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Old 10-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #11
srl135
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UPDATE: 10.11.12

About a week ago I moved the beer over to the secondary fermenter and learned a valuable lesson... When i initially dumped my boil pot into the primary i did not strain out ANYTHING. (That has never been an issue for me since i brew mini-mashes with the steeping bag that is removed at the appropriate time) During the boil I added the pumpkin that I quartered and roasted, and then with about 15 min left in the boil i added the canned pumpkin hoping it would break down but not remove all the flavor. Soooo... jumping to the day I moved it to secondary. This was a train wreck. My siphon kept plugging up with the stringy pumpkin that had broken down through the boil but was now everywhere, some floated, some sank, and some suspended. I had to fight that battle at the same time as trying to figure out how best to get all that crap out without sacrificing sanitation. Lets keep going... Once i fought past the pumpkin and my siphon that wasnt working too well anymore, i had moved about 2.5 gallons into the fermenter (out of 5!!) when my siphon all together quit. After a good bit of cussing I came up with a plan to dump the whole damn bucket into my boil pot with a strainer over it to hopefully catch the rest of that pumpkin giving me issues. Upon doing so (and creating one hell of a mess) i realized that the siphon was plugging off because the remaining 2.5 gallons of my beer had turned into unusable trub (no doubt from that damn canned pumpkin). My secondary fermenter got 2.5-3 gallons of beer in it, i added water to top it off to 5 gallons but of course i have extremely watered down beer. Now i know i could have just left it alone at whatever volume came out but i was so pissed off at this point i didnt really care; i just want to try my watered down failed pumpkin attempt.

I guess there has to be a 1st for all of us... this was hands down my first ultimate failure.

So of all my wrongs, I'd like some pointers.

1)Do you all strain out the boil as you pour into the primary to avoid dumping in things like pumpkin? If so, do you do so with a strainer or siphon or what?
2)If you left it in the primary did you get the same results as mine??? If not, wtf went wrong?
3)Anyone ever topped off that much water? (nearly another 2 gallons) How did the end result turn out? Oh and I really dont care about ABV at this point because my water is gonna throw it off so much.

I would like to try another pumpkin but clearly need to refine my plan (and probably refrain from drinking so much) before doing so.

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-Amber Wheat: 4.2%
-Honey Amber: 7.1%
-American Cream ale: 5%
-IPA: 7.5%
-Shiner Bock Clone: 4.5%
-Pumpkin Porter: 5.9%
-Holiday Ale: 7.7%
-AHS Cream Ale: 6.0%
-Long Peaks Raspberry Wheat - 4.8%
-Pumpkin ale - Jurys out but not looking good


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Old 10-11-2012, 01:04 PM   #12
arnoldk2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srl135
UPDATE: 10.11.12

About a week ago I moved the beer over to the secondary fermenter and learned a valuable lesson... When i initially dumped my boil pot into the primary i did not strain out ANYTHING. (That has never been an issue for me since i brew mini-mashes with the steeping bag that is removed at the appropriate time) During the boil I added the pumpkin that I quartered and roasted, and then with about 15 min left in the boil i added the canned pumpkin hoping it would break down but not remove all the flavor. Soooo... jumping to the day I moved it to secondary. This was a train wreck. My siphon kept plugging up with the stringy pumpkin that had broken down through the boil but was now everywhere, some floated, some sank, and some suspended. I had to fight that battle at the same time as trying to figure out how best to get all that crap out without sacrificing sanitation. Lets keep going... Once i fought past the pumpkin and my siphon that wasnt working too well anymore, i had moved about 2.5 gallons into the fermenter (out of 5!!) when my siphon all together quit. After a good bit of cussing I came up with a plan to dump the whole damn bucket into my boil pot with a strainer over it to hopefully catch the rest of that pumpkin giving me issues. Upon doing so (and creating one hell of a mess) i realized that the siphon was plugging off because the remaining 2.5 gallons of my beer had turned into unusable trub (no doubt from that damn canned pumpkin). My secondary fermenter got 2.5-3 gallons of beer in it, i added water to top it off to 5 gallons but of course i have extremely watered down beer. Now i know i could have just left it alone at whatever volume came out but i was so pissed off at this point i didnt really care; i just want to try my watered down failed pumpkin attempt.

I guess there has to be a 1st for all of us... this was hands down my first ultimate failure.

So of all my wrongs, I'd like some pointers.

1)Do you all strain out the boil as you pour into the primary to avoid dumping in things like pumpkin? If so, do you do so with a strainer or siphon or what?
2)If you left it in the primary did you get the same results as mine??? If not, wtf went wrong?
3)Anyone ever topped off that much water? (nearly another 2 gallons) How did the end result turn out? Oh and I really dont care about ABV at this point because my water is gonna throw it off so much.

I would like to try another pumpkin but clearly need to refine my plan (and probably refrain from drinking so much) before doing so.
1. I always use a strainer when dumping into the primary. To me it makes sense even if you do a partial mash and everything is in a bag that getting as much of the things that get into your beer out will make for a better beer.
2. I just made a pumpkin spiced beer last weekend. I put the pumpkin in the mash with some rice hulls and I wrapped my manifold with cheese cloth to prevent a stuck sparge... still got a stuck sparge but it was minor. I try not to put anything into the boil such as fruits because when you strain it into the primary it is just way more work to get everything out.
3. Sometimes I top off with a gallon of water if to much evaporated out of my boil. Ill take a gallon of water, boil it for 10 minutes and then add it to my wort. In the end I usually hit my targeted O.G. I then cool my wort to fermenting temps before I add the yeast.

So far I've enjoyed my pumpkin spiced beers. The only thing I would change about my process would add more rice hulls. When brewing a pumpkin ale you can never have to much rice hulls.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:17 PM   #13
christopherrburns
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I just did a pumpkin beer about a month and a half ago. Skipped putting the pumpkin in the mash after hearing all of the horror stories of stuck sparges. I added two big cans of pumpkin at the beginning of the boil and did not strain the wort after I boiled it. Did not get much pumpkin taste in the beer. Did talk to some others and tasted others that added the pumpkin in the last 15 min. More pumpkin flavor in those beers. Did have a ton of trub when I transferred to the secondary but a majority had settled and did not have any trouble with my auto siphon. I bottled this beer and still had quite a bit of trub at the bottom but not as much as others have reported. Next time I think I will add the pumpkin towards the end. Over all beer came out pretty good, was conservative with the spices which was a good thing, very subtle pumpkin spice but not too much. Some issues with carbonation, not sure if I need to let it sit in the bottle a little more of if it's a result from the pumpkin.

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #14
Frige
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I would like to do something along these lines, but why add pumpkin and have all these problems? Could it be done with a concentrate? Of course I would not want to use some kind of artificial flavor but there must be a way to brew up a sort of tea with all the flavors intact and just pour into the secondary.

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:37 PM   #15
Frige
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How about something like this, with a little cinnamon and nutmeg?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LORANN-FLAVO...item336541ce66

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Old 10-11-2012, 11:01 PM   #16
ddrrseio
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the issue with pumpkin and beers is that, as many have said, pumpkin itself isn't that distinct a flavor. choosing a good spice blend is key to nailing that perception of what people expect when they think of pumpkin, but you can improve on this by picking an appropriate yeast and messing around with a few pumpkin varieties.

on sunday when i made my pumpkin ale, i had three pie-type pumpkins baked for everyone to try. one was the runaway favorite as the sweetest, least savory one and i used 5lb for a 5gal batch. next year i will probably steep it in a cheesecloth bag!

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