Pumpkin Ale?

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kevputo
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Pumpkin Ale?

#1 Post by kevputo » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:09 pm

I'm planning to brew up a pumpkin ale this weekend, with the hopes of having it ready for thanksgiving. This will be my first 'fruit' beer, so I've got a lot of questions. After scanning through several different recipes, I've found that there are 2 schools of thought regarding how/when to add the pumpkin. Either include it in the mash, or wait & add it to the boil.

Here's one recipe for adding it to the mash: http://www.thebrewsite.com/2010/10/13/p ... -grain.php

It's my understanding that the main disadvantage to putting it in the mash is the risk of a stuck sparge, but I've got plenty of rice hulls so I'm not really worried about that. I'm actually hoping that the grain & rice hulls will help filter out a lot of the pulp/sediment that would otherwise take a long time to settle. Definitely a good thing in my case, since I've got a true deadline for this batch. I should also mention that this will be bottled, so I need to allow extra time for bottle conditioning/carbing.

A few questions for collective:

Will I lose a lot of pumpkin flavor by having it present for the mash & full boil, instead of adding it late in the boil?

Will roughly 1 week of primary & 2 weeks secondary be long enough to let this settle out, or am I kidding myself?

Any other tips or tricks from the collective wisdom of LBG?
Kevin Hansen

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Baron Ken
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#2 Post by Baron Ken » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:00 pm

It is my understanding that pumpkin actually lends very little flavor to the finished beer and that most (if not all) 'pumpkin' flavor comes from the spices. However, I do plan to use canned pumpkin (in the mash) in the beer I'll be doing at the end of the month. ;)

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Joe Yoder
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#3 Post by Joe Yoder » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:56 pm

Come on guys, your not really making pumpkin ale unless you mash in a pumpkin!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cog_nate/s ... 400060222/
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kevputo
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#4 Post by kevputo » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:42 am

Joe Yoder wrote:Come on guys, your not really making pumpkin ale unless you mash in a pumpkin!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cog_nate/s ... 400060222/
Joe
Absolutely brilliant!

I love the novelty of it, but am curious how the pumpkin flavor came out. I'm also curious how the control batch compared to the batch fermented in the pumpkin. Please do tell.

I doubt I'll get that adventurous with this batch. However, you've got me thinking ahead to the possibility of a watermelon wheat...
Kevin Hansen

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Matt
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#5 Post by Matt » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:26 pm

If clarity is your main concern, you should use Irish Moss at the end of your boil, and/or use gelatin in a secondary vessel to help any sediment settle out, if you don't have the time to let it clear on its own before bottling. A quick search produced this page: http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/03/2 ... ewed-beer/

Of course, if you're bottle-conditioning anyway, you're going to have a small amount of sediment in the bottles no matter what you do, so you'll have to be really careful not to shake them up in transport, otherwise your efforts to clarify will be somewhat moot.

Instead, you should seriously consider force carbonating your beer in a keg, and then using a counter-pressure filler to bottle your beer (as I doubt your bottle-conditioning would be complete in that short amount of time -- which is already REALLY pushing it).

You can probably borrow a beer gun or cpf from someone (they're pricey), or I've used this technique before with good results:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/we-no-n ... gun-24678/

I also purge my bottles with CO2 before filling. This ensures that as you fill them, you're pushing the CO2 out (which is heavier than air), and making sure no oxygen remains in the bottle's headspace when you cap it quickly.

Hope this helps. Good luck. Pitch big to cut down on your fermentation time and give you adequate time to age and carb the beer.

Matt
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Joe Yoder
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#6 Post by Joe Yoder » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:52 pm

Absolutely brilliant!

I love the novelty of it, but am curious how the pumpkin flavor came out. I'm also curious how the control batch compared to the batch fermented in the pumpkin. Please do tell.

Control batch was not heinous. A bit of a vegetable flavor but not undrinkable. The one fermented in a pumpkin, hmmm, not so much.
The pumpkin mas tun worked great though, lost less than a degree of heat in the hour mash.
Joe

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kevputo
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#7 Post by kevputo » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:30 pm

Just realized I never reported back on this. Here's what I ended up doing for my batch of Pumpkin Ale:

Started with 4 pie pumpkins, halved them and removed the seeds. Roasted for 2 hrs at 325F. Removed meat and mashed with a potato masher. This gave me about 4lbs of roasted pumpkin meat.

