The Brewer: Mitch Gourley
My name is Mitch Gourley, and I live in Elora, Ontario, Canada. I got into homebrewing about 4 years ago when a craft beer-loving friend and I bought some used gear together. We immediately fell in love and both bought our own systems. After a couple years, and a few system upgrades later, I now brew on the Spike 15-gallon Solo system and ferment in a Spike CF5 with the TC-100 control kit. This allows me to have a fast and efficient Brew Day with precise cold side temperature control.
For me, homebrewing is an escape and a way to unwind. Working as a firefighter can be stressful at times and brewing gives me a creative outlet to do something I love and can share it with my friends, family and my homebrew club.
The Beer: English Mild
This beer was actually created by a fellow member of the True Grist Homebrew Club, Christina Burbadge. Christina embodied the spirit of the club with her principles of equality, discovery, and her love of all things beer.
The beer, Born to be Mild, won Best of Show in the 2019 Stack Brewing Northern Homebrew Competition. Saldy, Christina recently lost her battle with cancer, and this award-winning recipe was sold to raise money in her honor. After being approached by Spike, I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to share her story and her delicious beer with the community that she loved.
The Recipe: Born to be Mild
- 7.1 lbs Golden Promise
- 0.9 lbs Rye Malt
- 0.5 lbs Crystal 40
- 0.4 lbs Crystal 120
- 0.2 lbs Brown Malt
- 0.2 lbs Carafa II
- Boil hops: 1 oz Styrian Goldings - 0:60 min
- Boil hops: 1 oz Styrian Goldings - 0:15 min
- Escarpment Labs English II
BATCH SIZE: 5 gal
MASH TEMP: 158 ºF
BOIL: 60 min
FERMENTATION: 68ºF - 10 days
SYSTEM: Spike Solo
- English Mild is widely considered the original session ale. This recipe calls for the uncommon addition of rye malt to add some extra earthiness to the grain bill. Overall, this results in a slightly sweet finish with great malt complexity and drinkability.
- Styrian Golding hops are utilized at 60 minutes to contribute some bitterness and then again at 15 minutes for flavor and aroma. These hops are known for their resinous, earthy notes.
- The beer is mashed at 158 degrees to create a higher amount of un-fermentable sugars and a higher finishing gravity, while also giving this low ABV beer some extra body.
- Finally, this beer is fermented using English Ale II by Escarpment Labs to drive home the malty favors that make this beer so delicious!
Mitch Gourley – Bittersweet Brewing Co.
Spike Summarizes: All Things English Mild
What is the history of English Mild?
The term "Mild" originally referred to young beer in England, as opposed to "stale" old beer. However, it has evolved over centuries to refer to a distinct style of its own: the English Mild, which began gaining popularity in the 17th century.
Despite a decline in the late 20th century due to the rise of lagers and bitters, English Mild has seen a recent revival, particularly among craft brewers who appreciate its nuanced balance.
How does English Mild compare to other types of beer?
English Mild is a low-alcohol session beer that prioritizes subtle, balanced flavors over the intense bitterness or sweetness found in many other styles. It's all about easy drinking and nuance here.
Milds can range from pale to dark in color, with the darker versions often having notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuts, while the paler versions tend to have a more hop-forward profile.
What is the ideal food pairing for English Mild?
With its balanced, easy-going nature, English Mild pairs well with a variety of foods, but it shines with classic British comfort food. Think fish and chips, roast chicken, or a hearty shepherd's pie.
On the cheese front, English Mild goes well with English classics like cheddar or Stilton. Its subtle flavors complement rather than overpower the cheese.
Is English Mild a Summer beer?
While English Mild can certainly be enjoyed on a warm summer day, it's not typically categorized as a "summer beer". Its low alcohol content and balanced taste make it a good choice for any time of the year.
What are the key ingredients in English Mild?
The star of the show in English Mild is the malt. Pale malt, crystal malt, and often a bit of darker malt like chocolate malt are used to create its characteristic flavors.
Hops are used sparingly in English Mild. The goal is to balance the malt, not to create a hop-forward beer.
What's the ABV of English Mild?
English Mild typically has an ABV of 3-3.8%. This makes it a "session beer" that you can enjoy several of in a session without becoming overly intoxicated.
Does English Mild beer have a fruity flavor?
While English Mild isn't particularly known for its fruitiness, the yeast can sometimes impart subtle fruity notes. However, the main flavor profiles you'll find are malt-derived: think bread, nuts, chocolate, or caramel.
How is English Mild beer brewed?
The brewing of English Mild involves a careful balance of malt and hops to achieve its characteristic subtle flavors. It's typically top-fermented, as it's a type of ale.
What's the best temperature to serve English Mild beer?
Unlike many beers that are served chilled, English Mild is often served at what the British call "cellar temperature", around 50-55°F (10-13°C). This slightly warmer temperature helps to bring out the beer's subtle flavors.
Why is English Mild beer not very carbonated?
English Mild tends to be lightly carbonated, which contributes to its smooth, easy-drinking nature. It's not flat, but don't expect a huge, frothy head on this beer.
Are all English Mild beers the same?
Not at all! While all English Milds share a common foundation of subtlety and balance, there's still a good deal of variety within the style. Dark Milds, with their chocolatey, nutty flavors, are quite different from the more hop-forward Pale Milds. So there's plenty of room for exploration within this understated style.
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