Monday, April 15, 2013

Sunday Paper, English Mild

It smelled so good...

For the past three summers a group of friends, that happen to homebrew meet up for a simple brew off.  In the past we selected a BJCP category and people can brew whatever beer they like, as long as it fits into the chosen BJCP style.  This year we decided to pick a special ingredient kinda like the "Iron Brewer" concept but on a local level.  The base recipe could be anything the brewer wanted as long as the special ingredient stood out.  As a group, we had eight brewers that tossed in 2 ideas each.  Danny and I got together and picked one of them out of a bowl and send the video to each brewer.  The winning ingredient? Coffee.

When the ingredient was picked, I was fired up.  Knowing that I have a couple great coffee recipes worked out, this could be simple.  My Coffee Porter or my Cucuy with Coffee would be ideal choices.  Then I started to second guess the point of the challenge.  Being a special ingredient category the purpose of the challenge was to create a beer that pushed my brewing outside the norm.   I started looking at different ideas, creating a coffee beer that would have a clear coffee taste, staying away the normal stouts and porters.

When designing the recipe for this beer, I wanted something lower in alcohol.  (Having our competition in July we will have to fight daytime temps of 100 degrees during the tastings.  So a big heavy stout just wouldn't work.) English beer styles started to stick out as a possible combination.  Just having the coffee balanced with the English styles seemed off to me, the beer needed something else.

Looking at coffee flavor additions on Amazon, I noticed hazelnut.  It sounded like an interesting combination paired with the malt forward English Mild style.  Using Eight o'clock Coffee with hazelnut seemed like a potential winning combination, on paper.

Since I'm adding coffee into the recipe combined with a low starting gravity, I'm also a little concerned about overpowering coffee aromas changing into volatile favor combinations during the boil.  To fight this potential problem, I am going to add the coffee directly into the mash, like I did with my Coffee Porter.  Now this is whole bean coffee, compared with ground coffee used before, running it though a food processor seemed like a good idea.  Hoping for a "rough cracked" sized bean.

The great thing about mash additions is the ability to control the color and flavor the ingredient (coffee) will impart on the finished beer.  Adding it later in the mash will lower the color SRM and lower the potential coffee flavor.  Starting with 3.0 oz of coffee in the mash is a good ballpark.  (I used 5oz of finely ground in the Coffee Porter) I am also placing the coffee on top of the mash and not mixing it into the grain bed.  If I feel the coffee is working to fast I can remove it before sparging.  Which is what I plan to.  If needed, I can add coffee on the cold side, but that is not my ultimate goal.

For the base grains I am going to use Maris Otter at around 75% followed up with Munch Malt around 9% and some C60/C120 specialty malts.  Normally I would want the finished beer around 20 SRM, achieved by adding a healthy dose of Chocolate Malt and some Roasted Barley.  But with the Coffee adding to the overall SRM I am backing off both of the last 2 additions on this 1st batch to see how the color holds up against the Coffee in the recipe.  I'm looking for a burnt amber to toffee brown color or the finished beer.

Normal English Mild's are around 3-3.5%, I think I need to be outside that range for the beer to stand up well against other Coffee beers,  so I am going to call this an "Imperial Mild" as stupid as that sounds.  I am shooting for a mid 5% ABV,  finishing around 1.010 hopefully. 

For the mash I wanted to be higher than I normally go, shooting for 154, ending up with 153 degrees.

Sunday Paper
Imperial English Mild
Type: All Grain Date: 4/14/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer: Eric (Danny, Sisco and Alex Arrived later)
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 72.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: No "Tasting Notes" have been created for this recipe.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.6 %
1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 9.6 %
9.6 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.7 %
9.6 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.7 %
4.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 5 2.4 %
3.00 oz Eight O'Clock Coffee, Hazelnut Whole Bean (Mash 30.0 mins) Spice 6 -
0.70 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 20.4 IBUs
1.20 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -
0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 1.9 IBUs
1.0 pkg Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028) [1000 ml] Yeast 10 -
1.20 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 11 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.047 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.5 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.6 %
Bitterness: 22.3 IBUs Calories: 183 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 18.1 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 7.2 oz
Sparge Water: 4.85 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 13.06 qt of water at 164.8 F 153.0 F 50 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F 10 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 4.85 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes:
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation:  64 Degrees for 5 days.  Then letting the beer free rise to 70.
Secondary Fermentation:   Rack into secondary fermentation vessel for clearing.

Wort Notes:  7:44AM Mash, 10:13AM Boil, 15 Brix 1st runnings, 11 Brix Preboil, 14 Brix Final 

 I wanted this beer to be super clear, letting the fermentation progress very slowly.  Total time inside the primary ended up being 12 days.  64 degrees for 5 days then letting it free rise up to 70.  Racking into secondary and cold crashing for 2 weeks.  Yesterday (May 9th) I racked this beer into it final resting place. Keg #10.  

Right now this beer does NOT need any additional coffee added to the beer.  I think the coffee levels are spot on for the competition and the style.  


  1. I'm pretty excited about this competition, and about your beer. I wanted to brew something lighter, too, but when it came down to it, I got scared and decided to stick with a darker beer base. The lighter coffee beers I've tasted have been a mixed bag, so I'm really looking forward to being blown away by this one.

    1. Yeah, I will probably shoot myself in the foot with this creation. Time will tell, but your assessment about coffee and big dark beers seems spot on.

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Thanks for Commenting, Prost!