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Old 10-07-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default How much fermentable sugar will I get from a pumpkin?

I'm about to brew a pumpkin ale, but I never know how much fermentable sugars, if any, will I get in my mash tun from a pumpkin? From my previous experience my guess is that I do get some sugar, but not much. Does anyone know the exact number?

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:38 PM   #2
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I'm curious about this as well. I also wonder if the pumpkin has enough starch in it to be worth mashing. I made a pumpkin ale last year with canned organic pumpkin added at the end of the boil (I baked it in the oven for an hour or so until lightly browned). The beer fermented down to 1.009 and ended up really clear. I don't understand the benefit of mashing the pumpkin with the grain. Sounds like a messy PITA. Anyone know the reason? And "because Jamil says so" is not a good answer.

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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Last year, I mashed the pumpkin, but I used a whole pumpkin which I roasted. This year, I am likely going to use canned pumpkin, and in that case I agree it should go in the boil.

Using BeerAlchemy to calculate my recipe, I did not see any difference in the OG using the pumpkin in the mash, meaning I got little, if any, sugar from the pumpkin. Just a guess, but tossing it into the boil should probably yield more sugar as the canned pumpkin has already been cooked anyway.

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Old 10-07-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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I have no idea on the fermentables issue, but I have done pumpkin ales with canned pumpkin both in the boil and in the mash. The one that I mashed (just a few weeks ago) has far more body and better color. And it wasn't a PITA to mash. Throw in a pound of rice hulls and you're golden so long as you go a bit slower on the sparge.

If you use it in the boil, you're going to have an assload more trub than if you use it in the mash.

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Old 10-07-2010, 08:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shecky View Post
I have no idea on the fermentables issue, but I have done pumpkin ales with canned pumpkin both in the boil and in the mash. The one that I mashed (just a few weeks ago) has far more body and better color. And it wasn't a PITA to mash. Throw in a pound of rice hulls and you're golden so long as you go a bit slower on the sparge.

If you use it in the boil, you're going to have an assload more trub than if you use it in the mash.
Yeah I noticed that last year, huge amount of trub. How much canned pumpkin did you add to the mash? I think I will try it if it's not a PITA as you say.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
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Yeah I noticed that last year, huge amount of trub. How much canned pumpkin did you add to the mash? I think I will try it if it's not a PITA as you say.
60 oz, four 15 oz cans. Baked it at 350 for 30 minutes then let it cool.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #7
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60 oz, four 15 oz cans. Baked it at 350 for 30 minutes then let it cool.
Sorry, should have asked last time. We're talking about five gallon batches here right?
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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Sorry, should have asked last time. We're talking about five gallon batches here right?
Yup.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:47 PM   #9
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I made my first pumpkin ale this year, and I also added 60oz of pumpkin to the mash. I added a pound of rice hulls, and my sparge went smooth as can be.

The beer has a nice full body, and lots of pumpkin aroma. I didn't get any fermentable sugar from the pumpkin though. My OG was 1.054, which was dead on for my grain bill without the pumpkin.

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Old 10-09-2010, 12:24 AM   #10
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I mashed the cooked pumpkin with the grains and it added nothing to my OG.

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