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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Pumpkin Pale Ale recipe -- does it look good?
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:46 AM   #1
adetwiler
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Default Pumpkin Pale Ale recipe -- does it look good?

My neighbor brewed a few years ago and gave me a similar recipe when I said I wanted to make a pumpkin beer. I tweaked it a bit (it was an IPA but that seemed like too much hop character for a pumpkin...)--dropped some hops, changed the hops, and added some malt. But I've never made my own recipe...anybody have an idea if this looks good before I brew it? I'm pretty confident of some of it (I think the spicy hallertau hops are a nice balance for the pumpkin spices; I think the honey malt and the vanilla will play nice together), but I'm not sure about the malt. That's what he gave me and I don't know anything about it... I also don't know if all of the spice and flavoring is too ambitious (basically I don't know anything!)

5 gal batch.

I'm thinking a higher temp mash (around 168) for around 75 minutes.


Pumpkin Pale Ale:

Briess Pale Ale malt 7 lbs
2 Row Caramel 60 2 lbs
2 Row Caramel 120 8 oz
Gambrinus Honey Malt 4 oz
Mashed/canned pumpkin 2 lb (or more? add during mash)

Hallertau hops 1 oz @ 60 min
Cascade hops 1 oz @ 45 (or 40?) min
Hallertau hops 1 oz @ 10 min
Cinnamon and Nutmeg 1 oz @ 5 min
Vanilla extract 1 oz? (end of boil or with secondary ferment?)
Safale S-05



Any advice is really helpful--thanks!


Austin

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Old 09-13-2012, 07:26 AM   #2
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Your recipe overall looks fine. You may need a lot more pumpkin. I made a 5 gallon pumpkin saison with 4lbs of pumpkin in the mash and I couldn't taste the pumpkin in the finished product at all. You can check out my recipe below. In designing great beers Ray Daniels mentions the rule of thumb that if you're using a weaker flavored fruit you should be adding 2lbs per gallon of wort. That seemed like an obscene amount so I went with less. He may be right on this one. Also use lots of rice hulls. This was the only stuck mash I've ever had.


http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/pump...edback-267106/

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Old 09-13-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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The thing about pumpkin ales is usually you are going to taste the spices more than anything and those are going to remind you of pumpkin pie.

For the hops, use Saaz instead of hallertau, they are much more spicy in my opinion, hallertau is more of a floral/earthy.

For the vanilla, use a vanilla bean in the secondary instead of extract. Slit it, cut it into 6ths or 8ths, put it in about 1-2 oz of rum to sanitize, then pour that whole thing in the secondary and rack ontop. After about 7-9 days it'll taste how you want it, then bottle/keg.

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Old 09-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #4
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Also, not sure why you are adding cascade at 40 minutes... That's kind of in the pointless time region because you don't really get good bittering or good flavor. I'd probably bitter with cascade and do 2 hop additions at 20 and 10 minutes with Saaz.

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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Awesome. Thanks a ton. I don't know Saaz so I'll give them a shot. What do you think about 1.5 oz of cascade for bittering? Do you think that will work out alright with the pumpkin and the honey malt? I'm really interested in a hop balance with the pumpkin profile...

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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First off you never want to mash at 168*. Not sure if you meant that as your strike water temp but I'd mash at 154 for an hour and you'll be fine.

Secondly, 2.5lbs of caramel is too much. That's roughly 25% of your grainbill right there, I'd drop it down to around 10%. So maybe 9# basemalt, 1# caramel (I'd do either 120 or 60 but you could do a combo of both if you want), 4ounces honey. As for the pumpkin I've read it can be a bitch to sparge so maybe get a muslin bag and put it in there and put that in your mash, otherwise add some rice hulls to help you with sparging.

Drop the cascade altogether, you don't really want much hop bitterness or flavor for a pumpkin ale. Other additions look tasty. And if you're thinking about vanilla you should do it right and try to score some actual vanilla beans instead of the extract. Even if it is the natural stuff, real bean will be better.

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Old 09-13-2012, 05:11 PM   #7
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Yeah, I didn't see how much caramel you were using, that's definitely too much.

I wouldn't have more than 30 or so ibu's in this beer.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:19 AM   #8
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So there's no way to do a hoppy pumpkin? That's what I was interested in... I thought the cascade would be a nice flower for the pumpkin, and the hallertau/saaz would be nice with the spice at the end...

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Is there a difference between canned pumpkin and while pumpkin? I've experience baking the flesh with some brown sugar and that comes off strong enough. I personally like the pumpkin flavor so I wouldn't be afraid of using too much.

As for the whole IPA-pumpkin angle, I say go for it. Just keep in mind the flavors you are mixing together and that you will have five gallons or so of the stuff. If that is okay with you then you are good to go! If you can manage the presence of the pumpkin flavor, then you won't have to rely on spices to allude to pie. Which would be nice because the spices and the hops will have to play well and you can ultimately end up with lots going on in one place, which stresses out the palate.

But don't forget that everyone is pointing you towards a solid, pumpkin pie-ish recipe, so if that is what you are looking for then their advice is spot on. Definitely lower the caramel either way and thumbs up on the use of a whole vanilla bean. Ceylon cinnamon is lovely, especially if you can get sticks. If you choose to cleanse ingredients in spirits, don't use too much. I often detect a dry alcohol bite in the beer if it is overdone, which doesn't take much! I personally just slice my beans and toss them into the carboy post fermentation.

Lastly, it is always a solid choice to go out and try pumpkin beers. By a few different brands and you can even make a night out of it. Who knows, you may find something similar to what you have in mind.

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Old 09-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #10
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That is a lot of crystal. If you're trying for something sweet, I'd cut that way back, and throw in some brown sugar (look up Reno_Envy's "Punkin Ale") recipe for an example of a brown sugar addition to a P.A.)

I think the hallertau is a fine choice of hops and would be my choice. Cascade at 40 seems strange, If you want a bittering hop, just throw it in at 60, If you want cascade flavor, I don't think you'll get much after 40 min in the boil. What's your IBU and OG you want for this recipe?

An ounce of vanilla might be a bit much, It's strong stuff, bring that down, or add it when you keg/secondary to taste.

168 is indeed, way to high, you'll have a mess if you do that. I wouldn't go more than 156, 60 minutes should be plenty of time to mash.

Whatever you do, get to it fast, there's only a few weeks left till October.

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