13A - Dark Mild

BJCP Style: 13A - Dark Mild

I originally lumped this in with Scottish Light and Heavy for a 3-fer but knew I would eventually give it its own entry. 

This version got 450g of old carastan malt from 2014 I had purchased for a recipe and forgotten about in the bottom of the Specialty Grain Bin. 

I am fortunate enough to live near a brewery that specializes in classic English style ales and serves many of them on cask. Recently I dropped by Hogshead for research purposes and had a pour of their mild. 

Update 2022-10-11 (+34); Final Thoughts: This continues to be a solid addition to the tap lineup. Having it on nitro "cask" is a special bonus. The malt character is unique - possibly from the extra aged  carastan, but not really a bad thing. I will be interested to try this same recipe again with the original c60/120 combo I had originally planned. 

Hogshead's Dark Mild - delicious!

The Hogshead version was rather tasty. Malty but clean and easy drinking with a brilliant, clear, dark color. 

Full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR

  • 2022-9-8: brew day
  • Malts: Maris Otter, carastan, pale chocolate
  • Hops: [Nugget] (EKG)
  • Yeast: Lallemand Verdant (Boddington's)
  • OG: 9°P, FG: 2.5°P, ABV: 3.4%
  • 2022-9-14 (+6): keg secondary
  • 2022-9-21 (+13): Tapped
Only the finest 8-year-old malt 

Grains in: Maris Otter, Carastan, Pale Chocolate

Milled and in the brew bag

Mash complete, bag out

Boil, hops, yada-yada, OG: 9°P

Added a little too much pre-boil liquid... was going for 24L

Fresh pitch of Verdant. This yeast started as London III or Wyeast 1318 which is allegedly the Boddington's strain. Verdant brewery was using it for hazies and noticed a slight fruity change that was producing more apricot character in their beers. They had it analyzed and it turned out to be a new strain. They teamed up with Lallemand and here we are. I have found this strain to be just as good as London III at producing delicious and clean English styles. I use it for just about everything ale from bitters and milds to IPA. 

2022-9-14 (+6): Transferred to keg secondary and checking the FG

2022-9-22 (+14): tapped yesterday and it's not as carbonated as I would like. Typically if I put cask-style ales in the keg 3-4 days after brewing they will self carbonate. This one being 6 days old and a smaller beer anyway it didn't produce much CO2. 

Enter the carbonation stone: After about 30 minutes of raising the nitrogen pressure by 5psi every 5 min this is looking like it should. 

Settles out with just the right amount of head. Taste is malty and clean much like the Hogshead version. There is a slight nuttiness which I expect in a good mild. Overall a successful brew and I don't even notice any musty old flavors from the old carastan!


3D - Czech Dark Lager

Big Foamy Pour

BJCP Style: 3D - Czech Dark Lager

This is a re-do since the first time through I combined styles with the Schwarzbier and this Tmavé deserves its own recipe, and brew session. 

My inspiration to brew this came from a recent article about the style; having a fresh version at Cohesion (mentioned in the article) helped me get a better idea of what it should taste like. Having a local fresh version helped differentiate between this and dark German lagers such as Dunkel and Schwarzbier. 

2022-10-11 (+50); Final Thoughts: Now that this has had time to lager in the keezer a while I feel like it has settled into its Final Form. Roast is minimal which is a good thing, but so is everything else it seems, and that is disappointing. When compared with a local example from Cohesion I found this one to be lacking in rich malt character such as bread crust and molasses which was prominent in the commercial version. I've already brewed version 2.0 which has much more Munich malt in the base and a dark crystal addition. 

The full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR - NOTE: I used American/English specialty malts but the German/Weyermann equivalents are in (parens).

  • 2022-8-23 brewday
  • Malts: Pilsner, Munich, crystal 60 (CaraMunich 3), Chocolate (Carafa I)
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Saaz)
  • Yeast: Weihenstephaner (34/70)
  • OG: 13.2; FG: 3.5; ABV: 5.2%
  • 2022-8-30 (+7): keg secondary
  • 2022-9-27 (+35): tapped
Malts weighed out and ready to mill 


Mashed a bit high - shooting for a higher FG

Mash finished

Magnum added at FWH for bittering and Saaz for the late addition


Floor Manager Steve and Brewing Assistant Leeloo

Brew session beer. It's that time of year!

ready to chill

ready for the fermenter (ground water not too cold so this will get chilled some more)

wort sample

OG at 13.2°P

Not traditional fermentation temp for this beer but much better than before I got the A/C unit which cools the whole room. Previous temps were getting about 24°C. I don't think fermentation temp matters as much as some think it does, but there's a point where I'm just not comfortable with it anymore. Getting back down to <18°C is the sweet spot for my system and works well for both lagers and ales. 

With the immersion chiller I was only able to get the wort down to about 25°C and I didn't want to leave it for another hour to maybe get another couple of degrees cooler so fermenter went in the fridge for a while till it got down around 15°C or so. 

Fresh Yeast ready to go 

2022-8-30 (+7): Transferred to keg secondary where it will hang out until there's room in the keezer. 

