Tag Archives: mild

The Half Empty

I thought about calling this the Half Full but The Half Empty trips off the tongue better. Maybe I should call this the 50/50?

But here’s why:

Every bottle I’ve opened has come out looking like this photo. Visually amazing to witness, not as much beer left to drink.

My goal was to make a Mild ale and I have to say, it is easy to drink once you can drink it. Sweeter, with a nice coffee and chocolate blend, coming down further on the chocolate side.

Of course, drinking too soon means chewing on foam and that’s a lot less appetizing. The finish is too bright as well; the bubbly elements of this beer wash everything out too fast and hard. It feels prickly and dissuasive of the next sip of beer. Less than awesome, that.

Brew date: 2.28.15

5.5lb mild malt
6 oz Carafa 3
6 oz C80
6 oz Kiln Amber

Fermentables: 3.5 lb LME

Hops :1 oz Simco @ 60

Yeast: 1028 London Ale Wyeast

OG: 1.053

FG: 1.029

ABV: 3.25

Mild, Take 2

Although the last mild came up a little strong, this one is much closer to what I was looking for. And it’s ready just in time for the heat!

There’s two distinct parts to this mild; the first is the nose, which thanks to the Ringwood yeast strain, echos the kind of Belgian funkiness you might get from from a much different beer. Interestingly, this flavor doesn’t appear anywhere else in the mild, so I get the benefit of adding complexity without kicking up the alcohol content.

The other part is the hop bitterness at the finish. That lingers a little longer than I think it ought to. It’s not bad but I think the Glacial hops overrode any other hop flavors that might have stuck around at the end. It’s not bad, just a quality that I felt should be noted.

All in all, a pretty good beer for summer though. Not too heavy and with something interesting to taste: I’ll call this one a win.

Date: 5.18.13

Steeping Grains:
2 lb 2 Row
2 lb Munich
1 lb C30

Fermentables: 2 lb LME

.25 oz Glacial (added in preboil)
1 oz Glacial (pellets) @ 60
.5 oz Citra pellets @ 60
.25 oz Palasade @ 60
.25 oz Palasade @ 30
.5 oz Glacial @ 10

reuse Ringwood, 3rd use, done

OG: 1.046

FG: 1.009

Secondary on 5. 24, added .5 oz Glacier
Bottled 6.1.13

ABV 5.01%

Mild ESB

In advance of Summer, I have attempted to make a couple mild ales. Since I have started doing partial mash brews, my efficiency hasn’t been too keen. (Which is a short way of saying that I have not been extracting fermentable sugars from my grains very well.)  However, for something like a mild, this bug is actually a feature, right? I get a lower-alcohol beer, it still tastes good, I don’t have to mess with my process and potentially get swill; it’s win-win, right?

Well as you’ll see below, I got a bit more sugar than I expected. There’s nothing wrong with a 6.6% beer! It’s just that I was shooting for closer to 4. The result, however, is what matters and the result is good.

It’s got a nice maltiness to it, with a nice bitter end. Just bitter, not floral or pine or something clearly indicative of hops. It reminds me a lot of British-style pints. Nothing too overwhelming, here. This may be one of the more well rounded beers I’ve made. I could try to make something lighter sometime based off this but it’s worked out so nicely I think I should just repeat this recipe as needed. Not much of a nose to it but I’m hard pressed to complain. It just tastes that good.

Brew Date: 4.21.13

Steeping Grains:
3.5 lb 2 Row
1 lb C120
.5 lb Domestic ESB

Fermentables: 4 lb LME

.25 oz Columbus preboil, .25 oz @60
.5 oz Summit @ 60
.5 oz Summit @ 30
.5 oz Columbus pellets @ 10

Yeast: 1187 Wyeast Ringwood Ale-prestarter made

OG: 1.065

FG: 1.016

ABV: 6.63%

Washington Beer Fest

Sorta. Kinda. For those who don’t live here, it’s Portland Beer Week. Which, as an ‘event’ means about as much to me as Sunday to a church goer. That said; if people are going to set up events, then by golly I’ll go to them. Which is how I found myself at Bailey’s on Monday for their ‘Washington Beer Fest’.

Hey, I like Bailey’s and I don’t think we get enough suds from the North.

First up was a Machine House dark mild, out of the firkin. ‘Tis like room temperature, weak coffee. As someone who isn’t too familiar with coffee, I can’t say that this is bad. If you like coffee, you’d probably disagree. I’ll say that it’s different and pretty easy to drink. Would go well with some vanilla ice cream, or as a beer float- a concept I often abhor but can see working here.

