When many people think about mild these days, they think low gravity, dark session beer, and admittedly this particular iteration of the tradition is something I love to brew and drink myself. It was, though, not ever thus. The origins of the term "mild" refer to beer that was sent out into trade before it had a chance to become old, thus the flavour was "mild" rather than the raciness you would get with older beers. "Mild" did not refer to the strength of a beer, which is just as well, because I think this recipe is going to mess with people's heads on a couple of levels; on what constitutes mild and what defines "Scottish" ales.
This recipe, kindly provided by Kristen England, comes from the William Younger's Abbey Brewery in Edinburgh, and was brewed in 1853.
Firstly then the grain bill:
- 100% English Pale ale malt
For the hopping you are looking at:
- 65 IBU of Goldings for 90 mins
- 26 IBU of Fuggles for 20 minutes
- Dry hop with 1.25oz of Fuggles (assuming a 5 gallon batch)
Now for some more technical details. The mash should be done at a ratio of 0.95 quarts per pound of malt, or 1.98 litres per kilo, for 120 minutes at 150ºF/65.6ºC. The boil should last 90 minutes.
Here are Kristen's tasting notes:
"Big, thick and rich. Biscuits, sweetened Vienna bread dough. Green tea, hay and marmelade. Ripping tannins and thoroughly bitter. The finish lasts forever and keeps from being sweet by the bitterness. What a bloody nice dram!"
Over the IHP 2012 page you can see a more orderly description of the recipe for you to adapt according to your system. The planned weekend for brewing is the 25/26 of this month, and given the simplicity of the ingredients I think most people should be able to get hold of them. I for one am looking forward to this!