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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > All Grain Greenhorn- Pumpkin
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Old 08-02-2014, 02:36 AM   #1
MicMurphy
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Default All Grain Greenhorn- Pumpkin

So, I have recently made the leap into all grain brewing with good results so far.... I have been using the brew target software and have been concentrating mostly on SMASH beers until I lock down my system and get my legs under me. Most recently I brewed an amazing Vienna/Centennial Smash which knocked everyone's socks off (and did wonders for my brewing confidence).

Shameless self plugging aside, I am going over my old extract recipes and looking to improve on some of my better beers through the all grain process. As Pumpking has already hit retail shelves, I thought I should start dealing with my pumpkin beer.

Additions aside (I have not plugged in any values for the spices, pumpkin, lactose, etc... as I feel confident I can use the same as I did with extract), I was wondering if anybody would mind checking over my base beer recipe and offering up any advice. Thanks in advance!

MQ: Pumpkin Pie - Christmas/Winter Specialty Spiced Beer
================================================== ==============================
Batch Size: 5.500 gal
Boil Size: 6.750 gal
Boil Time: 60.000 min
Efficiency: 70%
OG: 1.071
FG: 1.021
ABV: 5.4%
Bitterness: 31.2 IBUs (Tinseth)
Color: 14 SRM (Morey)

Fermentables
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
Pale Malt (2 Row) US Grain 8.000 lb Yes No 79% 2 L
Briess - Vienna Malt Grain 4.000 lb Yes No 78% 4 L
Briess - Caramel Malt 40L Grain 2.000 lb No No 75% 40 L
Biscuit Malt Grain 2.000 lb No No 79% 23 L
Milk Sugar (Lactose) Sugar 2.000 lb No Yes 76% 0 L
Total grain: 18.000 lb

Hops
================================================== ==============================
Name Alpha Amount Use Time Form IBU
Kent Goldings 5.5% 2.000 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 31.2

Misc
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Use Amount Time
Vanilla Beans Flavor Primary 0.000 tsp 0.000 s
Cinnamon Spice Boil 0.000 oz 0.000 s
Nutmeg Spice Boil 0.000 oz 0.000 s
Mace Spice Boil 0.000 oz 0.000 s
Pumpkin Flavor Mash 0.000 oz 0.000 s

Yeast
================================================== ==============================
Name Type Form Amount Stage
Wyeast - Whitbread Ale Ale Liquid 0.528 cup Primary

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Old 08-02-2014, 03:55 AM   #2
BlueHouseBrewhaus
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Looks mostly good. I like the Vienna. Never used it in my pumpkin ale but I may have to give it a try. I would probably cut back the biscuit to 1 lb or less. The bready flavor could overpower the spices. Also, the lactose seems high. I used a pound in a similar recipe and ended up with FG in the low 20's.

Not sure what your pumpkin flavor is. I usually carmelize a couple of cans of pumpkin pie filling (Libby's?) on a cookie sheet in a 350F oven and add some to the mash and some to the boil. I can't really comment on the spices, but they look like they should work. I usually just use McCormick's pumpkin pie spice at several points in the boil and in the secondary.

Let us know how it turns out. I could use a new recipe.

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Old 08-02-2014, 04:14 AM   #3
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I used 2 pounds of lactose in my extract recipe last year and it seemed to work well in terms of what I was looking for (sweetness). I ended up doing a "mini mash" with that recipe, mashing in some libby's with rice hulls, some two row, and some biscuit malt. Honestly, I am actually on the fence on whether or not the pumpkin made a difference. I am considering roasting my own this time around.

Looking over my original recipe, I am also on the fence about the biscuit. I was hoping for a noticable "pie crust" taste, and I dialed it down last year to a pound on the advice of my LHBS, but I never got the pop I was looking for... I could be way off on my assumption though, and may need to look for that flavor elsewhere.

All in all, I was pretty pleased with the extract beer, but brewing for me is all about making it better. I think the Vienna will be a great addition, and my spices were pretty well done last year... it's sort of all about figuring out how not to muddle things with inexperience now. Thanks for taking a minute to look over the recipe! Any additional thoughts?

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Old 08-02-2014, 04:18 AM   #4
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I find it funny that people associate pumpkin beer with pumpkin pie - not REAL pumpkin flavors.

I used Yams and Pumpkin which supplied 35% of my fermentable sugars, and it was amazing. Although it failed in a contest due to the lack of "pumpkin spices"

I used a Belgian yeast (WLP 545, IIRC), and it was amazing. Recipe looks good. I do not put spices in, but use the esters in the Belgian yeast to help. It is, by far, the most requested beer I have made.

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Old 08-02-2014, 04:59 AM   #5
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I think that is a fair comment.... but on the other hand (at least in my experience) real pumpkin translates best as pumpkin pie (of which I am a certified addict). I have had pumpkin soup and such, but really it is not a really overly used gourd in the sense that squash is..... When I think of brewing a pumpkin beer, I want it to really evoke that fall dessert taste.
I do like the idea of a Belgian style pumpkin pie beer though.... has me thinking of using candi sugar instead of lactose and blowing it out of the water... sort of a pumpkin triple... Thanks for another thought to keep me up at night...lol

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Old 08-02-2014, 05:04 AM   #6
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I guess I should add that pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are super similiar in terms of taste, and both of the main ingredients IMHO are just a really good vehicle for the spices used. I have read recipes for pumpkin beers that recommend acorn squash, pumpkin, as well as sweet potatoes.

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Old 08-02-2014, 05:21 AM   #7
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see....the up all night thing I mentioned..maybe something with a just a hint of diaceytel would maybe give it that butter note a crust would want.... ha, BJCP be damned.....Or most likely, a horrible beer....

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Old 08-02-2014, 02:46 PM   #8
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I agree that when most people think of "pumpkin" ale they really mean "pumpkin pie" ale, which is definitely about the spices. Pumpkin ale without the spices tastes very "veggie". Going back to the lactose, extract vs AG can give significantly different results. I still recommend using less. As for the bready flavor, you may look at using Maris Otter for your base malt. You might even sub some Mild Malt for some of your base. Just a few more thoughts to keep you up tonight

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