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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Pumpkin Ale...Getting the most pumpkin flavor
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default Pumpkin Ale...Getting the most pumpkin flavor

I know this is a little out of season, but a nice Pumpkin Ale is something I enjoy and should have fun brewing, despite the 2 month process from start to finish. I'm brewing the Midwest Pumpkin Ale kit.

I'm just wondering what is the best way to get the best flavor into the brew from the pumpkins?

I've seen around the boards 60 oz of pumpkin being used, but would it be feasible to do 90 and possible stagger adding it in ( i.e. 30oz at 20 min, 30 oz at 40, and the final 30 the final 10 minutes)?

Just looking for some suggestions to make the best brew. Also, I would I twirk this to a 4 gallon recipe?

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:31 AM   #2
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I've heard of people brewing "pumpkin ales" that contained only pumpkin-pie type spices but no real pumpkin. Supposedly these spice only beers are just as good as beers that contain real pumpkin but take only half the time to make. Not sure how set you are on using real pumpkin but it's something to consider.

Basic Brewing Radio had a podcast about this also. They did an experiment where they brewed two pumpkin beers... one with real pumpkin and one without. The beer taster had a hard time telling the difference between the two.

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Old 02-05-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven View Post
I've heard of people brewing "pumpkin ales" that contained only pumpkin-pie type spices but no real pumpkin. Supposedly these spice only beers are just as good as beers that contain real pumpkin but take only half the time to make. Not sure how set you are on using real pumpkin but it's something to consider.

Basic Brewing Radio had a podcast about this also. They did an experiment where they brewed two pumpkin beers... one with real pumpkin and one without. The beer taster had a hard time telling the difference between the two.
I my reading I've actually heard the pumpkin spice brews were a bit weaker, but either way it's a pumpkin ale so real pumpkin , or well pumpkin pie filling, needs to be in it lol. Thanks for the info though.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:32 PM   #4
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I used 30 oz of canned pumpkin. Spread it on a baking sheet, sprinkled pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar on it, and baked it for 45 minutes.

I then added it to the last 5 minutes of the boil, and dumped everything in the primary. I am actually bottling mine today, but the pumpkin sludge cleared up nicely out of the beer. The beer right now is a lot more clear than I thought it would be.

I will let you know how the taste is in a few weeks after it is bottled, but so far the flat, warm beer has a ton of pumpkin flavor, and I am sure it will just get better with age!

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Old 02-05-2011, 02:33 PM   #5
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from my only pumpkin ale experience, I noticed that a lot of the spices(all spice, cinnamon, etc.) Lost their flavors after a couple weeks in the bottle. It was wierd because normally it tastes better after a couple weeks in the bottle, but our pumpkin tasted best after only 10 days. We used canned pumpkins and added them towards the end of the boil. Now the guy we got the recipe from actually said that he baked a real pumpkin in the oven and then added that to the end of the boil. So you could try that

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
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I have a friend who likes to use fresh pumpkin. He cleans and boils a whole pumpkin the night before so its cooled by brew day. He removes the skin after boiling, because he says it makes a bitter flavor and can get stuck in the blow off tube.

I imagine fresh pumpkins are a bit scarce this time of year though.

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:28 PM   #7
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My SWMNBO cooked up 2 pumpkins In the fall. So we have 20 or so bags for frozen pumpkin in the freezer. pumpkin frompumpkins instead of cans makes all the difference! in pumpkin pies

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:46 PM   #8
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I have an AHS pumpkin ale in the bottle carbing right now. I used 75 oz of pumpkin (5 cans). Spread on a couple of cookie sheets with brown sugar. Baked for an hour at 350*. Dumped it all into the grain bag with the partial mash grains and steeped for 40 minutes. A lot of the pumpkin leached through the bag into the wort. I dumped it all into the kettle.

It's not carbed fully yet after two weeks but tastes great. Good pumpkin flavor and orange color. Crystal clear. I didn't use the dried orange peel or the spice packet. I added my own spices based on recipes from here.http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/thun...ersions-26699/

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Old 02-05-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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I made the AHS pumpkin ale kit back in the fall. I didn't use any pumpkin, just the spice kit, and I thought it turned out really well. I've still got a few left and I could kind of agree that the spices have dulled a little, but it's still good stuff.
The taste is pretty subtle with the spice kit they include. I've seen reviews where people have amped up the spices with good results if you're looking for more of that taste.

Anyway, after listening to that same Basic Brewing podcast, the extra work needed to use pumpkin didn't seem worth it.

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Old 10-31-2012, 07:05 AM   #10
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has anyone added roasted pumpkin to secondary?

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