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Old 11-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
Monday8908
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Default Adding pumpkin to secondary

I have a pumpkin pie ale in the primary now. I did not use any actual pumpkin for the recipe, just some spices in addition to the ususal ingredients. Probably about time to transfer it to secondary, and I have been thinking that it just feels wrong to do one of these beers without using any pumpkin. I've looked around and can't seem to find anyone who has put pumpkin in the secondary with the beer. Does anyone have any experience with this? I know it's common with fruit, but will the pumpkin actually contribute anything to the beer at this point? Could it hurt anything?

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Old 11-01-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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Starch haze and roasted pumpkin flavor, if you roast it. The pumpkin beers I've liked best do not use pumpkin. Just as a good cream ale has no cream.

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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I have made several pumpkin ales. All using real pumpkins (pie pumpkins not jack-o-lanterns). The instructions I was following were to cut the pumpkin flesh into 1.5 inch cubes, skin and roast the pumpkin at 350 F for 30-40 minutes. Put the roasted, skinned pumpkin in the mash with pale malt to do an actual starch conversion of the pumpkin flesh.

Does it contribute any flavor? Very little, the spices always overpower the pumpkin flavor, but it does provide some coloring to the wort. I have heard of people using canned pumpkin due to the proprietary variety of pumpkin that some canners have, but I would be concerned about a stuck mash. Some have put the canned pumpkin in the boil, but I don't know what you would get from that.

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #4
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I've been wondering about using a 1 gallon pumpkin to secondary some of my pumpkin ale. I was going to ferment in it, but it was so late by the time I was done brewing (slow sparge) that I just put it all in the carboy.

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Old 11-02-2009, 03:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
I've been wondering about using a 1 gallon pumpkin to secondary some of my pumpkin ale.
This has been done and chronicled in the pages of Brew Your Own magazine. The results were not good. A nasty "raw vegetable" flavor was the result.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I guess I'll just let the recipe roll on as is. I did a pumpkin pie ale last year that turned out good that used pumpkin in the boil so this will give me a "pumpkinless" version to compare it to.

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Old 11-09-2009, 06:34 PM   #7
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I just did a pumpkin ale last night using real sugar pumpkins in the mash. I have another 10lb sweet pumpkin that I might use in secondary. I'm going to wait and see how it turns out after fermentation to see if it needs anything extra. I have pictures of the process at www.510brewing.com

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