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Old 08-16-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
kchomebrew
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Default Samhain Pumpkin Pie Ale

Samhain is the Celtic fire festival from which Halloween derives. Marking the passing of summer into winter, a time of death and then rebirth, it is traditionally a time of reflection, honoring the dead, and looking ahead to the coming year, both in terms of personal change and goals, and in terms of the Earth’s future.

Brewed this Pumpkin Ale last year. Was looking for something that would be strong on pumpkin flavor/aroma and also bring out some pie crust flavors/aroma. For the most part, I feel like it was a success, but it was a bit heavy on ginger and clove flavors/aromas and had more pie filling aroma than crust. As such, this year I am removing the clove addition and dropping down all spice additions in the boil. I added honey malt and biscuit malt this year and backed down the Maris Otter a tad to compensate. Also, I upped the canned pumpkin additions to the mash. Last year I did 5 gal and used 3 cans, this year on the 10 gal. batch I am doing 8 cans. Also, for the secondary, I'm adding in Butternut Extract this year. I've read some info that seems to indicate Southern Tier Pumking might be using this to produce the pie crust flavor (I'm not going for a clone , just want to get some of the aroma/flavor it has...I feel like theirs is way to strong with the pie crust flavor). Last year I only used London Ale yeast. This year I'm going to split batches and use London Ale in one and London ESB in the other. Brewing this on Saturday. I'll post some photos/notes afterwards.

Pumpkin Ale
Style: 21 - Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer A
Grist ratio: 1.25 gal./lb (8 gal. strike water / 8.5 gal. sparge water)
Kettle Vol. 14.0 gal. pre-boil
Final Volume: 11.52 gal.
Efficiency: 90%
Attenuation: 77%
Original Gravity: 1.071
Terminal Gravity: 1.016
Color: 16.58 SRM
Alcohol: 7.19% ABV
Bitterness: 27.50

Ingredients:
14 lb (56.0%) Maris Otter; Crisp - added during mash
2 lb (8.0%) Biscuit Malt; Castle Malting - added during mash
2 lb (8.0%) Honey Malt - added during mash
1 lb (4.0%) Victory® Malt; Briess - added during mash
1 lb (4.0%) Crystal Malt 80°L - added during mash
1 lb (4.0%) Oats Flaked - added during mash
1 lb (4.0%) Barley Flaked - added during mash
96 oz Pumpkin (canned) - added during mash
1 oz Magnum (14.5%) - added during boil, boiled 60 m
1 oz Saaz (5.0%) - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
2 lb Light Brown Sugar - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
1 lb Lactose Sugar - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
2 tsp Irish Moss - added during boil, boiled 15.0 m
1 tsp Candied Ginger - added during boil, boiled 5.0m
0.5 tsp Cinnamon (ground) - added during boil, boiled 5.0m
0.5 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice - added during boil, boiled 5.0m0.5 tsp Nutmeg
0.5 tsp Allspice - added during boil, boiled 5.0m

- chill wort to 65F - transfer to primary fermenter (split batch 5.5 gal each)
- aerate with 02 - 90 sec. count each fermenter
- pitch yeast starters - Batch 1 - Wyeast London 1098, Batch 2 Wyeast London ESB 1968
- ferment 14 days primary @ 67F
- 3 weeks secondary @ 70F (for each fermenter add 4 split vanilla beans soaked in rum and 4 cinnamon sticks, and 1 tsp of Butternut Extract)
- Cold crash 36F for 3 days
- add gelatin finings to secondarys - bring back to 70F and bottle

Notes:
HLT - added campden tablets and 1 tsp gypsum and 1 tsp CaCl
Mash @ 152 for 90 min.
8 -12 oz. cans of pumpkin to the mash
Boil wort for 90 min.

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Old 08-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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Well yesterdays brew day was a debacle. I got a stuck sparge which caused problems with recirculating the mash through my HERMS coil. I did eventually get it to go, but the grains sat at 140F for about 60 min. Normally my system runs 90% efficiency and I always hit my numbers. Anyway, obviously there were some issues and OG came in at 1.052 (should have come out at 1.071). That said, after sampling the wort, it will still be a nice beer. Just a lot more sessionable, I suppose. So, I'm optimistic. If I brew this again, I'll be careful about how quick I add in all the grains and the pumpkin. I should have added half the grains and half the amt. of pumpkin and started the HERMS recirculation and then slowly added the rest.

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Old 08-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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Been reading up on how to sparge better with a pumpkin mash. Adding some notes here so I'll remember to make my grist gal/lbs ratio higher than 1.25 the next time I do this. Reading that 1.75 would be more appropriate since the pumpkin clogs up a false bottom easily. Need to create a thinner more viscous mash. That said, primary ferment looks to be done on each of the batches. I'll be transferring to the secondaries this weekend and adding in split vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and a small amount of butternut extract. I'll let the secondaries condition for about 21 days and then will keg and bottle each batch with my new blichmann beer gun !! I'll probably end up giving away most of this beer (tend to do that with the pumpkin and xmas beers - fun to try a few, not something I want to drink for months).

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Old 08-26-2013, 03:34 AM   #4
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Transferred to secondary. Gravity at 1.012.

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Old 09-12-2013, 04:36 AM   #5
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I checked the FG gravity on the ESB batch. it was at 1.016. Making it roughly 4.75% ABV. London Ale batch is at 1.012 making it about 5.25% ABV. I sampled the ESB batch and it's quite nice. Despite the efficiency debacle I encountered, this might end up being a very sessionable pumpkin ale. Anyway, I just kegged the ESB batch tonight. I'll have it on 15 psi for about a week and then will give it a try. I didn't add butternut extract to this one. Debating on whether to add it to the London Ale batch. I'll see how this ESB batch turns out once it's carbed.

I'll keg the london ale batch this weekend and put it on one of the gas only T lines to carb and wait for the ESB batch to kick. Photos and tasting notes to follow.

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:07 AM   #6
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Poured my first from the ESB yeast batch today. Still moderately hazy but should clear up further. Very nice aroma and flavor. Highly drinkable with an excellent malt body the melds with the hops well. Interestingly, I'm getting some faint nut/chocolate impressions on the flavor. Pumpkin aroma and flavor is quite noticeable. Backing off the spices was a great idea this year and I'm enjoying this much more than last years clove/nutmeg/cinnamon heavy version. I am still letting the London Ale batch condition before kegging. It will be interesting to try that one and I suspect it will be drier/less sweet than this one since the FG is a few points lower. That said, I would definitely brew this ESB version again. More photos as this beer clears.



image-108808691.jpg

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Old 10-14-2013, 01:39 AM   #7
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Just kegged the London ale batch tonight. Fg came in at 1.008. Seems a bit drier and less sweet than the ESB batch.

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:57 AM   #8
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London ale batch.



image-2151902000.jpg

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Old 11-01-2013, 01:13 AM   #9
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So the main diff between the two batches is the ESB is maltier tasting and IMO a better tasting beer. And the London ale batch is clearer and more dry tasting with more of the typical English ale fruity notes. Both are good. Just depends on what you like. I handed out the London ale batch bottled up for coworkers. Figure a clearer looking drier beer would be more what the typical BMC drinker would go for. The photo (you can see clarity based on how clear you can see my hand) tables how similar the two are but diff in clarity.

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Old 11-01-2013, 01:36 AM   #10
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Good info. Thanks for sharing.

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