The third and final installment in the Dogs of Christmas series from 2012 was English Mild Ale for my Dad named for the dog my parents replaced me with when I moved out. I knew I was going to be running low on bottles by this point, so I planned accordingly and put half of this batch in my Party Pig. I also added an ounce of East Kent Goldings hops to the Pig.
The bottled version of Buddy’s Dirty Mouth Mild was pretty good, but the half dry hopped in the Party Pig was fantastic. This was my first time brewing a Mild and it led to a few more. The ale in the bottles may have been more traditional (from a hopping standpoint) but the EKG dry hops are what I fell in love with. My Milds have a conventional level of bitterness, but I always add some hops at flameout or in dry hop, normally Goldings, and I think it makes for a great session beer.Aside from the lack of bottles, I was also running short on time before Christmas. This was all planned, of course and I picked the beer style with that in mind. Its low gravity meant that it fermented quickly and its dark color meant that I didn’t have to wait for it to clear much. This beer was brewed on November 25 and was ready to drink by Christmas day.
In the non-dry hopped version, most of the character came from the Chocolate Malt, but there were also hints of fruity esters from the English yeast. The addition of a small amount of brown sugar helped dry the beer out and make it endlessly drinkable despite the heavy roast character from that Chocolate Malt. Some Crystal Malt added a bit of body despite it being so dry. It was all a balancing act to keep a beer with less than 4% alcohol interesting. This also made a very nice Black and Tan (Blonde?) with Maggie’s Beautiful Blonde.The East Kent Goldings hops in the Party Pig version added another layer of earthy, herbal, tea-like aroma which blended wonderfully with roasty, estery, malty goodness. My recipe is below, but as I said, I’ve brewed more Milds since this and I always tweak the recipe. I think that the EKG hops and sugar are key but I think you can play with the malts a lot. This combination worked great, I’d recommend adding some hops at flameout, though.
Style: English Mild Ale
Brew Date: November 25, 2012
Serve Date: Christmas 2012
Original Gravity: 1.038
Final Gravity: 1.009
.5 lb Chocolate Malt
.5 lb Crystal 60L Malt
3.75 lb DME
.5 lb Brown Sugar
1 oz East Kent Goldings @ 60 min
1 oz East Kent Goldings @ Dry hop in Party Pig (for half of batch)
Windsor Dry Ale Yeast