First mild - what do you think?

Altbier bitte

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Aug 18, 2012
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I'm brewing my first mild tomorrow. Can't really change much now - I already crushed the grain - but here's the recipe:
Por-Mo Mild
Maris Otter - 4#
Munich malt - 2#
Brown malt - 12 oz
C-120 - 4 oz
Amber malt - 4oz
Cara Belge - 4 oz (it's 22L c-malt)
Carafa 2 - 3 0z (just to bump the color up and give the flavor a bit of oomph)
And finally, the secret ingredient: 2 oz of lactose. Not a conventional ingredient, I know, but milds are supposed to be a little sweet and to have good mouthfeel, and I have some, so what the heck, I figure.
.5 Oz magnum leaf, 60 min.
.125 oz ea Pride of Ringwood/Motueka, 20 minutes
.25 oz ea POR/Mo, 10 min.
.25 oz ea. POR/Mo, flameout.
Probably using Danstar Windsor, but I have a pouch of S-04 and might use that.
It comes up to 1.036 OG, 33.3 IBU, 3.6% ABV, assuming 70% brewhouse efficiency. I'm mainly using the Mag because the others are pellet and my setup drains better with some leaf in the mix. What do you guys think? You don't see a lot of mild recipes - anyone else got one?
I'm doing an English beer in the near future with Fuggle and Kent Golding. Either of those two would give it more English character. Magnum is perhaps too clean on bittering, you want something more herbal for a Mild right?
I've got a lb of EKG, could have gone with that, but I wanted to use some of my Southern Hemisphere hops. You might be right about the Mag, but Pride is supposed to have a woody, herbal taste and aroma. It really turned out to be a regular brown ale - I was looking at 1.036 at the default efficiency, wound up with 1.044. With a small grain bill you don't lose much wort to the grain - guess I should have accounted for that. Oh well - better than coming in low I guess. I went with the Windsor. It was bubbling a few minutes ago and I didn't pitch until ~ 1:30 last night. So far so good.

Yeah we need to do a post on how efficiency changes relative to grain bill size, and add it to the FAQ. It would even be possible to provide each brewer their own calibration chart based on past brews. I'm playing close attention to this in my personal brewing, will have more data by this summer.

Today it frosted over - need to get a space heater for the shed.
If you're aiming for a sweeter finishing beer I would drop the lactose and mash high (155+) and at a low grits ratio ( less than 1.25 qts/lbs)

Lactose does add mouth feel, but its just not the same as what the grain will give you.

other than that, brew it up, and Cheers!
I had a feeling I'd seen lactose in a mild recipe before so I dug out the old British homebrewing book I've got from the 1970s and sure enough...

Mild Ale (5 gal):
2lb Pale
8oz "Dark" malt <--- not quite sure whether that means brown malt, black malt or something else!
1lb Crystal
8oz White Sugar
1lb Demerera Sugar
"Caramel" <--- eh???
5oz Lactose
2.5oz Fuggles

I found that book in the local second-hand book traders. It's useful for understanding the history of some of the English styles. That particular recipe sounds pretty terrible TBH - all that refined sugar. Don't think I'll be trying it any time soon!
How does POR combine with Motueka? I have some Motueka kicking around - not quite sure what to do with it...
While our systems are all different, I've been getting 84% brewhouse efficiency when I use Maris Otter. That's mainly due to the mash efficiency of Maris Otter for me, which ends up being around 100%. Next time, just drop the grain bill across the board by 10%. OR, get crazy and do an ESB/Brown Ale batch, and make a Mild from the second runnings?

I've never tried to do a Mild because if you mess up you're left with a couple cases of undesirable low alcohol beer. Good luck.