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Old 10-07-2009, 05:21 PM   #1
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Default Q about pumpkin flavor

I resisted creating this topic...but I cannot for the life of me find the answer after days, and hours, of searching. Most topics are on Pumpkin "spice" beer.

I want beer with very strong pumpkin flavor, less spices. Would adding more pumpkin do this? Or is there really very little flavor added from the pumpkin? I want to just use canned pumpkin. Most recipes call for 3-4 pounds. I'm thinking of using 5-6 pounds, spread on baking sheet and baked to carmelize. I will put very little spice, maybe half what is used in most recipes. The base for my recipe is the Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale. I plan to strain the pumpkin out to minimize trub in primary. Does this take away pumpkin flavor?

Is this worth it? Or am I just not going to notice the flavor much?

As I said, I've been searching and can't find these exact answers. If you can point me to a thread that has them I would be just as happy. Thanks!

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Old 10-07-2009, 05:34 PM   #2
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There is very little flavor from pumpkin alone. That's why the spices are added. Take a pumpkin, slice it open, roast it, then cool it and taste. It'll be pretty bland. Add the spices and, there ya go! In fact, I don't add any real pumpkin to my pumpkin ale - just the spices. That's what you taste and, more importantly, smell when you have a slice of pumpkin pie or anything with pumpkin added.

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Old 10-07-2009, 05:42 PM   #3
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hmm...but if you added enough pumpkin would that help the pumpkin flavor? I've been trying various pumpkin beers lately and I like the ones with less spice and more of what I percieve to be the pumpkin flavor. Say I went WAY overkill on canned pumpkin?

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Old 10-07-2009, 05:45 PM   #4
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Most people associate pumpkin flavor with the spices added to pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin by itself tastes bland like zucchini or eggplant.

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Old 10-07-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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Maybe I am doing exactly as you say Bobby, maybe what I think is the pumpkin is the pumpkin pie spices. Guess I'll try a few more and decide. I like zucchini and eggplant, but feel pumpkin has more flavor than both. Even though yes, a more bland flavor.

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Old 10-08-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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I want to post this in case others need the information, hopefully they find it. I bought a can of pumpkin to taste test. I tried it raw, raw+pumpkin pie spice, baked, and baked + pumpkin pie spice.

Raw vs. Raw w/ spice: Raw it tastes like a bit more flavorful zucchini, as stated by Bobby. Pretty bland. With the spice it adds a little and it does lend the "pumpkin pie" taste.

Baked vs. Baked w/spice: Baking it brings out more flavor in the pumpkin. You can tell a difference vs. raw. And with the spice it has more "pumpkin pie" flavor.

So basically the spice adds pumpkin pie flavor. While alone it just has a pumpkin taste, maybe not strong enough to get much flavor out of it in a beer.

I also tasted the spice by itself. I don't see how just using the spice can give you a pumpkin beer. It tastes like it would just give a pumpkin spice beer...which is what others have wanted. Combining it with the pumpkin seems the way to go, especially if you want the pumpkin pie taste.

All of this is before actually making a beer with it. But the flavors should remain similar when used in the beer.

Myself, i decided that I will use a larger amount of pumpkin than normal and put spice on the pumpkin while baking it. I have never read this done, so I'd like to know how it does. I'll update you guys if anyone cares haha. I did eat an entire can of pumpkin to test this...mmmm....I like pumpkin.

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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Default Pumpkin

I too seem to enjoy the pumpkin beers with less spices. Seems like some of the pumpkin beers have a lot of clove in them. I looked at my pumpkin pie recipe and there is no clove in there, so I brew my pumpkin beers without clove. I also roast 2 pie pumpkins (about 5-5.5 lbs after removed from shell) at 375 for about 90 minutes, scoop it out of the shell, and put it in the mash. I add my spices with 1 or 2 minutes left in the boil.

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Old 10-08-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
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From the many different variations of pumpkin ales I've tasted over the years, I think that the best flavors will come from canned pumpkin. I also agree with the above posts, in that, most of the flavors come from the spices ... pumpkin is a very bland flavor and if you use raw pumpkin, will impart a vegatal flavor to the beer if used too much.

I'd use canned pumpkin and just a bit of spice, as the spices can be quickly be overpowering, be careful.

~r~

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:04 PM   #9
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A lot of people cant taste the pumpkin in beer or pie for that matter.Personaly I can and enjoy a lot of pumpkin flavor.That said I like the spices too.So yeah throw in a bunch of pumpkin in the mash or if your doing extract in the last 10 mins of the boil and see if you like it.

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Old 10-08-2009, 09:15 PM   #10
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Why the last ten minutes vs. the entire boil? And what is a "bunch" of pumpkin to you? I really enjoy the pumpkin flavor as well, more so than the spices.

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