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Old 09-14-2011, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default How much is too much Pumpkin Spice?

This might be a newb question but here goes:

I used an entire container full (~1 ounce) of McCormicks Pumpkin Pie spice at flameout in my pumpkin ale. It was roughly 10 gallon batch. Its been about 4 weeks and I cant tell whether it is too much spice or not enough honestly, it does have some weird off flavor I cant describe, kind of bitter but not hops bitter if that makes sense.

I've seen recommendations on here from 1tsp per gallon to 1 tsp per 5 gallon batch. What should my beer taste like? FYI OG was 1.064, FG was 1.010 (7.1%) and my grain/hops bill was as follows:

Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.50 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 12.35 %
7.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 34.57 %
5.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 24.69 %
2.08 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.29 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 4.94 %
0.67 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 3.29 %
3.00 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [6.20 %] (60 min)Hops 30.3 IBU
0.67 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
1.00 oz Pumpkin Pie Spice (Boil 0.0 min) Misc
2.00 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 9.88 %
1 Pkgs Safale American (DCL Yeast #US-05) Yeast-Ale

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:27 AM   #2
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My wife makes a pumpkin ale each year around thanksgiving. I think her recipe is similar, with the exceptions of the spices. She boils one full nutmeg for 5 min, and the pumpkin spices I think she uses 2 tsp for a 5 gallon batch. In secondary she adds two full vanilla beans which have been split open and another tsp of pumpkin spices before kegging.

It turns out really good, but I have a theory that most of the adjusts she adds at the end of the boil are just about gone by the time primary fermentation is done.

I think you should be fine, at least if it turns out a bit too "spicy" you know to just dial back the spices a bit.

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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Yeah Im thinking I should have maybe halved that and added the rest at kegging/secondary time. Now I dunno if I should add more, I was thinking maybe vanilla to smooth it out a lil? If it gets worse, then I will just have to sit on this batch for a while.

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:44 AM   #4
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1/2 tsp would've been plenty. The bitterness is very likely from the heavy spices. Don't add more. Vanilla might smooth it out, but it might also add just one more sweet-ish element to a beer that's already overpowered with flavor.

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
1/2 tsp would've been plenty. The bitterness is very likely from the heavy spices. Don't add more. Vanilla might smooth it out, but it might also add just one more sweet-ish element to a beer that's already overpowered with flavor.
1/2 tsp in 10 gallons?!?! Man I overshot that amount by alot... 1 oz is approximately 6 tsp. Looks like I might have a nice beer for Fall 2012... at least is a bit higher on alcohol and will hold up for a while.

Ahh all the more reason to get a pumpkin brown going! With a little less spice. Maybe real pumpkin (if I can find it).
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:51 AM   #6
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I use 1/2 Tbsp (1.5 tsp) in 15 gallons, and sometimes I think it comes out too strong. It does mellow with time, but methinks you went WAY overboard.

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Old 09-14-2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
I use 1/2 Tbsp (1.5 tsp) in 15 gallons, and sometimes I think it comes out too strong. It does mellow with time, but methinks you went WAY overboard.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:07 AM   #8
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Make another batch with no spice. Blend until you like the flavor.

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Old 09-14-2011, 03:09 AM   #9
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Guess that goes to show I need to ask about my recipes here before brewing, I am no expert yet. Heres my Pumpkin Brown Recipe, based briefly on Janets Brown but backed off the hops quite a bit:


Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 10.00 gal
Boil Size: 12.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG
Estimated Color: 19.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 25.1 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
15.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 73.81 %
2.25 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 10.71 %
1.50 lb Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM) Grain 7.14 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 4.76 %
0.75 lb Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 3.57 %
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 25.1 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (Boil 0.0 min) Misc
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
120.00 oz Pumpkin (Mash 60.0 min) Misc


Mash Schedule: My Mash
Total Grain Weight: 21.00 lb
----------------------------

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Old 09-14-2011, 03:25 AM   #10
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I think adding vanilla extract at kegging/ botteling will balance out the finished flavor, I'm in the same boat but with a 5gallon extract batch, just don't know how much to add. I brewed my pumpkin 8 days ago.

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