My second was a collaboration between Elysian and Brewdog called The Fix. If coca nibs were a beer, this would be it. That isn’t to suggest the beer was one dimensional, as it had a nice wave of sweet-to-bitter flavors but this is was I would expect drinkable coca nibs to be like. Either that is awesome to you or isn’t, but I like it.

Last up was Airways Sky Hag IPA, pictured in the foreground. This beer had a pine nose, malt middle, with a tangerine finish. There was something very Widmer-y about it, because of the tangerine flavors at the end. Widmer tends to evoke this flavor quite a bit in their pale ales-Drifter especially.

It’s a great IPA, really. Bring me more of Airways’ stuff.

Drive you mild

Because 90’s alt-rock references always draw ’em in!


Don’t pay me much mind, I’m reading a book.

Something is just not quite right with this one. The nose has a tingle to it, that recurs at the end of the beer, as if the carbonation itself-which is too strong for this style-has made its way into scent form.

It also may be that I needed to drink this a little sooner; milds are ‘short time’ beers, meant to be brewed and drank fairly quickly.

I’m certain that I didn’t need to add any yeast to the priming syrup, as the carbonation comes on far, far too strong when I open the beer. The picture doesn’t show it but when the beer is opened, I have to pour it very gently and right away, or else the bottle overflows with foam. Things settle down pretty fast but I believe I overdid it and now it’s time  to scale back a little. It may be a summertime thing, where the weather is warm enough I don’t have to prime the beer as much, it may that I’ve been giving the bottling yeast a little too much of a head start.

The effect is pretty drying though and it goes pretty well with food, since as a mild the flavor profile isn’t very strong; a bit of malt, then it wipes itself away and I’m ready for the next bite. I’ll list the recipe and maybe next time, I’ll have a stronger beer.

Seems like something went wrong with my recording process too, but I believe I can blame the dying battery on my laptop for this one, sadly.

Steeping Grains
.5 lb C 120
.5 Domestic ESB

Fermentable sugars
6 lb LME

1.25 oz Hallertauer
.25 oz Summit @ 60
.75 oz Columbus @ 10

.5 tsp Irish moss@ 5
Wyeast 1768, English Bitter reused

OG: 1.05
FG, TG: not recorded

Steeping a bit hot-160-and sparge a bit cool-145ish


I made a couple milds, starting on St Patrick’s Day, to prepare for the warmer weather. The weather hasn’t really gotten warmer but the beer is ready! So how’d it come out?

Pretty good. A thin but consistent head on it indicates a carbonation that sticks with the beer the entire time. Nice for a refreshing mouthfeel and the beer tastes solid. Maybe a touch sweeter than I’d like-think raisins-but still a good drink. Maybe a touch more hops early on next time to up the bitterness. I feel like milds ought to be really balanced and I don’t think it would take much but just a little would help.

Here’s the recipe:

Steeping grains:
.5 lb C 60
.5 lb C 120
.5 lb Munich 100

7 lb Light Malt Extract

1 + oz of unknown hop pellets @60
1 oz Nugget @ 15

Reused ESB/IPA yeast-Wyeast 1450

Initial gravity: 1.059
Final gravity: 1.02
Made 3/17
Bottled 4/16.

So much to do!

There’s a Meet the Brewery event at Belmont Station for Brewer’s Union Local 180. But I have plans to make beer…so that’s what I’m doing instead.

Mildish recipe;

1 lb 6 Row
.5 lb Victory
.5 lb Munich

7 lb Light Malt Extract

1 oz Santitam pellets @ 60
1 oz  Nugget @ 20

Yeast: reused from previous mild, 3x use so no reuse after this.

52 Weeks 46: Natian Mild IPA

Now this is one of the more interesting beers I’ve had in awhile. A mild IPA? Wouldn’t anyone even reasonably educated in the ways of brewing say that those styles don’t really mix well? 

But this beer works. There’s a bitterness in this beer that reminds me of strawberries. You know that hint there in the fruit, especially if it isn’t quite ripe, that’s leafy and green? That’s what I’m getting in the midrange flavors and bite. But the front had a sweetness and the nose doesn’t give me hops, just a hint of caramel. So this beer has some complexities to it but it also holds to the mild style in drinkability. Very easy to sip on, drink fast, great for hot days, a good beer to have before dinner, just an all around excellent drink. I didn’t know of the brewery until now but I look forward to more offerings from Natian-who apparently is savvy enough to have a Facebook and MySpace page, but not a website of their own.

Then again, they have more followers than I do, so who’s laughing now?

