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Old 03-18-2013, 06:24 PM   #21
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Regarding the roasting bit everyone is talking about....

How long did you roast the pumpkin?
At what temperature did you roast it?
Did you roast canned pumpkin or the real thing?
If it was a real pumpkin, did you scrape off the shell first?

Thanks! Looking to make my first pumpkin ale (maybe lager?) this year!

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Old 03-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #22
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I would tend to completely ignore anyone's opinion on whether or not pumpkin contributes anything unless they actually tested the same recipe with & without pumpkin.

And the list of people who've done that would be very short indeed. In other words, this is mostly just speculation.

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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.
While your process may lead to different flavors, your explanation doesn't quite fit. There are very few sugars in pumpkin.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:31 PM   #23
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Very few and none are two different things, and I'd even challenge the "very few" qualification.

In my case, I've used Libby's Canned 100% Pumpkin. I don't recall, and their site isn't super helpful in telling us (serving size 0? really?), how many servings are in a 60oz can, but my recipe has called for, if memory serves, 2x60oz cans. And each serving has 4g of sugar. So there's definitely a measurable amount of sugar in there.

As for the difference between with and without pumpkin, I can't speak to that. I can speak to the difference between roasted and non-roasted, or roasting for various amounts of time. On our first attempt, my buddy tossed in a few cans without any preparation, and the resulting beer, while good, was not really what we'd call a pumpkin ale. On my next attempt, I roasted it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes, and found that there was a noticeable pumpkin note in addition to the spices I used. The following year, I roasted the pumpkin for an hour, and found that note was just about exactly where I wanted it. For reference, particularly on the most recent version, I was able to sample the brew before adding any spices (I used a spice tea post-fermentation), so it was definitely not just a case of "pumpkin spice = pumpkin flavor."

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Old 03-18-2013, 09:28 PM   #24
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Have not tried making pumpkin/squash ale like this, but I've heard the best way to get pumpkin character is to put the roasted squash in the primary fermenter, and skip the spices entirely. I'm hoping to try this with a few giant hubbards that I grew last year. Not counting on them contributing any fermentables.

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:28 PM   #25
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I have found that pumpkin aside from adding flavor also adds mouthfeel to a brew much like adding oats would.

Late to the party I know but just tossing in my .02

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:33 PM   #26
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Stratslinger - the serving size is 122g, so that's 3% sugars. Measurable, yes. Significant, not really. I tend to believe you that roasting helps, but it seems unlikely it has to do with sugars. Roasting certainly makes lots of things yummy that are low in sugars.

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:37 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
I have found that pumpkin aside from adding flavor also adds mouthfeel to a brew much like adding oats would.

Late to the party I know but just tossing in my .02
Interesting theory, but I'm not seeing the mechanism for that to be so. Oats adds some unfermentable sugars (see the article in the current issue of BYO) but it doesn't seem that pumpkin has the sugar or starch content to do that. It's mainly just water.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:23 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
Very few and none are two different things, and I'd even challenge the "very few" qualification.
so would I.
some of us brew a lot. the idea that these side by side recipe comparisons aren't done is Ludicrous.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:20 AM   #29
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Quote:
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so would I.
some of us brew a lot. the idea that these side by side recipe comparisons aren't done is Ludicrous.
Wow, so hundreds of people here on HBT test pumpkin beers with and without pumpkin, eh? Including most of those responding in this thread. That's fascinating.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:20 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow
Wow, so hundreds of people here on HBT test pumpkin beers with and without pumpkin, eh? Including most of those responding in this thread. That's fascinating.
Probably, yes. There are tens of thousands of members, many of which don't even post but just use the forum to gather info. It wouldn't take hundreds of people doing it to disqualify your assertion though. I would take the word of even one of the many experienced brewers on the forum who have earned my respect. It's strange the things people are willing to argue about.
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