Thursday, 22 May 2008

Mild Ale (according to a German)

Here's a special treat for Mild Month. Schönfeld's description of Mild Alefrom "Die Herstellung Obergähriger Bier".

The book has a big section on British Ales (as opposed to German Ales - you must be getting well fed up of me banging on about this - don't worry, I'll be continuing for several more years). I hadn't looked at it until today. On the positive site, the author seems to quite like Mild. Pale Ale he absolutely hates and writes it's impossible for a German to drink more than two glasses of it.

I was interested in his description of the colour of Mild. Remember that the book was published in 1902. It's sometimes difficult to know what an author means with colour descriptions, but "deep gold" does not mean dark in my book.

Apologies for the translation. The sentence structure in the original is almost as bad as Marcel Proust. Sentences that fill a whole paragraph. You can't accuse me of that.

"In the group Ales, there's another beer, which in contrast to the heavily-hopped, light Pale Ale is characterised by a mild and very malty flavour and a darker, deep gold to brownish-yellow colour, called Mild Ale and forms a special type of beer, which as a result of the low degree of attenuation, the soft, sweet taste, the low level of hopping and a colour resembling our Lagerbier, forms an intermediary step between Pale Ales and Stouts. It is a draught beer and is especially well brewed in London.

It doesn't keep anything like as well as Pale and Bitter Ales, since it does not have a high degree of attenuation, nor is heavily hopped, nor dry-hopped it doesn't have such a good protection against bacterial infection as these, which are stored for months in unpressurised barrels without falling prey to light bacterial sicknesses and also can be stored long, in some circumstances months longer, in bottles, where in the beginning they also sit for quite a long time without the protection of CO2, but are still so resistant to bacterial infections that they can be kept for an unusually long time."

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