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Old 08-13-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
mcelrokj
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Default Pumpkin juice vs pumpkin chunks

Its that time of year, starting to think about brewing my october beer, and Im going to try out a pumpkin ale. I haven't done one before and wanted to see what people thought about the use of pumpkin juice as an ingredient.

I recently got a fancy juicer for everyday use and thought it might be useful in making a pumpkin ale, instead of dealing with having the pumpkin pieces in the wort and having to deal with it when racking, etc.

Has anyone out there had any experience in using pumpkin in juice form? I'd be interested in hearing about your methods, if you cook it first, when you add it in the brewing/fermentation process. or if anyone might have ideas on how to best utilize pumpkin for its juice as a beer ingredient.

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Old 08-13-2011, 03:34 PM   #2
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Pumpkin juice won't give you that "little something" that fresh chunks will give you. The way we make our pumpkin porter is to boil the pumpkin in the kettle, keep the water, mash the pumpkin and add to our actual mash of grains. Then we just discard the spent pumpkin with the mashed grains. It makes a world of difference, I think. It's worth the extra work. Plus, who really wants to clean a juicer? lol

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Old 08-14-2011, 06:01 AM   #3
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When I made mine 2 years ago...I used the canned pumpkin pie filling (pre-spiced) and spread it out on a cookie sheet. I baked it at 250 for about 30 minutes to let the sugars start to caramelize and then just added it in at the last 15 minutes of my boil...turned out really good...if you are a fan of liquid pumpkin pie.

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Old 08-25-2011, 04:16 AM   #4
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Really all you need is pumpkin pie spice like normal, but leave out the pumpkin.

I did a few really messy pumpkin beers with chunks until I found out that tidbit on here somewhere. I tried it and it tasted just the same. I guess it is not the pumpkin itself that adds the flavor, but the spices.

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Old 08-30-2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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thanks rellot. ive decided to forgo the pumpkin and just go with the pumpkin spices. now, to find a recipe. all the recipes i find online include pumpkin. can you just use any of these recipes and leave out the pumpkin? or does the recipe need to be different if you are omitting the pumpkin?

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Old 08-30-2011, 02:04 PM   #6
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Just use the same recipe and leave out the pumpkin, or at least that's what I did. Make sure you use fresh spices. I did one with old spices and didn't taste as good. I think I really just used Northern Brewer's wheat ale's recipe (4lbs 2-row 4lbs wheat) and added the amount of spices I found somewhere. Not sure where though. You might search here on HBT, that's where I found out you don't need pumpkin, so maybe they had the amounts on that post. Or I could look back on my beersmith log once I get home.

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Old 08-30-2011, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rellot View Post
I guess it is not the pumpkin itself that adds the flavor, but the spices.
FWIW my grandmother once made a savory pumpkin soup, didn't tell us what it was, and asked us to guess as we were chowing down. We couldn't figure it out.

The soup was salty and bland. Didn't taste anything at all what I thought pumpkins tasted like.

So yea, I haven't brewed a pumpkin ale yet. But it would make sense to me that the spices provide all of the flavor and not the pumpkin itself.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:01 PM   #8
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I just have to jump back in and say that the pumpkin itself lends BODY, rather than flavor. I think it's key. You can add those spices to your pale ale and call in a "pumpkin ale" but it's just not the real thing.

Do it right, and trust me, it's better. Mash in the pumpkin with your grain(or partial mash) and add rice hulls to avoid a stuck sparge(all-grain).

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:11 AM   #9
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Yeah, use pumpkin if you want. You could always add maltodextrin for body, it would be less messy, but if you are purest, go ahead.

I'm not sure pumpkin chunks really add that much body. At least I didn't notice it, but hey, I've been wrong before and will be wrong again.

Here's the recipe I used:



BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Pumpkin Wheat
Brewer:
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Wheat or Rye Beer
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Estimated Color: 3.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 16.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.00 lb Pale Malt - Rahr (1.8 SRM) Grain 47.06 %
4.00 lb Wheat Malt (2.0 SRM) Grain 47.06 %
0.50 oz Willamette [5.00 %] (60 min) Hops 9.5 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [6.90 %] (15 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
0.25 tsp Cloves ground (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Allspice (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Heading powder (Bottling 5.0 min) Misc
0.50 tsp Nutmeg (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.00 tsp Cinnamon (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.00 tbsp PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
0.50 lb Brown Sugar, Light (8.0 SRM) Sugar 5.88 %
1 Pkgs American Wheat Ale (Wyeast Labs #1010) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 8.00 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 10.00 qt of water at 169.4 F 154.0 F

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rellot View Post
Really all you need is pumpkin pie spice like normal, but leave out the pumpkin.

I did a few really messy pumpkin beers with chunks until I found out that tidbit on here somewhere. I tried it and it tasted just the same. I guess it is not the pumpkin itself that adds the flavor, but the spices.

Interesting. I always wondered about this.
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