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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Pumpkin ale boiling pumpkin question
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:13 PM   #1
Zokfend
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Default Pumpkin ale boiling pumpkin question

I'm doing a pumpkin ale based on a slightly modified version of Palmer's recipe. But I don't want to put the pumpkins in the mash, or do a "pumpkin-dissolved" strike water (it still sounds nifty though). I want to add them to the boil. I've read that pumpkins don't really add flavoring to the beer; it's the spices. I'm assuming pumpkins add some kind of "body" I guess. So if that's the case, I can understand some people saying to add the pumpkin at 60 minutes and spices at 5 minutes. But I've also read others saying to pitch the pumpkins at 15 minutes. What is the difference (besides the mess)?

Thanks.

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Old 09-04-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
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Elysian's philosophy seems to be that the more pumpkin you add & the more stages you add it = the more character you get from the pumpkin. They roast fresh pumpkin and incorporate it in the mash, boil, and fermenter. The flavor is bolstered by spices and pumpkin seeds.

Example of Night Owl:

"Brewed with 150 lbs. of pumpkin in each batch. Made with Pale, Munich and Crystal malts green and roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin in the mash, boil and fermenter. Bittered with Horizon hops. Spiced in conditioning with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice."

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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How about sprouting and drying the pumpkin seeds?

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:46 AM   #4
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Interesting, adding pumpkins in stages. I was actually considering adding spices in stages, first at 5 minutes prior to flame out, then adding more after transferring to secondary (preceded by a taste-test of course).

But for my first time around brewing a pumpkin ale, I'll probably just stick with a single pitch stage of pumpkin during boil. I just don't know if I will benefit at all by pitching it at 60 minutes. I am afraid that boiling too much will result in too much "vegetable" taste. That's why I'm leaning towards 15 minutes prior to flame out. Thoughts?

Thanks.

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Old 09-05-2012, 02:44 AM   #5
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Do you mind if i ask why you don't want to put the pumpkin in the mash?

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:11 AM   #6
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There is not techinacal science I think, and my opinion is do all the above. IM not and expert just an observer as with brewing and listening. Mash boil,torpedo,hopburst,dryhoppumpkin,add the trub dont add the trub,rack dont rack,I assume its more in favor of what the yeast does with it but adding more pumpkin adds more it seems. Spices enhance and will be more intense depending how much and when you add them as well. Good luck or just happy brewing.

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Old 09-05-2012, 03:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesharder View Post
Do you mind if i ask why you don't want to put the pumpkin in the mash?
definitely a fair question.

from what i've read, some people have issues with very slow to potentially stuck sparges (even with added rice hulls). i've read others say sparging is not the issue, it's cleaning all the gunk and goo from their braided hose (which is the setup i have). some say they don't have issues with anything, and clean-up is just part of the process - no pain no gain.

i personally hate clean-up, and i've not ever experienced a slow or stuck sparge before fortunately. so to be honest, i'm choosing not to put it in the mash simply to avoid the possibilities of what i described above. sorry if it sounds silly.

but if my first rodeo this weekend goes well, then i bet the next time i'll try something different like put pumpkin in the mash, or dissolve it in the strike water (may used canned pumpkin in that case).
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:01 AM   #8
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I just brewed two pumpkin ales this past week, except I used butternut squash. It tastes more like pumpkin than pumpkin (sounds strange I know). I cut the squash, removed the seeds and then steamed it. After peeling the skin off, I then hand mashed the squash flesh. Here is the most important part. PUT IT IN A NYLON GRAIN BAG. Then add to the mash. I do 1.5 qts/lb for the mash and stir every 10 minutes. I have a heated MLT, so it's easy to do multi-step mashes with this high of a ratio. I pull out the grain bag before doing the lauter. This way there is no way there can be a stuck mash. I just put the first batch into secondary and it's very orange and has just enough pumpkin (or squash) flavor, but not too much.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:04 AM   #9
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I recently made a pumpkin beer with my wife. I wanted to put the pumpkin in the mash, she wanted to put the pumpkin in the boil. So we compromised, and did both. We put a pound of canned pumpkin in the mash, and it stuck like crazy. So we stirred in some rice hulls and everything was ok. Then we added another pound of canned pumpkin to the boil, and finished up the brew day. After all the pumpkin that was added in boil settled out in primary i think we lost at least a gallon to the trub.

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