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Old 08-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
william_shakes_beer
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Default Pumpkin ale suggestions

Its that time of year, when brewers hearts wander to laying in those obligatory pumpkin ales for the fall season. Last year I did 2 batches and was not pleased with either of them. Since then I have switched to AG so I am looking for a new recipie. Here's my process and the question is at the end:

1. I do not use roasted pumpkin or pumpkin puree. I use pumpkin pie spice, McCormick's.

2. First recipie used spice in the boil in a muslin bag. Result was beer but no discernable pumpkin(spice) notes.

3. For the second batch I omitted the bag and put the spice directly into the kettle at flame out. No discernable difference.

4. For each batch, i followed my usual procedure of dropping the cooled wort into the fermenter from the brew kettle through a sanitized SS strainer to remove the tub and hops sludge.

5. What is my best next step to pump up the spice flavor? I was thinking the spices are being strained out with the trub and I should instead add them when I pitch yeast, or after initial fermentation is complete (10-12 days)

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Old 08-10-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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Maybe try adding the pumpkin pie spice with some granulated sugar and water and make a simple syrup (not unlike one you would make with sugar and lemon peel for lemonade). Then add that.

Question though... why no pumpkin in your pumpkin ale? I would consider your take on it more of a "spiced ale." This definitely is a great style, and fits the season, but I wouldn't consider it a pumpkin ale. My 2 cents, I suppose!

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Old 08-10-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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How much spice are you using? If that's not the problem, maybe you should look into using pumpkin! I'm making a spice tea for my upcoming pumpkin ale... see recent comments here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/pump...12/index4.html

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Old 08-10-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
How much spice are you using? If that's not the problem, maybe you should look into using pumpkin! I'm making a spice tea for my upcoming pumpkin ale... see recent comments here:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/pump...12/index4.html
I started with a recipie from my LHBW which called for 2 tbsp in 5 gallons. How much do you use, and when do you add the tea, at pitch, or after initial fermentation has subsided? I was trying to make only one change at a time to be sure i could identify which gave me the biggest result. I have no problem scrapping the present recipie, since I switched to AG anyway and I have not been happy with the taste profile.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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How long did you have the spice in the boil? I know with Coriander there is a sweet spot at around 10-15 minutes where you need to add coarsely ground spice directly to the boil.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:47 PM   #6
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My first batch did the spices 60 minutes in a muslin bag. The second batch did 15 minutes, no bag.; Both batches the wort was then dropped through a SS strainer to remove trub and hops sludge.

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Old 08-10-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
My first batch did the spices 60 minutes in a muslin bag. The second batch did 15 minutes, no bag.; Both batches the wort was then dropped through a SS strainer to remove trub and hops sludge.
Without research, my next suggestion would be spicing the secondary in a bag or making a spice tea and adding to secondary. Either way, if the spices drop out I guess they won't be retained.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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I was going to flavor the wort after the boil with homemade liquid spice tea solution.

The problem with a generic 2 tbsp. recommendation is that the individual spices have different potencies. Nutmeg and clove will be stronger than cinnamon or orange zest. The spice tea allows me to balance all of those flavors as I'm steeping it, and then pitch what's necessary to season my wort.

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Old 08-10-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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Has anyone used the canned pumpkin you buy for pies with success? I've always wondered if that's something usable in the boil/fermentation process.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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The original recipie i started with called for pumpkin pie filling in the boil. I have seen recipies for pie filling, canned pumpkin and cut up pumpkin, all both baked and unbaked. The difference between pie filling and canned puree is the pie filling has spices added already.

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