Homebrew #7: British Mild Pale Ale

I wanted to make a low ABV beer that didn’t taste “weak”.

Right away, I thought of a “British Mild”. I’d thought Innocente’s British Dark Mild was great, and wanted to do something similar.

The Recipe

I loosely followed the recipe “Fake British Accent” (seems like a really cool blog)! I made some tweaks to quantities and ingredients based on the author’s blog post and the reddit post comments.

What I used:

  • 5 lbs Canadian 2-Row Barley Malt (instead of “Lamonta Pale 2-Row”, just because of availability)
  • 4 oz Maris Otter (instead of “Opal 44”, because of the author’s commentary and because Opal 44 wasn’t available to me)
  • 8 oz Aromatic Malt
  • Amarillo hops, per the recipe
  • My Kveik Voss yeast (see next section)

Very simple, I think, which is nice sometimes. I named mine Mild Mannered Lad.

Less is more… when it comes to kveik

It was nice that “Fake British Accent” used the same Kveik Voss yeast I have. The only difference is that I’m reusing some of my harvested supply and following the Nordic farmhouse starter method.

With this brew, I ventured much further into “traditional” methods…

I’m really learning and benefiting from the wisdom of Larsblog and Brewing Nordic. Consider the following snippet:

In Norway, many farmhouse brewers pitch shockingly small amounts of yeast.

When a Norwegian farmhouse brewer sent me yeast, he gave me this rule: one gram of dried kveik for 25 liters. Garshol’s How to brew with kveik gives a rule for farmhouse yeast slurry: one teaspoon of slurry for 25 liters. These are less than one-tenth of today’s rate, and often these rules are applied regardless of gravity also for strong beers.

Using a small amount of yeast seems to be an old farmhouse tradition […]. Perhaps kveik has become so hardy because it had to multiply quickly and seize the wort extremely fast.

– Brewing Nordic

I’ve read that (unlike other yeast strains, of course) Kveik likes to be stressed out.

Small pitch rate. High heat. Fast and furious. <3

This time, I resisted my “natural” urge to add too much yeast to the starter (in the past, I’d add 4 tsp)… I only used 1 tsp of liquid yeast in the starter, which still might be too much for a 20 liter batch.

Also, I didn’t make the starter separately with DME and water. I took about 300ml of raw wort (before the boil) out, cooled it down to 90 F, and added my 1 tsp liquid yeast.

Farmhouse brewers usually pull out a small amount of the first wort, cool it to fermentation temperature, and add yeast to it. This is the yeast starter that activates the yeast. Farmhouse brewers often lauter slowly which gives the yeast two or three hours to wake up, even without the wort boil.

– Brewing Nordic

Yes, all of these things still made me a tad nervous… but the more I read about historical and traditional brewing, the more comfortable I get.

(And yes, it took off and did very well.)

Hot Basement

At the time, due to unconfirmed reasons (lol), our basement was around 82 F. Practically tropical. Ideal conditions for my Kveik.

I put it down there on Saturday Nov 6 at 7pm. By Wednesday (4 days later), I was ready to bottle it.

Sharing with Friends

It was ready to drink just in time for a friends’ reunion.

Later on, I was able to bring a few bottles for some other friends too (sorry that you couldn’t get tanked on it, since it was only 3%)!

It’s nice to be able to share your homebrew with people!

I created an Untappd entry, but only checked in twice. As one comment says, J’s first impressions were: “Smells like glazed donuts. Malty donuts.” For taste, he’s said: “hint of sourness, summer sausage aftertaste.” (Smoky I guess?)