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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Attn Experienced Pumpkin Ale Brewers - Stuck Sparge Question

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Old 09-06-2011, 01:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by ASantiago View Post
This past weekend I brewed my first pumpkin ale, an all-grain job based on the "Pumpkin Spice Ale" recipe in Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's book "Brewing Classic Styles".

I used 5 15oz cans (4.69 lbs) of pumpkin pie pulp (Libby's), baked for 1 hr at 330F and mashed for 90 minutes. I also used 1/2 lb of rice hulls.

The mash was a disaster. The pumpkin pulp pretty much liquified, only to bond with the grain and create what I believe is the brewing equivalent of freaking concrete. I had an extremely hard time getting any of the liquid out, at one point almost giving up on the whole thing. Eventually I was able to get about 4.5 gallons of wort out and adjusted the procedure using Brewsmith to produce a beer similar to the original in OG.

I did a good bit of research before doing this brew and apparently I missed any warnings and war stories that may be out there about stuck sparges. Nowhere did I find anything about how chaotic it can be. I mean, the 10-gal round cooler mash tun's output tube was totally clogged. I had to take it apart to unclog it.

I have some thoughts about the possible issues.
  • 75 oz (5 15 oz cans) of pulp is waaaay too much.
  • 1/2 lb of rice hulls is not nearly enough for a 19 lb grist (~14 lbs of grain + ~5 lbs of pulp)
  • Instead of leaving the rice hulls undisturbed at the bottom of the mash tun, I mixed it in with the grain
  • Instead of leaving the pumpkin pulp on top of the grain undisturbed, I mixed it in with the grains

So, OK, how do *you* do it? Clearly there are people out there successfully brewing these recipes. What's the trick?
I am brewing this recipe in the next couple of weeks (just waiting for pumpkin pie pumpkins at the store) and was actually thinking of using some of the suggestions you have listed. I was planning on using a little more rice hulls that is recommended, mix them in with the grain and then stir the pumpkin pulp in the top third of the mash and try not to disturb the layers near the false bottom. What do you think?

I have a Blichmann boil pot with their false bottom that usually works great. I use a pump to recirculate for my mash out at 170 (using a HERMS). Do you think I should skip the mash out?
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #32
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I did mine last week with 1 lb rice hulls to 11 lbs of grain and 2 cans of Libby's Pumpkin roasted for an hr. Held it at 154 degrees for a hour and had a slow but efficient sparge with a little stuck but nothing a bit or stirring didnt clear up.

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Old 09-06-2011, 07:22 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NMG318 View Post
I am brewing this recipe in the next couple of weeks (just waiting for pumpkin pie pumpkins at the store) and was actually thinking of using some of the suggestions you have listed. I was planning on using a little more rice hulls that is recommended, mix them in with the grain and then stir the pumpkin pulp in the top third of the mash and try not to disturb the layers near the false bottom. What do you think?

I have a Blichmann boil pot with their false bottom that usually works great. I use a pump to recirculate for my mash out at 170 (using a HERMS). Do you think I should skip the mash out?
I haven't read this thread recently (and can't right now), but I do remember some good suggestions being posted. So check those out. Water/grain ratio may be an important one. Definitely use a lot more rice hulls. You may want to consider a mash out. And allocate plenty of time for the whole process.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:41 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by scottland View Post
I do 60oz of Pumpkin, 1lb rice hulls, and a thin mash, like 1.5qt/lb or higher. It makes for a slow but manageable sparge.
I made Yuri Rage's Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale this weekend. After dumbing down the 21 gallon batch to a 5 gallon batch I used 60 oz of Libby's canned pumpkin baked on a cookie sheet at 375* for 30 minutes or so, 1 lbs of rice hulls mixed into my grains, and mashed thin using 1.5 quarts per lbs. I batch sparged and saw only a slight slow down in flow when compared to the ESB I brewed earlier in the morning.

Sorry you had rough time with it. Hopefully it turns out awesome.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #35
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Brewing an Imperial pumpkin as I type:

15lbs 2-row
1lbs carapils
10oz. cara-amber
8oz. 40L
90oz. pumpkin puree

started with .5lbs of rice hulls, and figured out very quickly I needed another 1lb at least. I'm guessing I will be sparging for at least 3 hours, wish I would have found this thread before I started, the only good thing is I can boil off some wort on stove top to increase that ABV and par take in a little home-brew

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Old 08-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #36
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That's a lot of pumpkin.

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Old 08-15-2012, 12:45 PM   #37
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As Christopher Walken said in SNL: "I need more rice hulls!"

Or was it cow bell? :-D

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Old 09-02-2012, 10:12 PM   #38
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Glad someone else necro'd this great thread!

I'm about to brew one myself

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Old 09-22-2012, 11:50 PM   #39
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My solution has been using a no sparge. Even with that it still runs a little slow.

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Old 09-23-2012, 12:34 AM   #40
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toady not only did i do my first all gain, but my first brew day ever! .. and it was a Pumpking clone.. with LOTS of pumpkin ... stuck sparge ...
i ended up having to "stroke" my SS braid with my spoon, to get any liquid out, there were a the wort at when it was cooled down looked like Misso soup.. hope all will work out ???

i'll be making a Manifold for my next brew i'm using a Coleman eXtreme 38qt rectangular cooler.. and i did use #1 rice hulls

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