[caption id="attachment_8190" align="alignleft" width="300"]img_4773 Dust from the Mill[/caption]

There comes a time in every home-brewer's life where he looks into a box full of remnants of crushed grain and thinks "I need to do something with that". This was the case back in November when I'd just finished brewing some IPAs for Christmas, a Lambic and a stout too. I'd ordered a large bag of Pale Malt and there was some left.

Dust from the Mill was one of my first experiments in creating a recipe and I wouldn't recommend recreating it necessarily... Suffice to say that it has produced a more than half-drinkable beer, styled like an IPA but with a burnt chocolate aftertaste. Other than this aftertaste, I'm quite happy with it to be honest.

The grain bill consisted of 4.6kg of Pale Malt (probably not enough), 300g of Crystal 100 and 100g of Chocolate Malt. The latter has given the beer a dark appearance and is probably responsible for the aftertaste. I had hoped to get more Pale Malt into the brew but it looks like my 25kg bag of malt was a little under this time. You win some - you lose some.

Into the 1 hour and 10 minutes boil went 40g of Challenger at the start with 15g of Golding and 15g of Progress 30minutes from the end. The usual cocktail of Protofloc and Yeast nutrient went in around 15 minutes before the end with 30g of Goldings at turn off. The style is very much an IPA other than the chocolate malt.

One of my chief tasters just popped in to help me lift the boiler up (I'm brewing a stout this afternoon). I can manage the lift myself but an assistant saves my back somewhat. I asked him if he wanted to try some. "Triple whisky chaser with mine please" he replied which I took to mean "Yes". Apparently he's had "worse beers" and "this isn't too bad", which he told me as the brown liquid disappeared quickly from the glass faster than Nigel Mansell at Brands Hatch.

Here is the bit I'm really proud of though. I washed the yeast from a previous brew, an IPA as it happens, and it fermented rather nicely. Having reviewed my brewing notes, I got the chocolate malt aftertaste previously before priming it.

The original gravity was not high and that is probably because the malt was at the end of its life. This makes it a lively session brew. It is settling down nicely enough that for New Year's Eve at least we will have something to celebrate with!