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Old 10-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #1
DD2000GT
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Default Need pumpkin ale experiences

I have been brewing a special holiday ale to give to friends and family for a few years, and this year I am thinking of a pumpkin ale. I have never made one, and I was NOT impressed with the Jacks Pumpkin Ale I had in a bottle. However, last night I was at BJs Brewery and their pumpkin ale was amazing - tasted just like eating a pumpkin pie. This is what I am looking for.

I had good results last year with AHS's Holiday Ale, so I was thinking about using their pumpkin ale recipe. Anyone tried this one yet AND tried the BJs Brewery version for comparison. Or, any good suggestions for a sweeter spicy recipe not the bland Jack Pumpkin Ale type?

Thanks,
Dan

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Old 10-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #2
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There have been lots of pumpkin ale threads here, I would look into those first:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/anyb...recipe-135534/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/pump...estions-82380/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/pump...-recipe-75398/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/plea...-recipe-12282/

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Old 10-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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I have a batch of their PA sitting in the primary. Its been there for several weeks so I cant comment on how it will ultimately come out. It DID smell awesome though. I plan to give this one away this year as gifts.
Thus far, I have yet to go wrong with an AHS recipe.
-Me

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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While I can't vouch for the BJs Brewery version, I can say that the AHS Pumpkin Ale is very good. I don't think that it's just like drinking a pie, however. The spices are subtle and really only noticible on the back end. I ended up using canned pumpkin in the mash (the recipe says that pumpkin is optional) but I'd be hard pressed to detect any real pumpkin flavor. With every batch of beer, I do a tasting with my co-workers and they all enjoyed it a lot.

If you're looking to get more of a "pie" flavor, you could always add more spices in the secondary (if you use a secondary) or even at bottling time.

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Old 10-26-2009, 05:13 PM   #5
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I'm a big, big fan of Thunderstuck Pumpkin Ale (see sig). Depending on how you blend the spices and what yeast you use it is very much like pie.

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Old 10-26-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Just tasted one I kegged up last week. I used the 1 1/2# kroger brand pumpking puree in the mash with a pound of rice hulls to help sparging and a pound of six row to help with starch conversion. Also picked up some pumpkin pie spices and used 2 tsp at the end of the boil and was pretty happy with it so far. the recipe was as follows:

10# two row
1# six row
1# rice hulls
1/2# cara pils
1/2# 55 crystal
1/2# 80 crystal
1/4# biscuit
1/8# carafa

1 oz Hall. Tradition FWH

Wyeast 1332

If I did it again I might add more biscuit, maybe 6 oz. The sweetness was where I was looking for but it could have had more maltiness to emulate the pie crust. After searching around online I found some interviews with professional breweries on pumpkin beers that was pretty helpful.

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Old 10-26-2009, 10:44 PM   #7
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+1 on the Thunderstruck. It came out great!

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Old 10-27-2009, 09:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I was thinking on using real pumpkin and baking based on what I read about the "slop" it makes in the boil - but may switch to just throwing it into the mash as I all grain brew. I do want it to taste just like a pumpkin pie though on the finished product, so maybe more spice is going to be needed for the AHS kit.

Dan

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Old 10-28-2009, 12:56 AM   #9
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I did a partial mash pumpkin and just tossed the pumpkin (two cans, which I baked) in with my grains. Seemed to keep a good amount of gunk out of the boil, but gave it a pretty great color. One other thing I did... While checking my gravity, I did a taste test to see where the spice level was at...It was more subtle than I was going for so I threw a little extra in. Turned out perfectly spiced, so that seemed to work.

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:08 AM   #10
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Default Thunderstruck is great . . . but use caution!

I brewed Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale adding the spice mix at flame-out. Tasted it at bottling time and couldn't find the spices, so I used the "spice tea" noted on the latest Thunderstruck recipe edit. Now, it's gone too far. Lesson? I don't know, but it's probably better to be underspiced than overspiced.

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