Willow Shed Mild

A few weeks ago I decided I would brew something outside of my usual repertoire. Completely un aware of the CAMRA campaign for the month of May, I decide to brew a mild.

Now this is a mild in the low abv, malty session sense of the word. The milds of old, ala 1800’s, 1900’s (for those not in the know, check out Ron Pattinson’s fantastic blog)   are a whole other beast I intend to tackle in the future.


This mild recipe would fit quite nicely in the BJCP 11a style guidelines.


A light-flavoured, malt-accented beer that is readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing, yet flavourful.


Well that just sounds lovely doesn’t it?


The decision to brew a mild was also partly an excuse to try a new yeast. The Mangrove Jack M03 Newcastle Dark Ale.



A top fermenting ale yeast suitable for a variety of hearty British ales, promoting exceptional body and flavour. Ferments with full, rich dark fruit flavours.

Suitable for dark mild ale, English brown ale, Scottish heavy ale and more


Again, sounds good, yet there is not much more to be found on this yeast. Attenuation and floculation are stated as ‘medium’, with little to no more clarification from the manufacturer. A few homebrew forum posts from around the place seem to show that some people have had trouble with this yeast not fermenting out propperly and leaving beers up in the 1.020 range. I thought it was still worth a punt, and as I will come to later, I have my own thoughts as to why some people  may have had some issues with this yeast.


For my mild recipe I wanted something to the top of the style guide, or maybe just a shade over (as my OG falls just above).


BJCP 11a

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.030 – 1.038
IBUs: 10 – 25 FG: 1.008 – 1.013
SRM: 12 – 25 ABV: 2.8 – 4.5%



Willow Shed Mild

15.6 SRM
25 IBU
4% ABV








UK Pale Ale Malt

3.535 kg

72.1 %


In Mash/Steeped

UK Medium Crystal

0.491 kg

10.0 %


In Mash/Steeped

UK Light Crystal

0.391 kg

8.0 %


In Mash/Steeped

UK Pale Chocolate Malt

0.245 kg

5.0 %


In Mash/Steeped

UK Torrified Wheat

0.147 kg

3.0 %


In Mash/Steeped

Belgian Special B

0.090 kg

1.8 %


In Mash/Steeped








UK Bramling Cross

6.5 %

28 g


Loose Whole Hops

All Of Boil

UK Golding

6.0 %

30 g


Loose Whole Hops

15 Min From End



Mangrove Jack’s M03 Newcastle Dark Ale




All in all it was a pretty straight forward brew day. I mashed at 64oC to try and help the yeast attenuate enough, especially with 20% crystal malts in the mix.







DSC_0084 Hop wise, I really don’t think you can get better than Bramling Cross and Goldings in a dark English/British beer. It’s an absolute winner in my book. Back in December I brewed a strong dark ale similar to Black Sheep Riggwelter, but with BX and Goldings. I’m hoping that this beer has a similar hop profile as it was one of the best combinations I’ve used with UK hops.








Just to mix things up I decided to take a gallon of wort and pitch a vial of WLP665 Flemish Ale Blend.


Blended culture used to produce the classic beer styles of the West Flanders region of Belgium . A proprietary blend of Saccharomyces yeasts, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus, this culture creates a more complex, dark stone fruit characteristic than WLP 655 Belgian Sour Mix



The idea came from talking to a member of Jim’s Beer Kit Forum about different sour beers. Lost Abbey Red Poppy ale came up, which starts life as Dawn Patrol Dark Mild. I liked the idea, but I also wanted to see what the 665 did to the wort as a primary fermentation. So in it went and within 3 days it had blown through the airlock!



I’m going to give this a good 4-6 months before I rack it onto some sour cherries I’ve got in the freezer! I’ll also have a good slug of WLP665 slurry to play with as well!










Not much more to say, the main batch is now in a keg, tasting good but I’ll leave it to condition for a couple of weeks. The M03 yeast attenuated down to 1.012, so about 71% attenuation, and 4%ABV, just a touch short of the 4.5% predicted. My prediction of ‘something like Windsor’ was about bang on the money, and gives me something to work with when I use it again.









2 thoughts on “Willow Shed Mild

  1. Bump. Both look delicious. How did the sour version turn out? Have you managed to save any, now a year later? Cheers!

    • Hey Seymour. The sour version is still sitting. Tried it about 4 months ago and its still got a way to go. the primary fermentation lefta very phenolic taste which is settling down. I’ll give it till the new year and see where its at! Cant rush these things 😀

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