8.5# Pale Ale Malt
1# Crystal 40
1# Victory
0.5# Wheat Malt
4# roasted/mashed pumpkin meat
2.5# Rice Hulls

Step Mash Schedule:
40 min @ 145F
40 min @ 154

1oz East Kent Golding (4.9%) First Wort Hops
0.5oz Willamette (4.6%) 60 Minutes
0.5oz Willamette (4.6%) 5 Minutes

Added whirlfloc tab at 15 minutes
Added 2tsp of pumpkin pie spice at flameout

Final volume was just over 5 gallons.
OG = 1.052

Fermented 1wk at 68F. Transferred to secondary, and added an additional 1tsp of pumpkin pie spice. I decided to add the extra spice after tasting a sample - it just didn't taste pumpkin-y enough. Fermented another 3 weeks in secondary.
FG = 1.012

Primed with 4.5oz corn sugar, and bottled on 11/13. Didn't have quite 2 weeks of bottle aging before thanksgiving, so it was a bit flat for our party. But it's nicely carbonated now.

I was hoping for more "nutty, toast, biscuit, baking-bread" flavors from the victory malt, and it would probably be better with just a bit more body, so I'd probably up the victory & wheat malt, and skip the 145 step if I do this again. I'd also probably make my own pumpkin pie spice rather than using the premixed spices, but I didn't have a couple of the ingredients and had the pre-mix stuff in the cabinet.

On the plus side, it cleared nicely due to the long secondary. And it has a definite pumpkin flavor, but I don't think it's overpowering.

All-in-all, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'll be bringing some to the party Friday. Now that I've talked it down, I'm sure you're all anxious to try it!

Here's picture of the finished product: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7946180@N02/6508213359/
Kevin Hansen

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Phoenix
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#8 Post by Phoenix » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:43 am

kevputo wrote:I'll be bringing some to the party Friday.
Dale Wheeler wrote:LBG Christmas Party!

When: Saturday, Dec 17, 6:30 – 11:30 pm
What to bring?
Food: Bring a main dish, side dish and/or dessert. We will also have smoked pork left over from Brewfest (KB Smokehouse kindly froze our leftovers).
Beer: Bring your kegs or bottles. Andy will set up taps.
LBG will provide table and plastic wear, condiments, buns for smoked pork.
Image
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mushhawk
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#9 Post by mushhawk » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:09 am

After the Hefeweizen batch that I'm going to make this week, my next recipe will be pumpkin ale.
I can't wait! I hope to have it ready to drink just as the weather is starting to cool down a bit.

Austin Homebrew has a pumpkin ale where you roast pieces of pumpkin and toss them into the boil.
I've heard that using a can of pumpkin pie mix is just as good as (or better than) roasting actual pumpkin pieces.
Have any of you tried both methods? What were your experiences with that?
"...I was in Thailand, playing ping pong in Ding Dang..."

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kevputo
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#10 Post by kevputo » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:13 am

I've only made a pumkin beer once, and used roasted pumpkin in the mash. But I don't see any problem with using canned pumpkin. Just take a look to see if it has spices or any other ingredients in there that could affect the flavor, and adjust the recipe accordingly.
Kevin Hansen

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mushhawk
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#11 Post by mushhawk » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:00 am

Yesterday I tried the "Souther Tier Pumpking", Pumpkin Ale. It's from Southern Tier brewery in New York.

It was OK, but had too much of a Captain Crunch cereal after taste to it. I wasn't that crazy about it.
"...I was in Thailand, playing ping pong in Ding Dang..."

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mushhawk
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Re: Pumpkin Ale?

#12 Post by mushhawk » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:01 am

I "FINALLY" started my austin homebrew pumpkin ale a couple days ago. It's breathing/bubbling along nicely now.
I hadn't brewed a batch for a couple months.
It called for 3-4lbs of real pumpkin. I figured 1/2 the weight would be lost when cutting up the pumpkin so i bought 2 small pumpkins, totalling ~7lbs.
I was right. A lot was lost in cutting around the rind and seeds, etc.
It was quite a process cutting the rind off. It took forever.
After roasting the pumpkin chunks for 45 minutes or so, they were pretty shrunken & dehydrated.
Hopefyully I had enough pumpkin.
The recipe kit included a pumpkin spice pack with cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and orange peel.

My recipe showed an original gravity of 1.052 at 80 degrees. I measured an O.G. of 1.042 at 69 degrees.
Hopefully it'll turn out ok.
"...I was in Thailand, playing ping pong in Ding Dang..."

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