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Old 10-05-2007, 12:50 AM   #1
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Default It's a Great Pumpkin [Beer] Charlie Brown!

So here's my first try at a pumpkin beer. I heard of a weird technique where you ferment your beer in a pumpkin. Will it work? Maybe not. But why am I doing it? Because I "pump-can"!
So I started out by taking the guts out of a pumpkin and then filled it with water and let it sit for about a half hour. Then I dumped out this water into a pot heated it up to about 155 F and steeped a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree with 1 lb of 2 row pale ale malt for about half an hour.

Next, I poured myself a beer. Then I added a pinch of Fuggles and Hersbruckers, and brought the wort to a boil. Once at a boil I added 1.25 lbs of hopped amber malt extract and 1.25 lbs unhopped amber malt extract along with another pinch of each type of hops and a pinch of brown sugar, and boiled for about 15 minutes.

I stuck my pumpkin in my biggest pot. With a minute to go in the boil, I added more of the same hops and 1/2 a coarsely chopped nutmeg, 1/2 cinnamon stick, and some crushed allspice.

With the wort off the burner but still very hot, I carefully added about 1.5 gallons into the pumpkin. The remainder (less than 0.5 gallon) I stuck in a 1 gallon jug. I stuck both in the basement to cool down, with the lid on top of the pumpkin. My hopes is that the very hot wort will kill any bad bacteria in the pumpkin while at the same time drawing out more pumpkiney goodness out of the pumpkin.

When the wort in the pumpkin gets to yeast pitching temp, I will add some yeast and seal the pumpkin lid and around the airlock with wax. I'll probably ferment for two weeks (assuming nothing goes wrong) and then bottle. Hopefully there won't be any pumpkin explosions!

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Old 10-05-2007, 12:52 AM   #2
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And for some reason smilies count as images and I'm only allowed 4 per post, so here's my dancing banana:

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Old 10-05-2007, 12:54 AM   #3
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Wow. I had heard of fermenting in a pumpkin but didn't think anyone would actually try it Very interesting.

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Old 10-05-2007, 12:59 AM   #4
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this is a great idea, i'm interested to see how it turns out! i might try this myself!

i'm drinkin my pumpkin spiced ale right now!

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Old 10-05-2007, 01:22 AM   #5
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I'm not so sure I would have cooked the pumpkin. Hopefully it won't disintegrate and leak.

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Old 10-05-2007, 02:17 AM   #6
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Props for this man, hope it turns out well! I'm super happy with my pumpkin Ale and can't wait to make another for either later this year or next year! Make sure to keep us updated

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Old 10-05-2007, 03:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jager
I'm not so sure I would have cooked the pumpkin. Hopefully it won't disintegrate and leak.
Yeah this is one of my main concerns, its sitting pretty warm but not leaking as of yet...we'll see how it does over the long haul. If it does fall apart, I may try it without adding the really hot wort to the pumpkin.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:27 AM   #8
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Wouldn't a pumpkin filled with liquid rot over the course of 2 weeks?

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Old 10-05-2007, 06:24 AM   #9
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We shall see....yes, Mr. Smithers...we shall see.....

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Old 10-08-2007, 11:33 PM   #10
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Update: It's been about 4 days, and the pumpkin beer is fermenting away.
The beer in the gallon jug:

I waited to seal the pumpkin in case the krausen decided to blow out of the pumpkin. I took a look today, and it looks like it won't be blowing over:

So I sealed the pumpkin with some wax:

The pumpkin looks pretty good inside, but on the outside the handle is getting moldy! No good! I think I shall secondary this beer after 7 days:

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