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-   -   It's never too early - critique this Pumpkin Ale! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/its-never-too-early-critique-pumpkin-ale-33815/)

NOVA Brewer 07-12-2007 02:59 AM

It's never too early - critique this Pumpkin Ale!
 
6.6 lbs. amber DME
0.5 lbs. Carapils
0.5 lbs. 60L Crystal malt
0.33 lbs. brown sugar
1 oz. Goldings hops
30 oz. canned pumpkin
?? spices

Here's my plan: caramelize the pumpkin in baking sheets while steeping the grains. Add the pumpkin, half the DME, the sugar, and the hops (for bittering) at boil for 60 minutes. After boil, add remaining DME.

Pitch WLP#051 California Ale V yeast, ferment for a week, move into secondary for two, then bottle.

My questions:

I'm planning on using the premixed "pumpkin pie spice" you can buy at the grocery store, but I'm unsure how much to add. I've seen pumpkin ale recipes that contain anywhere from one teaspoon to six teaspoons of spices. How much should I use?

Will the brown sugar add any taste or body to the beer at all, or should I leave it out all together?

Let me know what you think, folks. I plan on brewing this toward the end of the month.

Sir Humpsalot 07-12-2007 03:07 AM

Funny. I was just working up my pumpkin ale recipe earlier today!!!

I can't help much as I haven't gotten very far myself, but 6 teaspoons is a LOT of spice!!! I'm guessing the max would be somewhere around 3 teaspoons. On the other hand though, you will have 3 months to condition it....

chthonik 07-12-2007 06:12 PM

I'm planning a pumpkin ale too. Looking around at what other people have done, a lot of people suggest using cut chunks of whole pumpkin instead of canned because it is easier to get the beer off the pumpkin. I hear canned pumpkin leaves you with too much sludge and you lose a lot of wort.

For this reason when me and my friends made a strawberry beer, we just quartered the berries instead of using berry puree. We got almost all the beer off the berries easily.

For pumpkin, I was originally planning on putting the pumpkin in with any steeped grains, but now I'm thinking about putting it in secondary along with the spices.

The brown sugar should definitely add flavor! I'm thinking about carbing with molasses for flavor in addition to carbonation.

Evan! 07-12-2007 06:22 PM

I have some advice for you: if you use the canned pumpkin, be prepared to lose at least a gallon of the batch to the solids. Probably more than that. I sat there and strained mine through the funnel strainer for HOURS. Literally. I watched the entirety of Dr. Strangelove and only got 2/3 of it in there by the end of the movie. And even after straining out all the solids, I STILL had a good 6" of solids at the bottom of the fermenter once primary fermentation was done.

The pumpkin solids suck, suck, suck. If I were to do it again, I'd use real pumpkin cut up and baked, then put into the boil. Either that, or make a 6.5 gallon batch and just plan on losing about 1.5 gals.

Sir Humpsalot 07-12-2007 09:14 PM

Into the boil it is then!!!!

jzal8 07-16-2007 11:59 AM

Please continue to keep us updated on what you do and how it works out. I am definitely going to brew a pumpkin ale soon as well.

RichBrewer 07-16-2007 01:24 PM

Here's photos of the one I made. I did a 6 1/4 gallon batch because I wanted the pumpkin in the boil and as much as possible in the fermenter. I ended up with a little over 5 gallons of beer in the secondary. I was worried when I first saw the trub/pumpkin in the fermenter. It looked like a lot! I gave it almost 2 weeks in the primary and as you can see it settled out fairly well. I've replied to your questions below the photos.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...PumpkinAle.jpghttp://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...ionSlowing.jpg
Within a couple hours, the pumpkin and trub floated to the top of the fermenter. When fermentation took off the pumpkin mixed and circulated in the wort.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...leKraeusen.jpg
Quote:

Originally Posted by NOVA Brewer
My questions:
I'm planning on using the premixed "pumpkin pie spice" you can buy at the grocery store, but I'm unsure how much to add. I've seen pumpkin ale recipes that contain anywhere from one teaspoon to six teaspoons of spices. How much should I use?

I used:
2.50 Tsp Cinnamon Spice 10 Min.(boil)
1.50 Tsp Nutmeg Spice 10 Min.(boil)
1.50 Tsp Allspice Spice 10 Min.(boil)
I think it has a nice balance between the malt, spices, and pumpkin.
I don't see why you can't use the pumpkin pie spices unless you want more of a certain spice.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NOVA Brewer
Will the brown sugar add any taste or body to the beer at all, or should I leave it out all together?

The brown sugar might be a nice addition to the beer. I would add it late in the boil however. Maybe the last 5 minutes or so.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NOVA Brewer
Let me know what you think, folks. I plan on brewing this toward the end of the month.

Good luck and keep us informed.

Beerrific 07-16-2007 01:52 PM

I too am planning a pumpkin ale soon. I had debated putting the pumpkin in the mash but I think I will end up caramalizing it and boiling. I can only boil about 6.5g and ferment 5.5g so I am trying to work things out to end up with 5 gallons at the end. For you guys that have boiled pumpkin, did you leave most in the pot? How much volume did you loose after racking?

I would like to leave the pumpkin in the pot, add more grain (possibly extract) to the boil then top up with 1-2gallons to have 5.5 in the primary. But, if you think I am going to loose too much in the primary I might go buy a big 7.5g bucket for primary.

Too bad there aren't whole pumpkins for sale now, I think they would be easier to handle. They go on sale about the time I want to have this in bottles so it will be good and conditioned for the holidays.

jnielsen 07-22-2007 01:59 PM

i saw a recipe where baked slices of a whole pumpkin are used and steeped it with the grains at 155 degrees and then removed it and the grains before the boil that would help with the sediment but would it give enough of the pumpkin flavor.


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