Posts Tagged ‘Mild’

Here are a couple of videos that were taken during the recent Dark Garden ’09 brewday that we’d forgotten about.

We haven’t got a free video editing tool to hand (any ideas of the best option, please leave a comment and let us know) so they’re a bit rough and ready and are just raw brewing clips, but you might find them interesting, who knows?!

A vigorous rolling boil is important, but so is nursing it through the first ten minutes or so to stave off a boil-over!

The bitter wort comes out with enough force to aerate the brew and add the yeast during the flow. We alternate between FVs every 5L to keep each vessel’s contents consistent.

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It’s taken a week or more to get this brewday post up on the blog. The day job may not be as much fun as either brewing or drinking beer, but it certainly consumes a lot more time and energy. What can you do, eh?

This brew revisited a very successful recipe from a year ago, with a few tweeks. The original idea had been to create a modern hoppy mild in the style of Darkstar‘s formidable Over The Moon. It worked pretty well, and we drank the whole 20 litres ourselves with nobody else really getting a snifter.

The ’09 variety is much the same brew with a few exceptions: it’s a 50L brew length, the roasted barley has been reduced significantly in favour of more patent malt, the yeast has been swapped over to Nottingham Gervin, and ALL the hops are now from Boxshed garden Fuggles and WGV goldings plants. It truly is a Boxshed Dark Garden brew.

The details of the brew day have been lost in the protein haze of time, but everything went to plan over about six hours and the brew has already fermented out. The dark wort was great fun to mess about with and the smells were a treat, particularly the blend of malts and the Fuggle coppers. We can’t wait to get planning the recipe for this year’s Seasonal Stout now.

Anyway, enough with the words, here are some steamy pictures:

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On tap now and slipping down like a dream. I intended to wait until around Bonfire Night before cracking this one open, but a couple of friends came over for Sunday lunch and so it was the right time to give it a go.

Because it’s a new style to me, achieved what I wanted and is made from Fuggles grown in my own garden, I’d say this was definitely my most satisfying brew to date. Also it will inevitably become Boxshed’s definitive dark ale, and I’ll be knocking up another batch as soon as I can get my hands on some new malt stocks. Yum.


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The plan for this brew was to produce a mild with all of the characteristics of a complex porter. My favourite commercial dark beer is probably Darkstar Over The Moon, and so I wanted to brew something with the same layered malt texture and hoppy profile. I realised this wouldn’t strictly result in a Mild, but the ABV certainly would as I wanted this to be a drinker, not a rare treat.

The only other essential ingredient for this brew was to use my own garden grown Fuggles hops in the copper. I was quite excited about using hops I’d planted, harvested and dried myself, and so was extra careful to get this one right. What made this a little tricky was the fact I’d never actually brewed a dark beer before, and simple things like black as oil first runnings and not being able to just clarity very easily at any stage were all things I hadn;t really considered.

As far as the recipe goes, I settled on six different malts, including two pales, three coloured and some wheat for head retention. On the hop front, Fuggles were a given, and East Kent Goldings made a natural partner, with a decent aroma guaranteed from a nice chunk in to steep. Here it is:


Boxshed Dark Garden

Mashing (90mins, 66 – sparge at 75)
MO Pale Malt, 2.7Kg (70%) 
Munich Malt, 400g  (10.5%) 
Crystal Malt, 200g  (5.2%) 
Wheat Malt, 200g  (5.2%) 
Chocolate Malt, 180g  (4.7%) 
Roasted Barley, 170g  (4.4%) 

Boiling (90mins)
Fuggles 4%AA, 45g, 90mins
East Kent Goldings, 30g, 15mins
East Kent Goldings 30g, Flameout steep

Other bits
SafAle S-04 rehydrated

Facts & Figures
Est. Brew length: 23L
Est. OG: 1.040
Est. FG: 1.010
Est. Bitterness: 30.6 IBU
Est. ABV: 3.8%


The mash and sparge all went very smoothly. Doing the returns was a bit weird because I’ve never brewed a beer as dark as this, so I simply did six litres in jugs and rinsed the grit each time rather than go by clarity. Check out the gallery to see more – sorry the photos are so gloomy but it was a grim, cold night, our fuses had blown on that lighting circuit, and the steam was pretty dense!



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