02/08/2015: This brewing day was first published on the 01/06/2015 but it is now updated with the tasting notes you will find at the end.
As my beer making skills improve, I’m trying to find new alternatives to using liquid malt extract (LME) as it is expensive for longer term making and if I try and make a bigger batch it will make it very, very expensive. My Black Ale recipe is yet to be fully finalized, and so it made sense to try making it using a mix of BIAB and spraymalt.
I wrote in the title that this is an attempt as it seems that it won’t end up being dark enough to be a black ale, so I will need to revisit this brewing day in order to get it better next time. To the brewing:
1 kg crushed pale malt with 4 litres kettle boiled Brita filtered water
60 minutes mash ranging from 62°c to 71°c at different stages
The mash yielded roughly 3 litres of malted water for the wort
6g Safale US-05 with 6g dextrose dissolved in 500ml cool (23°c) Brita filtered water
Left to cultivate for 90 minutes
3 litres malted liquid from the mash
1 litre kettle boiled Brita filtered water
500g extra dark sparymalt
0 minutes – 20g Target hops (11.7%)
30 minutes – 20g Challenger hops (9.18%)
45 minutes – 20g Fuggles hops (3.96%)
Cooled wort (26°c after 25 minutes), roughly 2.5 litres
4 litres cool Brita filtered water (22°c)
OG=1044 at 22°c
Drinking while making
Very successful IPA (review later on)
This was a long process that took around 2.5-3 hours from start to finish, producing 7 litres of beer into the fermentor. Quite a long time for a beer that I’m not sure will be successful in terms of what I was hoping to achieve. I think I should have used some dark specialty grains like Roasted Barley to get it darker, as it ended up being a dark chocolate colour rather than the full black that I usually get for my black ale.
I will have to wait and see how this beer comes out to make a final judgement.
Update 1 (a week after brewing): fermentation over, very sweet smell and colour is not black but dark honey. Gravity is 1010. Dry hopping: 5g Cascade hops (7%) + 5g Marynka hops (7.6%)
Update 2 (2 weeks after brewing): FG=1009 @ 23°c, ABV=4.55%. 30g dextrose added for priming to achieve 1.8 CO2 volume. Total of 7l filling 14 bottles. The colour is indeed dark honey with sweet and spicy aromas. Not a black ale, but rather a brown ale or a mild.
I’ve been drinking this beer occasional in the last month and only now feel like it matured enough to do some reviewing. At the beginning I saw it a failure as I was aiming for a black ale and got a mild (big difference!), but now I very much enjoy and it rounded up nicely.
Brown honey colour with a white and creamy head that disappeared after a few minutes. The aroma is malty with a sweet note and spicy finishes, with a hint of caramel.
As I mentioned, I was a little disappointed about this beer but grew to like it. I’ll describe as my wife did:
This is the kind of mild I keep on hoping to get in the pub when I order one on the browner ales: not as flat, hoppier, more interesting. It feels there is a lot going on in this beer.
So, is it maybe an American Style mild?