Badger's Supper

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This recipe is for a 25 litre batch. Probably an overly cautious approach but I always prepare 50 litres of water when brewing a 25 litre batch, just in case of mishaps. As we’re just starting out on all grain brewing, don’t worry about hitting the exact OG and FG figures I mention below – it’s really not important if you undershoot or overshoot. Instead, just enjoy the process.

Badger’s Supper is an old-fashioned mild, but don’t be put off by that as it weighs in at a mighty 5.8% ABV. To my knowledge at least eight confirmed mild drinkers have declared this to be not only the best mild they have ever tasted, and not only the best homebrew they have ever tasted, but the best beer they have ever tasted! Fantastic compliments like this really fire up the enthusiasm for brewing and shows how far home brewing has progressed over the decades.  

This is a departure from the previous two recipes. For a start, I do an overnight mash. All the extractions from the grain will be over and done with over 90 minutes so an extended mash doesn’t add anything, but it’s a useful tactic if you’re pushed for time and it certainly doesn’t 

take anything away from the quality of the beer.  Other different aspects include a longer boil, a slightly longer suggested primary fermentation, the use of a comparatively expensive yeast, and we don't bother with Protafloc - as this is a dark beer there's not much point in clearing it! In case you were wondering, the granulated sugar goes into the boil, not the mash.

Ingredients

5000gms low colour Maris Otter

180gms dark Crystal Malt

300gms Black Malt

115gms Torrified Wheat

285gms white granulated sugar

Yeast

Wyeast 1098 British Ale

Hop Schedule

Start of boil:  70gms Fuggles @ 4.8 AA

15 minutes from end of boil: 10gms Fuggles @ 4.8 AA

Water Treatment

Add one crushed Campden tablet per 25 litres and stir well. Then, as recommended by laboratory analysis – add to the mash 7gms Calcium Chloride Flake, 5gms Calcium Sulphate and 4gms of salt.

Mash and Sparge

Mash in 16 litres of water at 69°C. Add 7gms of Calcium Chloride Flake, 5gms of Calcium Sulphate and 4gms of salt at the start of the mash. Once all the wort has been collected, pass it through the grain bed again. I sparge this one at 75°C. Sparge temperature is not crucial as long as it doesn’t exceed 77°C.

Boil

90 minutes. No need to bother with Protafloc in dark beers!  

Fermentation and Gravity Readings

In case you like to use a hydrometer the OG reading I had was 1.056 and the FG 1.012, giving an ABV of 5.8%. If you don’t want to be bothered with a hydrometer you can rest assured primary fermentation will be complete in ten days, after which you should siphon off to secondary fermentation and let it condition for two weeks before kegging or bottling, as you prefer.  

Tasting Notes

I found it interesting that an 80 year old gentleman who has drunk nothing other than (pub) mild all his adult life couldn’t finish a glass of this as he said it was "too much, too strong". This is a strong beer which improves by leaving in the keg or bottle for at least a couple of months. It’s a ’big’ beer, one to be sipped and savoured, with complex flavours (if served at room temperature) and real body, the archetypal 'meal in a glass' if ever there was one. This is a great favourite among many who have tried it; a real winner. 

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