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Old 09-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
Wiccancowboy
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Default Pumpkin Beer

So, I've got a questions for y'all.

I started a pumpkin beer, which went through primary for 1 week, and it's been in secondary for 1 week. When we racked it to secondary, we drew off a sample to run the hydrometer. I sipped the sample (after the readings!), and while it tasted good, it had a lot less of the pumkin flavor I was expecting. When we were actually going through the brewing process, it smelled like pumkin pie, now, not so much. I'm wondering if I should do a 3rd fermentation before bottling, and add some pumpkin to it, or something. The basics of the recipe are as follows:

(we use a basic recipe kit from our local brew shop, this one was for a Hefeweizen.)
Ran a 6 gallon boil
removed from heat
added malt extract
brought back to a boil
Added 2 OZ crystal hops
Added 5 lbs of baked pure pumpkin
Boiled for 60 minutes.
at the 50 minute mark, added cinnamon and nutmeg spices
cooled, pitched American Wheat yeast, Wyeast 1033.

After 1 week, we racked into secondary to get it off the cake. That was the time of the tasting...

So yeah, it's completely drinkable, not a failure by any means, but it's got a lot less of the pumpkin flavor than I would like. Any suggestions on what I could do to bump this up?

BTW, I do have the gravity readings, they're just on my phone, which is dead ATM.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Old 09-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #2
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Adding more pumpkin won't increase your "pumpkin taste". That comes from the spices. If you don't feel like there is enough, I'd make a spice tea (search it) and add to your beer before packaging. I do not suggest moving it again to rack on more purée--it will not impart the flavor you are hoping for, and will cause you to lose quantity to trub loss, and clarity in your finished product.

One last suggestion if you choose to add more spice, err on the side of caution. Over spicing can be worse than under.

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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I just brewed a 5gal batch pumpkin ale and my 75oz of baked pumpkin went in at the last 5minutes of the boil. Spices went in at the last 2 minutes. It's in primary right now.

Cinnamon 1.5 teaspoons
Ginger 0.5 teaspooons
Nutmeg 1.5 teaspoons
Cloves 1.5 teaspoons
Allspice 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon

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Old 09-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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I just did my first pumpkin beer http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/pumpkin-ale-356070/ I'm pretty excited. It's my understanding that the later you add the spices the more pronounced the flavors/aroma?

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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I have heard of adding more spice to the bottling bucket, would that help as well?

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:50 PM   #6
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This has been discussed pretty thoroughly, but my 2 cents is this: Pumpkin has hardly any flavor. Taste the puree by itself. It adds mostly body and color. The spices are what people associate as "pumpkin flavor." It has some flavor, but hardly enough to speak of. If you add nutmeg/cinnamon/allspice/clove/ginger you will get the flavors you are looking for. Maybe you didn't add enough. Also, you could add graham cracker to give it a little more sweetness.

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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+1 on the spices... The pumpkin adds more color and mouthfeel than anything else, while the spices really add the "pumpkin pie" flavor. In last year's edition of my pumpkin ale, I added the spices as a kettle addition, and there just wasn't a whole lot of spice character in the finished beer. This year I went with a spice tea and it's turning out pretty fantastic - not 100% carbed up yet (a couple more days in the kegerator and it'll be all set), so I can't say for 100% certain, but I'm thinking the spice tea is the way to go.

Easiest approach is to boil up a cup of water, add your spices (since you already added spices to the kettle, I'd suggest use the same spices you already used, but half as much) to that boiling water, then add that to your beer. Don't worry about chilling first; a cup of boiling or near-boiling tea will get cooled very rapidly by your 5+/- gallons of beer.

One note, you will definitely notice, in your samples, a much greater spice character than you'll see in your finished beer if you use this approach! The spice will hang in solution until you cold crash it, whether that happens when you put the bottles in the fridge, or you cold crash your fermenter prior to bottling. If you taste your gravity samples after adding the spice tea, you'll literally be tasting moutfulls of spices - don't freak out if the spice tastes a little overpowering!

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janson745 View Post
I have heard of adding more spice to the bottling bucket, would that help as well?
I've had success with it, I just added it with the priming sugar..
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Well, I think that you meant "oz" not "lbs"
Did you brew this from the couch on your porch?

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:28 AM   #9
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I want the 'pumpkin' flavor to be subtle. So I'm going to take a wait and see approach and only spice if I absolutely think it needs it. The smell coming off the fermenter is very 'pumpkin' right now, so I'm not sure how the finished product will be. I put about a tablespoon of spice into the boil at 10 minutes.

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