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Old 09-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default Choosing pumpkins for Pumpkin Ale

Hi everybody,

The question might sound weird but do those of you who brew their pumpkin ales with raw and baked pumpkin instead of using canned puree have any hints on choosing the right pumpkin?

We here in Russia don't have any pumpkin in cans however we have plenty varieties of pumpkin - yellow/orange, local/Dutch/other, organic/industrial, etc. You can't try it before buying so maybe you'll give the basic recommendations - color, ripeness, shape, size (does the size matter at all?) In case I have a chance to cut and sample it - which aspects from the inside I should pay attention to - color, sweetness, elasticity, general look of the body, I don't even know what else?

I don't want to take chances as we are planning to brew few hundred liters at the community brewery and we'll need a lot of pumpkin. In case of success that's going to be the first proper pumpkin ale brewed in the country in the volume bigger then homebrew.

I will appreciate any comments, both based on your experience and on you sense of humour

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Old 09-20-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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The smaller ones that are about as big as a soccer ball. In the US, they're called Sugar/Pie Pumpkins. The sweeter the better.

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Old 09-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #3
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Hi milosjukic. Welcome to the forum!

I have only used canned pumpkin in the past, but this year I'm toying with the idea of using the sugar/pie pumpkins that bobbrews is referencing. For your situation, do you have any local bakeries that make pumpkin pies? Perhaps they can provide you with information on the pumpkins in your region that are good for making pies. Those same pumpkins would be good candidates for pumpkin beer after baking/roasting them.

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Old 09-20-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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great thread!

i'd love to find out if the variety is of little important, so i am considering doing a few pilot batches. there is a pumpkin farm near me with great variety and i've decided to get fairy tale (musquee de provence), cinderella (Rouge vif d'Etamps) and long island cheese. i'll be making quite a bit of pie with the extra and would be happy to report on the beer contribution, too.

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Old 09-20-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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I use small sugar pumpkins about 2 lbs cooked weight for 5 gallon batch. I normally roast mine over an open fire of beech and maple until they are soft. Then I cool them and peel them and chop into 2 inch squares. I do not remove the seeds or mush around the seeds, just chop it all up. I also use a double decoction mash using my English Porter Recipe. I call Smoked Pumpkin Porter.


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