Historical Mild Ale

Get advice on making beer from raw ingredients (malt, hops, water and yeast)
McMullan
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Re: Historical Mild Ale

Post by McMullan » Fri May 14, 2021 9:04 am

PeeBee wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 1:28 pm
You know ... I sit and babble this stuff out thinking "surely no-one will read this?" but then I'm only doing my normal trick of thinking aloud. My way of evolving my thoughts into something usable. At least - I fool myself - it wont get read my ignorant trolls who will hound me with foul-mouthed abuse. And then I'm proved wrong with:
Goodness me! It's 'mild' as in 'mild' vs 'mature' cheese, FFS! How far can the idea be stretched, FFS? Why the f*ck would anyone want to stretch it this far? =;
Damn ... but hang-on, I can't make any sense of this? So I'm not wrong, it isn't being read by ignorant trolls! Doesn't stop them replying though.


" 'Mild' as in 'mild' vs 'mature' cheese" is a good analogy. I'll have to remember that one.
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:lol:

Muttonchops
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Re: Historical Mild Ale

Post by Muttonchops » Fri May 14, 2021 11:45 am

I wish you luck, PeeBee, in your quest for the holy grail. Should you find it, may it be filled to overflowing with luscious mild ale. And please don't forget to post the recipe.

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PeeBee
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Re: Historical Mild Ale

Post by PeeBee » Fri May 14, 2021 2:25 pm

Crikey over a month has past since I put >this< "X-ale" on, 'bout time I started trying it? It's only had one week in cask (Corny) and served from a direct attached free-flow tap. Edd had it down for 2-3 weeks maturing ("Boddington's 1901 X") when it will go on hand-pump. Meanwhile:
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Bit light in colour given that I was trying to use "No.3 Invert". But I'd already dismissed colour as a motive to switch to this sort of stuff (from Porter) a few posts back: and I'd made a mistake when concocting my home-made No.3, I assumed that as I was starting with a No.2 coloured syrup I only needed 1 - 1.5 hours cooking to make it No.3: Bo11ocks, I was starting with the equivalent of No.1 (Golden Syrup) and it would take 2-3 hours cooking to get it up to No.3. The extra colour in my "No.2" base was due to molasses and the colours could compliment each other but not necessarily add to each other. If the colours had mysteriously accumulated, the flavours wouldn't, so I would have had No.3 coloured No.2 Invert and probably confused and disappointed that it didn't taste like No.3. I'll try Lyle's Golden Syrup next time (guaranteed cane sugar, perhaps, so no need to add molasses). Enough of that!

It is of course light on hop bitterness. At first I didn't care for this but soon got accustomed to it. It certainly makes the ale easy to knock back (is that an advantage?). Hop flavour wasn't absent! It is very young yet, but I had suspected the best English Fuggles and Goldings might be a mistake; older varieties of American hops (like Cluster whole hops), guaranteed to have terrible storage capability, and aged Fuggles if you have any are bound to be a better choice (and Edd's recipe did ask for them). And authentic for the era!

It is also fairly light on flavour generally, despite Chevallier barley malt and OG1.045. If these (mild) ales took over the top spot from Porter, I can see how later (20th Century) Mild Ales attracted body and flavour enhancing ingredients (like crystal malts), useful as the Wars would knock the bottom out of their alcohol strengths.


Next, follow up on my slightly "cryptic" message a bit back; "Do you see where I'm going with this?". All those "brown ales" and "amber ales" to play with. And I mean "ales" not what comes under those titles these days! There's one or two in the DPBC booklet and a "Stitch" recipe in CAMRA's Stout and Porter book (Homebrew Classics). Digging about in the 17th and 18th centuries. Fortunately some folk have "wanted to stretch it this far" so I've only got to rediscover their stuff.

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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PeeBee
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Ales and Beers (17th, 18th and a bit of 19th Century)

Post by PeeBee » Fri May 21, 2021 12:17 pm

I've grown a bit tired of "Historic Mild Ales" and want to expand it outwards. People weren't getting the point, believing I was looking for a mythical "Mild" that would be better than we have now: No, we have excellent Mild Ale recipes from the 20th Century, I just want to get past all the smoke and mirrors created by "Mild Ale".

Codswallop like "X-Ale" is "Mild Ale". And what of all the other drinks that "X-Ale" might of become or was? At least we've sorted out we're talking about "Ale", which may (or may not) be "mild", and not "Mild" which is only slang for "mild-Ale". And Ale did contain hops in the 17-19th Centurys unlike prior to 16th Century when it contained none.

But "Beer" contained loads more hops. Kept better, and could be fermented through the warmer Summer months in larger quantities (Ale was limited to between October and March - odd that those two months still have beery relevance on the Continent where hopped beer originated from?). "Porter" is a beer, and it's rise to popularity filled a very obvious vacancy that consequences were preparing for it.

