Saturday, April 5, 2014

Maple Mild

Hard to believe, but I managed to find the time to brew up another batch while my last one (this year's altbier) is still in the fermenter. After the success of last year's maple sap experiment, I wanted to give it a try again. This time my friend was able to collect plenty of sap for a full batch, so I went with last year's original plan to brew up a "regular" English mild (as opposed to the strong English mild I ended up with last year). I know I haven't posted tasting notes from last year's brew, but I still have a few bottles of that batch so I am hoping to get to it sometime soon. But since the sap has been running like crazy this year, I had 6 gallons of fresh sap I had to get to before it spoiled (yes, maple sap can go bad).

I went almost with the same grist as last year, but I decided to change it up at the last minute - subbing out the brown malt for some amber malt and adding just a touch of roasted barley to darken the color a tad (though, I fear that my LHBS didn't quite measure the roasted barley precisely enough as this beer seems darker than the expected color...measuring just 1 oz on the same scale used to measure pounds of grain is probably tough to do and a little extra roasted barley in this size batch can make a noticeable difference). I kept the same hop and yeast variety as last year to stick with a traditional British profile. This year's sap had a higher sugar content compared to last year - 2.3% vs 1.5% - so the OG ended up being a tad higher than I was shooting for. Still, this beer will likely come in somewhere around 4% ABV, making it nice and sessionable. Given the low gravity and highly flocculant yeast strain, I'm looking at a relatively quick turnaround time on this beer - maybe just 10 days total in the fermenter before getting it into the bottles. Of course, that would mean finding the time to bottle :)

Sweetwater Mild
Brewed on 3/29/14

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 3.75 gal
Estimated Color: 13.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 26.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
OG: 1.042

4 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter - 79.1%
8.0 oz Amber Malt - 9.9%
8.0 oz Crystal Malt (77°L; Crisp) - 9.9%
1.0 oz Roasted Barley - 1.2% (for mash pH)

~6 gallons of maple sap (SG = 1.009...I figure the amount of sugar from the sap would be the equivalent of ~7.5oz of sucrose)

8 g Bramling Cross [7.80 %] - 60.0 min
9 g Bramling Cross [7.80 %] - 30.0 min
11 g Bramling Cross [7.80 %] - 10.0 min

English Ale (White Labs #WLP002)

Mash Schedule
Single Infusion, 153-154°F, Batch Sparge

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