Brew day! English ale = bored dog. She only likes lagers
Pale mild ale. Trying out a sample sack of a new (to me) malt. New crop EKG ... heaven. Splitting the batch: open fermentation with one half, closed with the other.
Strike water on the left ... Westminster floor-malted Maris Otter (my notes: small kernels, steely for a UK pale malt ... flavor of kernels & aroma of mash reminiscent of lager malt, very doughy, a little DMS - very bready, very nice!) ... coming soon to a homebrew shop named Northern Brewer near you. On the right: what appears to be a comically oversized tun ... hey, it's a small mash. I'm not embarrassed.
Left: a nice boil. Middle: I hate cleaning mash tuns.
Now this beer is forever burdened with a complex pun (McMullen's AK Mild from Hertford; the Kalashnikov; and the Boeing) for a name. And it's only 1.034. That's more pun than beer. Chill, aerate, pitch, seal/leave uncovered. Fast forward to the end of Day 2. And now it's high krauesen and time to do some skimming on that open fermentation with some thoroughly sanitized hardware.
On the left, a shot of creamy yeast from the second skimming on Day 4, which is now under some wort in a flask, waiting for the next brew day. And, on the right, the just-skimmed green beer starts to throw up a new, final krausen.
And on Day 5 he racked to closed secondaries.
On Day 19, into the keg and force-carbed to somewheres around 1.6 volumes (which felt a bit like pulling a punch).
And on Day 21, it's well time to drink it. And what did he taste? Well ... from the open-fermented, WLP037 batch: a beguiling complex of wildflower honey, biscuits, fresh bread, and a striking but not unpleasant waft of sulfur you'd normally expect to find in a pale European lager. Some buttery and citrus fruit notes from the yeast, and a light, obligingly chuggable body. There's some of that good EKG flowers-and-earth in the flavor, but it's almost an afterthought.
Oh, and the recipe:
AK-747 Pale Mild (10 gallons, all grain)
- 10 lbs Warminster floor-malted Maris Otter
- 1 lbs Simpson's Caramalt
- 2 oz Fawcett Pale Chocolate
- 1 lb dextrose
- 1 oz East Kent Goldings 7.2% pellets @ 60"
- 0.5 oz East Kent Goldings 7.2% pellets @ 15"
- White Labs WLP037 Yorkshire Square Ale (open fermenter)
- Wyeast 1318 London III (closed fermenter)
Mash low, ferment fast, drink fresh. Cheers!