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Old 12-14-2012, 02:09 AM   #1
imisri
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Default Pumpkin Flavor not coming out

Hello all,
I brewed a pumpkin ale 10 days ago and I took a bit out to taste today.The pumpkin isn't noticeable at all. I added 5.5 pounds of Libby's canned pumpkin to the boil at 90 min. I caramelized the pumpkin for 1h at 350 beforehand, however I did notice that only the top of the pumpkin was caramelized. Here's my grain bill

11# Vienna
1.25# Victory
0.5# Caramel 80

I mashed at 157 for 60 min, boiled for 90 min and added 1 tsp of irish moss at 15 min and 1.5 TBSP of pumpkin pie spice at 10 min which is hardly noticeable as well. My OG was 1.068 and I pitched WLP011 yeast. I did not make a starter this time and let it ferment at 64 (ambient temp) for 10 days now.

Any thoughts as to why the pumpkin or the spices aren't coming through?

Thanks for looking!

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Old 12-14-2012, 02:11 AM   #2
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I did a Pumpkin Ale extract kit a few months back, not sure if it would be the same...

but at first there wasn't much flavor & it seemed to take longer to carbonate after bottling.

Left it alone for 2-3 more weeks and the flavor was stronger as was the carbonation

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Old 12-14-2012, 02:58 AM   #3
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Add the pumpkin right to the mash. I used 2 cans of libby's, baked them with spices and vanilla the night before and let it cool spread out over a cookie sheet.

I didn't want to add it to the boil as I thought some undesirable starches would be extracted. If you get a stuck sparge just cut the grain bed. Take your mash paddle and make a tic tac toe design in the grain bed then sparge as usual. It worked like a charm for me. You're going to get most of the pumpkin flavor from the spice anyway. I think I used 2 tbsp of spice in the last 5 mins, then aged it for a week on another 2 tbsp of spice. I wish I would've written that part down..

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Old 12-14-2012, 03:24 AM   #4
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I've read that spices should be added during secondary or at bottling. what is better and why? also how much spice for a 5.5 gallon batch? I don't want to overdo it. Again I've already added 1.5 TBSP of pumpkin pie spice at 10 minutes but those flavors haven't come through (yet?)

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Old 12-14-2012, 03:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imisri View Post
I've read that spices should be added during secondary or at bottling. what is better and why? also how much spice for a 5.5 gallon batch? I don't want to overdo it. Again I've already added 1.5 TBSP of pumpkin pie spice at 10 minutes but those flavors haven't come through (yet?)
I cant answer what is better or why. Everyone has their own thing and what works for them. I was taking advice from a pro brewer that I've known for years and it came out great. I try to measure out my batches to 5.25 gal. Post boil. I'm still working on getting that consistent, but the method I used as stated above worked well for me.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:02 PM   #6
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There's very little starch in sugar pumpkins, especially the canned versions, so a mash is not always required. The pre-roasting process should be enough. But if you're using a ton of it, like Elysian Brewing Co. does for their Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, then follow their advice:

"Brewed with 150 lbs. of pumpkin in each batch. Made with Pale, Munich, and Crystal malts, green and roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin in the mash, boil, and fermenter. Bittered with Horizon hops. Spiced in conditioning with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice."

I like to make a concentrated spice tea beforehand, and pitch that during secondary conditioning to taste.

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