Do I want to resurrect "Ales"? Who knows> But collecting together the info needed to brew them is fun. And perhaps "Ales" in the 19th Century meaning of the word do exist: Not as the "heading towards extinction" Mild Ales, but perhaps as the sub-30IBU "bitter beers" that have existed for decades?

<Link to new Ales thread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=83285.>

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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Eric
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Re: Historical Mild Ale

Post by Eric » Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:39 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 2:25 pm

Bit light in colour given that I was trying to use "No.3 Invert". But I'd already dismissed colour as a motive to switch to this sort of stuff (from Porter) a few posts back: and I'd made a mistake when concocting my home-made No.3, I assumed that as I was starting with a No.2 coloured syrup I only needed 1 - 1.5 hours cooking to make it No.3: Bo11ocks, I was starting with the equivalent of No.1 (Golden Syrup) and it would take 2-3 hours cooking to get it up to No.3. The extra colour in my "No.2" base was due to molasses and the colours could compliment each other but not necessarily add to each other. If the colours had mysteriously accumulated, the flavours wouldn't, so I would have had No.3 coloured No.2 Invert and probably confused and disappointed that it didn't taste like No.3. I'll try Lyle's Golden Syrup next time (guaranteed cane sugar, perhaps, so no need to add molasses). Enough of that!
Made some invert sugar syrup today. Ragus, who make brewer's invert, provide a lot of information on their site, although it is frequently updated and often difficult to find stuff you want to read again. Another danger is trying to make invert as they do, I learned that the hard way and advise anyone who think they have cracked it by trying to replicate what they do, don't, unless you wish to know what I made,

In Graham Wheeler's first book, Home Brewing, Chapter 5, Grain, Sugar, Malt Extract, is a simple method that does work. It might not make totally perfect inverted sugar, but doesn't require an hour and a half over a hot stove while producing a very acceptable product. He added 2 lbs of sugar to a pint of water, added a teaspoon of citric acid crystals and simmered it for a few minutes, then neutralised it with sodium carbonate.
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Add a kg of refined cane sugar to half a litre of water while on a low heat and stirring. The sugar will mostly dissolve at about 70C, but the mixture will not be totally clear. Keep the heat low and add the citric acid while stirring. If the water is soft or RO or DI, a level teaspoon will be enough, but for hard water add a heaped spoonful and the mixture will clear. Inverted sugar is more soluble than sucrose and as the mixture begins to simmer, more sugar could be added and the liquid would remain clear. The mixture is then simmered for a couple of minutes when it will begin to show a light yellow colour and is ready to be neutralised to stop the process going too far.
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When inversion is complete, Ragus add 5% extra sugars depending upon the grade being made to give the required colour and flavours, and for the solid version 10% dextrose is added.

I don't make the solid version, but do add molasses, blackstrap, Black Treacle, dark caramel, or just some soft dark sugar to give extra colour and flavour as required. as well as partially neuralising the added acid.

Tonight's finished product.
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Trefoyl
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Re: Historical Mild Ale

Post by Trefoyl » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:52 am

Thanks Eric, I printed those instructions and I have Graham’s Home Brewing book. I always have distilled around but my water is already low alkalinity as you know. I bought containers of commercially made inverts 1,2 and 3 which seem no better than the home made version you describe and will refill them with my own.
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Eric
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Re: Historical Mild Ale

Post by Eric » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:50 pm

Graham's piece is on page 42 in my edition. You likely know I ordinarily use mineral acids for this purpose, but are less readily available these days. Ragus advise they lower pH to 1.6 for inversion, but at lower temperature than we can maintain at small scale on an open hob. For us, a practical controlled temperature is a light simmer, but at that temperature with pH used by Ragus, inversion will potentially complete in the blink of an eye to produce a sort of overcooked sugar unsuitable for our purpose.

A slightly heaped teaspoonful of citric acid here weighed 5.72g and added to 0.5 litre of DI water measured pH 2.06. From good advice received and experience, that would likely be close to the limit, so adding a level spoonful to your only slightly alkaline water will probably be ideal. If you have time and patience it could be very helpful to step through the Ragus products to note the difference between liquid sugar and invert sugar syrup.
https://www.ragus.co.uk/product_category/syrups/

When the refined sugar first dissolves after acidification, it is clear and colourless. It then slowly takes on a shade of yellow as seen on the Ragus site, better in some pictures than others, and it is this change that determines when to add the base to lower pH and stop further conversion. The mixture will then dissolve up to a further 5% sugar, which can be molasses or whatever, depending how much colour of flavour you desire. The product always looks better if you add a bit for colour even if it isn't enough to be tasted.

I've seen advertisements the commercial inverts you have tried and have read some good reports, but they just don't look right compared with the result with what can be made on a stove top in a few minutes at very little cost. Good luck.
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