OK, so I like dark beer. So, having been impressed at my start of an easy bitter, I thought something with a bit more character was in order. Maybe a dark mild?
Except, I wanted a bit of something else too.
Occasionally,I find the coffee/roast/ chocolate thing of dark beers a litle much; not because I don't like the tastes, I find them, well, drying. Once in a while is ok, but a batch to drink..nope, needed something else....maybe a bit between Mackeson's and Rhymney Dark. Although my base recipe (another Wheeler version, this time of Hydes Dark Mild) called for crystal malt, I wanted something creamier...so I got me some lactose.
So, how much to? Thankfully the internet is awash with message boards, but there seemed no consensus, so I guessed. The resultant recipe can be found on the excellent Hopville site (I hasten to add that it isn't excellent because of that inclusion!)
As you can see from the recipe, I also added some espresso...just to see what would happen.
All hell broke loose as it fermented from 1042 to 1020 quickly, and threatened to overtop the fermenter. After removing trub etc., the whole thing stopped at 1018.
Now, as I have alluded to, there are many message boards out there, usually useful. However, even my 'go-to' site, Jim's Beer Kit, with all its great advice failed me. Yes, I roused. Yes, I added fresh yeast. Nothing. Not a point drop in gravity. I was getting near two weeks and nothing was changing.
I have no idea what happened....1018 seems high to cask, according to all the calculators I could find, but perhaps the lack of change meant one thing...no more sugar?!?! To be honest, it might be due to it being colder now than my first brew. The central heating is not on yet...so maybe it is all just a bit cool.
Anyway, casked and primed it yesterday...let's see