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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First time brewing Pumpkin Ale
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:51 AM   #1
dmcman73
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Default First time brewing Pumpkin Ale

So on Saturday I brewed my first batch of pumpkin ale using Midwest supplies kit and I used about 45 oz of Libby's canned pumpkin, unspiced. Everything well, my OG was spot on and the color was a nice dark caramel color. I used some 5 gallon bucket filters to try and filter out some of the trub then I pourd it all into my primary glass carboy through a funnel with a strainer built in. Within 5 hours most of the trub settled to the bottom, there was about an an inch or two of it. After 10 hours the brew was bubbling like crazy fermenting, all great signs. Today, the second day, I went down to check on it and it's still bubbling away, great smell coming from the air lock as well but now the color turned to a burnt orange. Also, there is less trub at the bottom of my carboy. I'm wondering, did it turn a burnt orange because the fermenting process started to stir up the trub? Will is settle back down?

What do most of you do when you brew a pumpkin ale to clear it up to get rid of the trub. Rack it to secondary after a week or two in primary, cold crash it before kegging / bottling, run it through a filter during kegging? I want to drink pumpkin ale, I don't want to be eating pumpkin while drinking it though. i plan on kegging this brew like i did my last brew.

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:21 AM   #2
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A pumpkin ale will always be a burnt orange color during primary. The yeast mix's with the trub during active fermentation resulting in that color, at least that's what I see when brewing a pumpkin, and it's completely normal. The finished result due to the libby's will always leave you with a very hazy beer and though i don't normally secondary, I always secondary and cold crash a pumpkin giving me a very clear final product.

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:26 AM   #3
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Awesome, thanks Nuggethead, I had a feeling it may be normal for it to change that color, but being that this is my second brew I've ever made (my first being a Heff) I wanted to be certain.

I planned on racking to secondary, I'll cold crash it prior to kegging. Do you have a recommendation on how long to cold crash? 24, 48 hours? More?

Thanks again.

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Old 06-04-2013, 01:42 AM   #4
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Cold crash near freezing for 48 hours or until it clears. Also, if your not dry hopping, you really won't need to rack to secondary. Just cold crash the primary and rack it to your keg or bottling bucket. Iv'e done both ways and crashing from primary gives as good a beer without the chance of contamination when transfering. Good luck...

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Old 06-04-2013, 03:29 AM   #5
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I slightly misread the directions when I brewed my pumpkin- instead of a 5 lb. pumpkin, I added 5 lbs. of canned pumpkin. It came out iridescent orange.

After that, I learned about rigging a blowoff tube. Strange colors in the fermenter, violent fermentation, strong odors coming from the fermentation.

Bottled, tasted like crap. Gave it 2 months, it was a huge, but still delicious and somehow balanced Pumpkin Imperial. The LHBS homebrewers night, rave reviews.

Don't think I'd do it that way again (this year plan to do a clone of Elysian's great pumpkin), but obviously, beer allows for great variation in process and can still produce a great beer.

pumpkin.jpg  
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:31 AM   #6
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Ageing can cure many problems, especially during extended primary fermentations. A dark or heavy or veggie ale like pumpkin can benifit from long primaries, 4 weeks or more...

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Old 07-01-2013, 02:35 AM   #7
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So here is an update: Since the weather was getting warmer and so was my basement, I ordered a cool brew collapsible cooler and have been keeping my primary fermentor (6.5 gallon glass carboy) in it to maintain the temps around 65 degrees. The medicine taste I had after 2 weeks in the primary is now gone after being in the primary for over 4.5 weeks and it has a more pronounced pumpkin flavor as well. I am going to leave it in the primary for another week or two before I keg and carb it.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:58 PM   #8
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Another update....after kegging and carbonating the beer, I let it sit for another week. The beer is now amazing! It has a very nice pumpkin flavor.

Thanks again!

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