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Old 07-20-2009, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Pumpkin ale question

I am starting a pumpkin ale tonight. I just put canned pumpkin on a cookie sheet to caramelize it. When should I add it? When I am steeping the grains, or after I bring it to a boil and add the LME? (I just throw the goop in the wort, right?)

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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You're going to need to upgrade to at least a partial mash. Steeping the pumpkin won't do you any good. You need to mash it and convert the starches.

Go for it! Partial mash brewing really isn't much harder than steeping grains. Just a bit more grain and you have to mind your temps. Get your water up to the right temp, throw in your grain, toss it in a warm oven and maybe give it a stir halfway through. When it's done, pour it through a strainer.

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:18 PM   #3
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sorry, I am really new to this. can you explain a bit more, or link me to something?

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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When you mash, you are including base malts that have the enzymes necessary to convert starches in the base malt, specialty grains, and (in your case) your pumpkin. Instead of steeping your grains to get flavor out, like you would tea, you are actually letting the enzymes create wort. If you use enough grain, you can use less extract and save money as well.

When you make a pumpkin ale, you want to put the pumpkin in with your base malt and specialty grains and convert the starches in it to sugar. You won't get as much out of it if you're just soaking it in hot water with your steeping grains.

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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I don't know what your recipe calls for, but 6 row malt has enzymes that will help break down the pumpkin better than 2 row. You may want to add some to your steep or mini-mash if you can.

Also... straining is a royal pain. Try to have someone around that can help you out a bit.

I know these tidbits didn't answer your question, but thought they may help.

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
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No problem straining here. I have a strainer that fits right over my brew pot.

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:33 PM   #7
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I got this recipe from my home brew store and bought the ingredients:

http://www21.inetba.com/westboylston...in_extract.pdf

Will I be able to do a partial mash with that?

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Old 07-20-2009, 11:51 PM   #8
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ChshreCat has good info on the pumpkin and as he stated, pumpkin does require mashing.

Most that I have spoken to that mash with pumpkin say that it isn't really worth the extra effort and hassle it can provide. Yes, in order to convert the starches in the pumpkin you would need to mash it, however, I'm trying to get the flavor and aroma from it.

I have done a little research here on HBT and spoken to a few people, and from what I understand, pumpkin imparts little flavor to the beer. Most of what people taste and describe as pumpkin flavor are the spices that are used.

I will be brewing my first pumpkin beer tomorrow (Tuesday 21st of July), and I will just be using 4 cans of organic pumpkin puree that I will caramelize in the oven @ 350° for about an hour (or until I see the caramelization begin) and add that to the boil for the full 60 minutes. I will add my spices @ 10 minutes and allow to steep for 5 more after flameout.

I will make sure to get all of the pumpkin and break into the fermenter, I understand this will help with flavoring.

Check these two recipes out maybe they will halp you to make a decision.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/rich...kin-ale-23489/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f76/thun...ersions-26699/

Good Luck!

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Old 07-20-2009, 11:56 PM   #9
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I'd worry about a starch haze from adding the pumpkin right to the boil like that. But then if it's a dark enough beer you won't even see it. Or if it tastes good, many of us wouldn't even care. heheh

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:08 AM   #10
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humm....you know, for Thanksgiving desserts, I like pecan pie over pumpkin. Has there been a pecan beer recipe? Maybe I need to look into it! Like a good pumpkin pie recipe, the trick is always using fresh spices and not some that might be included in a can. Since the pumpkin itself is not adding much flavor to a pumpkin pie, I don't doubt it's more an ancillary ingredient for a pumpkin ale.

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