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Old 09-27-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
mcwilcr
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Default Another Pumpkin ale thread... Tis the season!

I brewed my annual pumpkin ale on Sunday which is always a big hit with everyone but this time I did something drastically different that I have never done before and am curious to hear opinions on how the change will effect the finished beer.

the modification was purely dictated by my LHBS having a shortage of bulk extract meaning they did not have any light LME of which I typically use 7 lbs., and my impatience. As a substitution for this I used 7 lbs. of Wheat LME. I figure the effects on the beer will something like a smoother fuller beer but I am not sure how it will effect flavor since the only time I have used Wheat LME before, I used traditional belgian wit yeast and appropriate spices for the style. In this case I am using a traditional American ale yeast (US-05) which ferments out very clean and am not sure what flavor I will get from the Wheat.

Any Thoughts?!?

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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I really like the way this could turn out. I have no idea what to tell you but I love improvision... Because from improvision comes innovation. I have never done a pumpkin ale... Please keep us posted!

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:32 PM   #3
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If I were you I would not drink this. Send it to me and I'll dispose of it properly.

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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There are a number of wheat based pumpkin ale's out there on the market but they usually only use a little wheat. Blue Moon's pumpkin, Shocktop, and a few others use wheat. How it will come out, especially with the quantity you used, I personally have no idea, might be rather interesting. Also may help for everyone to see the full ingredient list. You used more than just wheat right?


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Old 09-27-2011, 06:07 PM   #5
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The recipe, as best as I can do now from memory is as follows

Fermentables / steeping grains
7 lbs. Wheat LME
1 lb. Charamunich Malt
0.5 lb. Crystal Malt (40L)
0.25 lb. Belgian Biscuit Malt
1 cup brown sugar, light
1/2 cup molasses

Hops
1 oz. Willamette (60 min)
.5 oz. Stirling (10 min)
.5 oz Stirling (5 min)

Other Ingredients
60 oz. Libby's 100% pure pumpkin, roasted at 350F for 30 min. and added with the extract.
Spices (I dont remember exact quantities of each off the top of my head) are Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Allspice, and Vanilla extract.

Yeast
US-05

O.G. 1.060

but I intintionally did not originally post all of that because I am primarily curious about the effect the one primary change will have made.

I know there are a few wheat pumpkin ales out there but to my knowledge they still treat them like a wheat ale and use an appropriate yeast for that which by standard convention US-05 is not.

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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I made an all wheat extract ale at the beginning of the summer, I think with Wyeast 1056, and it was interesting. Very very smooth with a fantastic creamy head. I put in some orange zest at flameout which added more to the aroma than the flavor.

Based on what I remember of the beer (and my own limited brewing knowledge), I think it could take well to pumpkin and spices. It will be a bit less malty than the typical pumpkin, and the spices will be really prominent. Maybe you'll get a nice orange head on top! I bet it'll be delicious, I'd love to try some.

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Old 10-31-2011, 03:32 PM   #7
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UPDATE: This one finished out at a FG of 1.016. I bottled it two weeks ago and sampled one yesterday that I put in the fridge a couple days ago. The beer was a little on the low side of carbonation which I kind of expected considering that bottle was only carbing at room temp for 12 days but I was getting impatient so... The spices were good, mild in the background but noticeably there. I might cut back on the ginger a bit to what I used in previous batches in the next batch though. It's not in your face but the ginger does stand out ahead of the other spices. The mouth feel is nice, full and smooth like you would expect from a pumpkin ale. The hop characters are very faint in the background which is where they belong for this beer in my opinion. the only thing I notice that I am curious about is a slight tartness that I cant figure out the source of. it is mild and does not seem to detract much from the beer but I am not sure where it came from. If I had to guess though, this will go away as the beer matures a little bit more.

Any thoughts on the source of the tartness?

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Old 10-31-2011, 08:23 PM   #8
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Hey mcwilcr - I'm going to brew my first pumpkin beer this week and I have some questions for you. Did you leave the pumpkin in the wort during fermentation, or did you strain it out? I've seen some variations on this, and someone said to add the pumpkin at flameout so you don't lose aromatics. I baked fresh pumpkin yesterday and I'm thinking of adding 1/2 of it with the malt and 1/2 at flameout. Not sure how this will affect taste/aroma. I want a "subtle" pumpkin flavor.

Also - how much spice did you add and when did you add them? I don't want an overwhelming spice taste. I'm going to use pumpkin pie spice for this.

Thanks -

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Old 10-31-2011, 08:45 PM   #9
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Mellowtiger:
You will get very little flavor if any directly from the pumpkin itself. What pumpkin primarily contributes is mouthfeel and I'm pretty certain some fermentable sugars. I personally add the umpkin to the boil to get as much out of it as I can and keep it in through primary.

As far as spices, I will check my recipe when I get home.

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Old 10-31-2011, 10:35 PM   #10
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I'm wondering if I can "recycle" the kids' jack o' lanterns. They're fresh since we just carved them yesterday and in years past my wife has made pie from the jack o' lanterns.

Do you toast the pumpkin flesh or pepare it in any way?

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