My Dad is visiting and so he’s come with me to this edition of the blogpost. Now what’s interesting is that when Fuz visits, we tend to talk over me writing, just as when my girlfriend has come out with me. Dad is content reading The Drunkard’s Walk, sipping Lompoc’s Oktoberfest. We’ve had a pretty nice visit and most of the beers I’ve been offering him have gone over quite well. I may not be a professional grade brewer, but I can offer a drink to my Dad knowing it’s good stuff so I’ll take it. 

Then again, we had quite the adventure in the one block to took to walk here. maybe a bit of solitude is appropriate. Two homeless looking people shouting at each other about who had the headphones for the other’s iPod; the questioner strangely still, the responder with a raised golf club to keep the former away. We passed by as the incident was dissipating, the person with the golf club telling the other that they were a moron and their headphones were in their pocket. We wove around the argument and narrowly missed cutting off a scrawny white man in Joker-purple pants with a lilac colored shirt sliding into Mary’s strip club, and between two black men who seemed to be talking about their angle of approach to…something, the words faded behind us as we walked up to the bar.

Dad asked me why I chose Bailey’s as the bar and I told him; it was close to where I worked, I liked the place and there was a constant rotation of beers there that would insure I wouldn’t repeat myself.

But I also come here to touch Portland’s character. I know I don’t need to show off Portland to my Dad-he’s been coming here since before I was born-but I do like introducing him to my favorite bar, which I imagine he’ll say he enjoys due to the lack of televisions and reasonable volume to the music. It’s meant to be a place where you can read a book while your son dabbles in technology and I think that’s awesome.

Of course, the most interesting parts of the conversation are yet to be had. That’s how it is with my Dad; you can’t write it up while it’s happening because you’re engaged. Otherwise you aren’t involved. Not that he insists upon it, just that you’ll miss the best part if you’re trying to do something else. So if you’ll excuse me, I have a visitor.

The Mild

After telling you how it was made, it only seems just that I post about the beer itself. It’s bad to leave the readers hanging. 

The nose is sweetly citrus with a faint bready undertone. A bit like good pizza dough.

This mild is overcarbonated, no denying that. I just can’t quite seem to hit the sweet spot. The good news; it’s light on the palate the whole way down. The bad news: it can take five minutes for the head to settle enough for me to just take a drink. For a beer that isn’t being poured out of a nitro tap, that’s a negative.

It’s a clean, very quaffable beer. Very much in the mild tradition of being able to drink several pints of this without feeling bloated or drunk. Good to have on hand for the next few days when the temps are supposed to get into the 90’s. I’m sorry you can’t share some with me.

Me vs Technology

I hate to say it, but technology is probably winning. 

This post was meant to go up yesterday. What happened? My internet went down and I’ve had enough troubles with it that I just couldn’t generate the energy to fix it. Easy enough to deal with once I’d slept for eight hours, but by then it’s Thursday.

Plus, I’ve discovered that my camera wasn’t broken, as I’d previously thought. The battery just went dead. I stumbled upon this fact when I was clearing some wires behind the computer, and found out that the charging stand for my camera wasn’t plugged in. Considering the electrical cord going from the stand to the outlet can separate into two parts, my overlooking the disconnect is understandable. Still, it’s like wondering why your frigging car won’t start only to have someone come up to you and tell you ‘there’s no gas in it’.

The bad news: I look a bit foolish. The good news: this blog will soon have more photos again! 

In beer related news, I’ve been drinking a Chiswick mild clone I made earlier this year. I first made this beer last year, on National Homebrewer’s Day. The suggestion was that we would brew the Chiswick mild because it was Michael Jackson’s favorite brew. MJ the beer writer, not the pop star. 

And the beer came out really well! So well that I thought I should do it again. With summer coming, I thought that now would be the time, as this beer is really good during the hot weather. Portland hasn’t given me a lot of reason to drink it, but the beer is still tasty. I’m proud to say  that once again my Chiswick mild has come out to be a very tasty brew. Recipe follows:

Steeping malts:
.35 lb Caramel 120
 .25 lb ESB Domestic

Other malts:
6 lb Pale liquid malt extract

.6 oz  Sorachi Ace @ 60
.5 oz Mt Rainer @ 15
.5 oz Sterling @15
3/4 tsp Irish Moss @5

Secondary hops:
.75 oz Sterling

I transferred this beer to secondary after eight days, and bottled it twenty five days later. The OG was 1.048, the FG was 1.108. This gave me a beer that was 3.87 ABV according to the beer calculator.