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Old 07-19-2009, 07:10 PM   #1
DOC123
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Default pumpkin spice ale question

So here it is, I am getting ready to brew a pumpkin spice ale. I was planning on using 4lbs of canned pumpkin. I have been told two different things and just wanted some opinions on them. For the first I was told not even to use pumpkin because hardly any of the flavor comes through in the beer and focus more on the spices. Two I was told just the opposite, to use pumpkin because it really brings out the flavor. Just wondering if someone can clear this up for me, because if the pumpkin doesn't really add anything I'm just going to omit it. Thanks again

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Old 07-20-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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First of all, if you DO use pumpkin, it should be mashed. You could even toast it yourself in the oven to give it a more complex flavor. The flavor mashing actual pumpkin imparts is there, but takes a backseat to the spices used. Many commercial breweries don't use pumpkin anyway, as the amount and type of spices used typically suffice to give that "pumpkin-pie" flavor. You can go either way with it, depending on how in-depth you want to take it.

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Old 07-20-2009, 12:55 PM   #3
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i made what i called "yule spice beer" last year with pumpkin pie spices. it tasted like pumpkin pie.
the pumpkin itself doesn't contribute that much flavor. i've even had "pumpkin pie" made with zucchini squash or sweet potatoes that still tasted like it.
so it seems like pumpkin is more trouble than it's worth. if i did use it, i would toast chunks of it rather than have a gooey mass of pulp.

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Old 07-20-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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+1 to roasting the pumpkin. I did a group brew with some folks and we roasted some sugar pumpkin and steeped the pumpkin just like you would steep specialty grains. We added a pumpkin pie spice mix along with some split vanilla beans. One of the better brews I have tasted.

The roasting of the pumpkin really brings out the sugary goodness of the pumpkin without being over powering.

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Old 07-20-2009, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpstick View Post
i've even had "pumpkin pie" made with zucchini squash or sweet potatoes that still tasted like it.
Technically, the canned stuff is actually something like summer squash, as opposed to REAL pumpkin, anyway.

The only detectable flavor i've ever gotten from it, is when i toast it. FWIW.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
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I made a pumpkin pie amber last year. I used 3 large cans of pumpkin and toasted it in the oven for 20ish minutes. I divided the tray into 3 even portions and added it at 45, 30, 15 minutes in the boil. There was so much pumpkin flavor. It was delicious.

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Old 07-22-2009, 05:17 AM   #7
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We did a batch last year and I'm not sure if i wanna do it with pumpkin again or not. The pumpkin was mashed pumpkin and toasted which brought out some flavor but I'd say most of our flavoring came from the spices we added. The pumpkin part made it feel more like a "pumpkin" ale though. Try one of each and see how it turns out for you, if you like one not the other, you've eliminated a hassle and if you like both, two awesome batches of a great fall bonfire brew!!

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:50 PM   #8
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I like to use the pumpkin for sure, but I cut it back to 60 oz's though. I also made a 6 gallon batch and it looks great I should get 5 gallons out of it. I would say use both pumpkin and spices, but that will be up to you in the end. Just remember a little spice will go a long way. Here is mine I just did on 7-18-09.

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Old 07-22-2009, 02:10 PM   #9
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Gentleman.
You say a little spice will go a long way, how much are you adding and do you use individual spices or just pumpkin pie spice.

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