• Brewed: Nov. 21, 2020
  • Packaged: Dec. 4, 2020
  • On Tap: Dec. 4, 2020
  • Recipe: Simplicity Mild

Dark Milds have become a favorite of mine for low alcohol beers. They are malt forward, feature flavors I enjoy, but don't have the calorie or alcohol hit that my usual favorites have making them more sessionable and a better choice when watching calories or just wanting a beer without really feeling it. This recipe in particular looked like a good one due to its simplicity. It's inexpensive to brew as is and leaves plenty of room for adjustments to make it my own without overcomplicating the recipe.

Preboil SG: 1.031

Original gravity: 1.040

Final gravity: 1.015

Volume in Fermenter: 2.75 Gallons

My linked recipe is slightly different from the book due to a change of hops from Target to Fuggles and yeast from Wyeast 1968 London ESB to Danstar Windsor. What I actually brewed here was slightly different from that even. As always the hops change slightly due to AA percentage, so this used some 4.3%.AA Fuggles I have had in the freezer for a couple of months combined with some 4.4% AA Fuggles I just opened which were gifted to me rather than purchasing Target hops. I also used US-05 yeast because I was gifted a bunch of yeast and had 8 packs of that available and at Christmas present buying time I figured I'd save a few dollars where I can. The yeast will have the biggest effect, with less English character and esters and probably a lower final gravity than intended. I pitched the yeast at 67 degrees and intend to ferment on the warm side to do what I can to add some esters.

I have some SafAle S-33 which was gifted to me and I had intended to use that due to the lower attenuation. That was based on remembering seeing Fermentis list English ales for it, although it's mostly aimed at Belgian ales. When I re-read the package I saw no mention of English ales, so I figured I was remembering wrong and went with US-05 as the safer bet. I have checked the Fermentis website and there they do mention English ales so that is probably what I should have used, with more esters and a lower attenuation to get the flavors I want. I will likely try this again with S-33 since I have more uses for the US-05 in other beers than I do S-33.

When looking at pictures, keep in mind the hydrometer read .002 to .004 high all the time. I also did some re-checking of my volume marks on the fermenter and they are off as well. This is closer to 2.75 gallons in the fermenter (which was my intended volume) and maybe a bit lower than the almost 3 gallons it reads.

Mash process:

Added grains at 161F. Stirred initially and again after about 15 minutes. My mash temps seemed to get a bit low a few times so I added just a bit of heat while stirring. I think I still got my mash temperatures too high while doing this which resulted in the higher than intended final gravity, which seems to be a consistent problem for me and I need to just leave my mash alone.


I pitched the yeast at 65F and then set my temperature controls to maintain 68F. I likely should have gone 70+ here. After 3 days I bumped up to 70F and then a degree each day up to 72F. After 7 days and my gravity being close-ish but not where I wanted it I raised the temperature to 74F and let it sit another week while also rousing the yeast daily, but gravity did not change.

Final Conclusion

My final gravity was off, but overall I am really happy with this. I burst carbonated it for a bit over 12 hours with 30 PSI and poured a glass which was carbonated enough to develop a decent head but still a bit flat to drink. The flavor is good and very bready. I will continue to brew this and since it is such a simple base I can use it to easily experiment. Future experimenting will likely include using Extra Special Roast and Honey malts, one at a time. I may even swap out the base malt just to easily taste that difference.

In the future for any type of beer I may try not doing a full volume mash to make it easier to know what the actual mash temperature is, but to do that accurately I then need to have two pots taking up my limited kitchen space, etc. I also have some plans for better insulation of my single vessel setup which may let me avoid the main mash and boil pot plus second pot just to heat the remaining water not used while mashing. Or I may just live with it because I have plans to buy a fancy all in one electric brewing setup in the spring anyway.

Style Details

1.030 - 1.038 1.008 - 1.013 10 - 25
12 - 25 srm

Batch Details

Brewed OnPackaged OnOn Tap DateOriginal GravityFinal GravityColor
Nov. 21, 2020 Dec. 4, 2020 Dec. 4, 2020 1.040 1.015
20 srm