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berxleben 09-24-2012 04:08 AM

Pumpkin Ale Problems
 
My apologies if a similar thread is out there on this issue. I couldn't find one. I used a pumpkin ale extract kit from Midwest Supplies and added more canned pumpkin than it recommended. I believe I added roughly 90oz of canned pumpkin to hopefully obtain the pumpkin flavor. Also added the supplied spice mix plus 1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice. Came out to 1.054 before the yeast addition. Attempted straining the batch as it was going into the primary, but eventually got clogged 1/2 way through and just poured the rest into the primary and topped up to 5 gallons. As I went to transfer the beer to the secondary, I had almost 1 1/2-2 gallons of trub. Has anyone had this happen? Should I just accept the fact that I had less beer or should I top up the secondary with 1.5 gallons of boiled (and then cooled) water? Any help would be appreciated, I've done 11 batches of various beers and this is the first time I've run into an issue of way too much trub and roughly 3 gallons of beer before bottling.

agentEhrman 09-24-2012 04:35 AM

I probably wouldn't top off unless you don't like the taste. You would really be watering down your beer at that rate. 1.054 is a great OG for a pumpkin, imagine what it would have been with that extra water in the beginning. Pretty low. If anything, I would make a small batch of beer to add to it if you really want the full 5 gallons. You could give it a taste, and decide how much (if any) more pumpkin and spices to use in the second and smaller batch. I would probably just settle for what you have now, assuming you are happy with the flavor. It sounds like too much work to gain a couple of gallons. My two cents. As far as all that trub, I never worry about it. It's pretty much impossible for a pumpkin to not have a bunch. I just dump it all in the fermenter and pitch the yeast.

dhathazy 09-24-2012 11:48 AM

Berxleben, I had the same thing happen with my pumpkin ale, but I guess not as bad. I didn't add as much pumpkin as you, I think I added 64oz. I had close to a gallon of pumpkin gunk at the bottom of my primary when I transfered, so I too was a little disappointed that I was losing a decent amount of beer. But I didn't add any water or anything I left it alone except for adding a cinnamon stick. I bottled this past Saturday and I was pleasantly surprised that when I filled my bottling bucket it filled to roughly 4 and 1/4 gallon mark and when I was done bottling I was only four or five bottles short of two cases. I tasted a sample from the bottling bucket and was pretty good so I'm glad didn't mess with it. (I also added a tablespoon of vanilla extract when I bottled.) This was my first pumpkin ale so I did experiment with some spices, looking forward to cracking it open in four weeks!

As for the trub, I am thinking that is pretty standard for pumpkin ale. Next year I may wait until fresh pumpkin is available and use fresh instead of canned. Maybe large chunks of fresh pumpkin will be easier to "strain" when pouring into the primary than the canned mush.

berxleben 09-24-2012 01:35 PM

Thanks for the advice. I think I will just leave it as is and just have a small batch. It was just so odd to see that much trub. I didn't taste it but hopefully it will turn out ok, I forgot to post this but the FG was 1.012 so it seems that things went well.

dhathazy 09-25-2012 11:58 AM

Your gravity levels were both dead on with mine. I made the Austin Homebrew Supply version. Now the waiting....as Tom petty said, the waiting is the hardest part!

ReddHead 09-26-2012 05:05 PM

I made the same exact kit this past weekend but I used 75oz of pumpkin, and added 1/2 cup of turbinado along with triple the amount of spices they give you plus, all spice, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, etc. My gravity was 1.060.

It smells great coming out of the bubbler, and I'm sure I'll have a lot of trub but what else can ya do with all that extra mass.

dhathazy 09-27-2012 11:32 AM

ReddHead, That does sound tasty! Taste a sample when you transfer to secondary and see if the flaovor is where you want it. Mine seemed to lose a lot of the spice flavor after fermentation so I doctored it up some more. I also used brown sugar to prime instead of the standad priming sugar that came with it. Good luck!

ReddHead 09-27-2012 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dhathazy (Post 4448662)
ReddHead, That does sound tasty! Taste a sample when you transfer to secondary and see if the flaovor is where you want it. Mine seemed to lose a lot of the spice flavor after fermentation so I doctored it up some more. I also used brown sugar to prime instead of the standad priming sugar that came with it. Good luck!

Thanks. If I'm not tasting the spices coming through I will throw some more in the secondary.

jeremyfanning 09-27-2012 02:38 PM

Where are you putting the pumpkin, boil?

Have you considered steeping the pumpkin along with any specialty grains? I'm doing a ST Pumking Clone and steeped the pumpkin in a muslin bag after baking it for 45 mins. Turned out awesome, and you don't have the trub issues.

dhathazy 09-28-2012 11:31 AM

Jeremy, I just put my canned pumpkin right in the boil, no bag. I have since read that others have used a bag too so yeah I will probably do that next time. Also, if you wouldn't mind sharing you Pumking recipe, I would love to try that!


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