2022-10-5 (+43): Tapped right after Oktoberfest (9/27) and has been on for a week at this point. Carbonation is getting there but not quite to the level of foam I want. Taste is more sweet malt than roast which is a good thing but I think it still needs to condition more. 

2022-10-9 (+47): Playing around with foam... Turns out if you put a stout tip on the faucet you can get some nice creamy foam like in the taproom. Final thoughts on taste: good but not great. It's a pretty nice drinker but I want a stronger malt presence. Needs more rich bread crust and molasses. Roast level is low which is a good thing. Already brewing up version 2 so hopefully that will fix some of the shortcomings of this one. 

2022-11-9 (Batch 2): This one is certainly an improvement but still not bread crusty enough for me. Much better water balance, none of the 'dark tart' effect (added some calcium carbonate to the keg). Body and malt character tasting better as well: I used mostly Munich for the base and added some dark crystal malt. 


23C - Oud Bruin

BJCP Style: 23C - Oud Bruin

Though the Gueuze was more of a Final Boss, this brew is truly the last on the BJCP list closing out the European Sour Ale section. 

Oud Bruin is the lesser known partner style to Flanders Red with a "deeper malt character" according to the BJCP style comparison. 

The full recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR

  • 2022-7-21: brew day
  • Malts: Munich I, Special B, Chocolate
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Styrian Goldings)
  • Yeast 1: Lallemand Köln
  • Yeast/Bacteria secondary: RR Beatification blend + brett
  • OG: 13.8°P; FG (1): 2.5°P; FG (2): 1°P
    ABV (pre-sour): 6%; ABV (after secondary): 7%
  • 2022-7-26 (+6): transferred to keg secondary, FG 2.5°P
  • 2022-8-12 (+23): transferred to sour keg
  • 2022-11-2 (+104): transferred to keezer (cold conditioning)
  • 2022-12-2 (+134)?: ready? (one month of conditioning)
Grains: Munich, Special B, Chocolate 

Hops: Magnum for bittering and a late addition of Styrian Goldings

Mash complete

Leftover yeast from a recent Kölsch brew. The primary yeast will be so overpowered by the lacto and other bugs something neutral like this is fine here. 

Bag out. Heating up to boil

Floor Manager Steve sleeping on the job

And introducing the new Brewing Assistant: Leeloo Dallas Multipass (also sleeping on the job)!

FW hops in and boil is ON

Brew session beer

Into the fermenter

OG right on the numbers at 13.8°P. Expecting to finish around 6% ABV

Wort sample nice and clear with appropriate color for the style

Away we go

2022-8-12 (+22): Wild American kicked so the OB got transferred into the sour keg.

2022-10-17 (+87): 2 month check. I forgot to get a pic but it's coming along nicely. Not too tart and not too sweet. Big malty character and this should turn out to be a good one. Will probably give it another month or so but it's getting close. 

2022-11-3 (+105): Tapped yesterday and took a chilled sample after allowing it to chill and settle overnight. This dried out quite a bit and is now clocking in at just a hair under 7% ABV. Taste is tart cherries and some milk chocolate - very nice! This should be great with a month or 2 of conditioning time. 


23E - Gueuze

BJCP Style: 23E - Gueuze

After about 5 years on with the BJCP project, this is the Final Boss: the Gueuze (not 100% accurate: I still have to do an Oud Bruin which will go on the same souring blend). This is supposed to be a blend of 1, 2, and 3 year lambics but I cheated and am using sequential batches of the Wild American mixed fermentation brew that has been going for over a year now. 

There is no recipe as I just mixed various amounts of all three batches together in a keg. If you want to see recipe, souring bugs, process, check the link above. 

This all went in a 6L keg which will go on the Impermanence (blended) spot in the keezer which is a shelf and can only hold up to a 10L keg. I'll package up half in top quality screw-top cans (Miller Light) and enjoy the rest form the tap. 

  • 2022-7-7: Assembled/Blended
  • Batch brew dates and amounts: 
    • Batch 1: 2021-3-31 (800ml; 13%)
    • Batch 2: 2021-9-1 (2L; 33%)
    • Batch 3: 2022-3-10 (3.2L; 53%)
  • Soured with: Russian River Beatification bottle dregs; (Brett added for batch 3)
  • 2022-7-17: Tapped
I wasn't sure how much pressure (if any) would have built up in the containers so they spent some time in the freezer first. All were fine and I didn't have any explosions.  

Out of the freezer and ready to go into the keg. The small can from 2021-9-21 did NOT keep well and once I noticed the distinct purple color of severe oxidation I dumped it. So there is only about 800ml of batch #1 in this blend. 

Most of the blend came from batch #3 which was just tapped and still. This worked great since I didn't have to deal with any foam issues. 

2022-7-18 (+11 from blending): Already clear and distinctly different from batch #3 which is on currently. There's a bit of nuttiness in the malt character which is interesting. 

2022-7-22 (+15 from blending): We don't skimp on packaging around here. Only the best. 

2022-11-8 (+125): Very clear with tart lemony flavors and not too much sourness. There is some slight oxidation (purple tint) which might be from the little bit of the contaminated can that got blended in before I caught it. Overall tasting nice and I don't get any detracting flavors from the oxy.