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Mike's California Mild: why and how

So, i like a low alcohol beer once in a while, but we all know commercial lite beer sucks.  And, you can't get a good mild beer since they have very short shelf life.

The club members have been making great english style milds for a good while now, putting their various spins here and there, but I wanted something different.

I wanted to make a mild beer that tastes like a good california pale ale, just low in alcohol.  It needs a malty backbone and hops you can taste.  Homebrewing is the only way to get there.

In order to make it a california mild, we need to use california pale ale style ingredients: crystal malts, traditional hops (e.g. cascade), and a neutral ale yeast (WLP001, safe-ale US-05, etc.).

The hard part for me was to get the malt profile right.  This is extra hard using agressive yeases like US-05.  Too many times have i read a final gravity of 1.008 or lower...

So, my recommendations are as follows:

1.  Starting gravity is normal for mild beer: ~ 1.035 +/- 0.005

2. Use lots of crystal malt: 25-30%  This increases the unfermentables and improves mouthfeel.

3.  Mash at high temps.  Using english ale yeasts, 150-155 F is fine.  When I started using US-05, i cranked it up to 160-162, again increasing unfermentable sugars.

4.  Finish gravity should be ~ 1.015 to give a very rich, malty brew hovering around 3% V/V.


As I promote this beer style, I want to explore the hops more.  Maybe dry hopping or very short boil times as in an XPA.  I think this could be a viable beer style; what do you think? 

The club goers seem to like it before the extreme DIPAs and RISs hit the glasses...

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