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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Bland Pumpkin beer
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:51 AM   #1
canihaveurpants
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Default Bland Pumpkin beer

So I brewed Northern Brewer's pumpkin ale about 5 weeks ago, adding 3 lbs. of roasted pumpkin puree to the boil and 1 tsp. of McCormick's pumpkin pie spice at flame-out. I kegged it a little over a week ago and took my first sample two days after only to find it tasted and smelled quite bland. After searching through the forums I decided that boiling 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice and adding it directly to the keg might improve the flavor/aroma. So tonight I pulled another glass to sample and it is still very bland! Barely any pumpkin/pumpkin spice aroma or taste. Color is very nice and mouth-feel is pretty decent but the beer is just not interesting. Could anyone recommend another method I may want to try to improve this 5 gallons of supposed pumpkin ale?

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Old 10-02-2012, 05:55 AM   #2
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When I made a pumpkin last year I roasted the pumpkin in a long wide pan with generous coating of pumpkin pie spices and brown sugar. I think I remember adding well more than a teaspoon at flame out, but I honestly can't recall. Did you put anything on the pumpkin? How long did you roast it for?

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Old 10-02-2012, 05:59 AM   #3
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I didn't add anything to the canned pumpkin. I baked it at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. I waited until the top of the pumpkin became slightly browned. Also, I should add that during fermentation my fermentation chamber smelled awesome! It smelled like perfect pumpkin pie which is really a let down with these underwhelming results.

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canihaveurpants View Post
I It smelled like perfect pumpkin pie which is really a let down with these underwhelming results.
Sounds like you lost all the delicious volatile aromas during fermentation... damn you healthy fermentation, damn you!!! This is like when dry hopping smells awesome, but after kegging it's bland. I don't know for a fact this is what happened in your case but it sounds familiar
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:29 AM   #5
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I made that recipe last year, I also found it a bit bland. Made my own this year and added WAY more spice in the boil and added some more in secondary. Early warm, flat tastings point to a much more interesting brew.

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:32 AM   #6
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As an addendum to my previous post, after reviewing my brewing notes I just found that I actually baked 60 oz of pumpkin puree at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and added 3/4 to the beginning of the boil and the remaining 1/4 at the last 10 minutes.

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:34 AM   #7
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Yeah unfortunately spices can work like dry hopping in that they can lose their flavor over time....5 weeks in the primary isn't crazy long though by any means. Hmmm...something else that comes to mind is that the beer wasn't properly mixed when you siphoned into the bottling bucket and you happened to get the blander ones first. Try getting a tiny bit of pumpkin pie spice and putting it in your glass before you pour the next one. If the flavor is impacted positively you might just want to add more spice next time.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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Default update

Just wanted to add that after some more reading on the forums and elsewhere I came to a working solution to my problem. I mixed 1.5 tsp of pumpkin pie spice into a shot's worth of vodka and let the mixture sit for a few days. I added the entire spice shot into the keg and waited a day or two to take a sample. This method fixed my problem and now I have been able to enjoy some really tasty pumpkin beer! Has some great flavor and the spice mixes well with the mouth-feel that the pumpkin brings to the beer.

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