of these in my version.
“Caramunich replaced Crystal malt, Caramalt replaced the Amber malt and a good portion of flaked oats were used to help with texture. A little Roasted Wheat is used to add some dark colour, resulting in a nice deep brown hue.
I used my British Ale strain to ferment this, letting it finish up at 20 degrees Celsius, so as to ensure a little ester was thrown out of this relatively fruity strain. It originates from a brewery just out of Manchester and was even used for 4 or so years at Thornbridge back in the day. The obvious challenge with this type of beer is to get good malt flavour from the start to the finish of the beer, whilst putting an emphasis on drinkability and the ability of the beer to slake one’s thirst.
“This mild finished exactly where I wanted it at around 2 Degrees Plato/1.008 Specific Gravity, so has enough residual malt sweetness to ensure it is not astringent. To ensure it was as close to cask conditioned at possible, I transferred it to a secondary maturation vessel and let it condition for two weeks at between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius. This is effectively to emulate the cask conditioning process. Post conditioning, it was transferred to a keg ready for serving.
“I’m not a big fan of serving bright or hazy beer from a bag, as is often the way in NZ with some people who use handpull. Obviously, if it tastes good and is sold through quickly and at the right temperature, then bags can work, but using a tiny amount of extraneous carbon dioxide (effectively, similar to the ‘cask-breather’ section of a firkin been pumped full of low pressure CO2 to replace the pint of liquid that is removed), and a keg coupler ensures that we can serve the beer fresh and clean, especially if we have a volume of beer that will not sell quickly through our handpull taps. There might be a little sediment in the bottom of the keg due to the presence of yeast, but this usually settles out and doesn’t affect beer quality.
“This beer just reminds me of living in the UK, of which I have really fond memories; good times over there! Sitting in a pub, chatting to friends, drinking four or five beers and catching up – but not feeling like you’re going to fall over. I missed those sessionable, tasty beers.
“I really liked that side of these beers, and think it’s something I wanted to share with Fork drinkers!”
Chromosomild 3.3% English Mild Ale
Flavour: Rich and biscuity, with a little water cracker at the base and subtle notes of cocoa and caramel throughout. Light and quenching.
Aroma: Toasted nuts, malt biscuits and a slight, estery fruit character
Look: Deep Brown, with a light beige head
Malt: Ale, Caramunich II, Caramalt, Rolled Oats, Roasted Wheat
Hops: NZ Trial Variety (Flowers – 7.6% Alpha Acid)
Yeast: English Ale Strain – Warm Ferment