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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Pumpkin! The great debate!
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:47 AM   #1
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Default Pumpkin! The great debate!

So, I've read numerous threads where people say they don't even use pumpkin in their pumpkin ales. They say they only use pumpkin spice, because the pumpkin doesn't contribute any real character to the brew.

I can't help but think that can't be true, because today I made my first pumpkin brew with 75 oz of canned pumpkin in the mash. The wort has the most wonderful aroma and flavor of pumpkin right now. Am I to assume that this flavor and aroma will scrub out after fermentation? I certainly hope not, because it literally tastes like liquied pumpkin pie right now. I have to think that some of this pumpkin character will stick around post fermentation...

So, tell us...

Pumpkin? Or no pumpkin?

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Old 08-12-2012, 02:49 AM   #2
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Kinda depends... Did you roast the pumpkin before you mashed it? If you roast it, you carmelize some of the sugars, thus making them non-fermentable, so they'll stick around in your final product. Don't roast, and they'll tend to ferment right out and not leave much behind.

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Old 08-12-2012, 02:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
Kinda depends... Did you roast the pumpkin before you mashed it? If you roast it, you carmelize some of the sugars, thus making them non-fermentable, so they'll stick around in your final product. Don't roast, and they'll tend to ferment right out and not leave much behind.
I didn't roast the pumpkin, but my mind tells me to disagree with what you've said. I do agree that roasting it might make the sugars less fermentable, but I tend to think sugars and flavors are two different components. Even after the sugar ferments out, I would think some of the flavor compounds would still be there...
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Old 08-12-2012, 03:00 AM   #4
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You also say "pumpkin pie" taste did you use pumpkin or pumpkin pie filling which is already spiced? Huge difference pumpkin has not a lot of pumpkin pie flavor on its own. It's the spices that give it the pumpkin pie taste not the pumpkin itself

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:00 AM   #5
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Disagree with me or not, but do a little independent research and you'll likely come up with exactly what I wrote. Year before last, I brewed a pumpkin ale with a buddy of mine, did not roast it, and there was NO pumpkin character in the finished product. I did a lot of research last year before attempting my own, both here and talking to the guys at my LHBS, and roasting the pumpkin kept coming up. So I tried it out, and the results were night and day different.

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:04 AM   #6
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Roasted or not, it most certainly must add something, right? If anything, where else would you get that classic pumpkin orange color?

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Old 08-12-2012, 03:14 AM   #7
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When I eat pumpkin pie, sure I taste the spices. I also taste the pumpkin, though. I didn't use spiced pumpkin, but I did add pumpkin spice to the brew. I will indeed use this batch as a "test batch", but there is definitely very defined pumpkin flavor right along with the spice flavor. I don't disagree with any of you to be offensive. It just seems like this flavor is so strong it couldn't possibly disappear (at least that's what I'm hoping). The orange colored wort is magnificent to look at. Only time will tell, I suppose....

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:09 AM   #8
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I just brewed a pumpkin lager a couple weeks ago. I had 2 lbs of roasted pumpkin in the mash and the mash smelled amazingly of pumpkin, just like yours. All my gravity samples had zero pumpkin anything. No flavor, no aroma, nothing. I just added my pumpkin pie spices tonight, so we'll see how that comes out after another month and some change of lagering. Now granted, I didn't use nearly as much pumpkin as you did, but I figured I would get something, but I had nothing. I hope your brew works out for you.

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:11 AM   #9
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roasting, then 2/3 in the mash and 1/3 in the boil has never failed me.

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:13 AM   #10
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Thanks Nuke! Your results discourage me a little, but maybe since I used so much it will linger a little.

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