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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > rotten pumpkin
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
ilikemyusername
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Hi everybody, I need some advice. I got a Mr. Beer for my birthday and brewed a few quick batches with it. Overall I'd say that I am happy with it, I like the fact that i can whip together some stuff with some boiling water and in 2 to 4 weeks I have BEER! awesome.

I now have a 6 gallon glass carboy and my next batch is going to be the true brew pale ale with additional cascade and centennial hops, hopefully it will be more akin to an IPA. anyway, I have been off topic for a while.

About 5 weeks ago I decided to build a higher gravity pumpkin beer. I made a yeast starter by boiling filtered water, once the water was boiling I pulled it off and let it cool for a few minutes. I added yeast nutrient and molasses. once it was cooled to room temp i added the yeast and put the lid on it. I shook it well and let it sit overnight.

I went to the store and bought a pie pumpkin, cut it into quarters and carmelized it in the oven. Once my house smelled like a freshly baked pumpkin pie I pulled it out of the oven and put it into a pot of boiling water. i boiled the pumpkin slurry for quite a while, untill all of the big solids were broken down into fibers. i let the pumpkin water sit with the lid on overnight to settle the pumpkin solids from the pumpkin water.

I poured the pumpkin water into another pot and dumped out all of the nitty gritty. I brought the pumpkin water back up to a boil. I mixed 2 cans of LME from the MR Beer kit, I used the octoberfest and vienna lager plus both of the boosters and 2 lbs of brown sugar. I added cold water to my fermenter then dumped my ice bathed pumpkin beer wort to my mrbeer keg and put the lid on it.

I pitched my yeast culture and BLAMMO Krausen the next morning, a nice thick layer of it, It was a thing of beauty! This beer took just over three weeks to stop bubbling, I dont know if it was just because I was using slow mr beer yeast or if it was because there was so much fermentable material in it or what but it took a while. I made a mix of pumpkin spices that I wanted in it and I actually added a tiny pinch of clove to it with vanilla and nutmeg and all that. I boiled it in the microwave before adding it to my fermenter. I'm glad I barely used any spices, we're talking like 1/4 tsp for 2 gallons and let that sit for a week.

I primed it and bottled it and let it sit for just over a week. I tried one just now and while it made my lips numb which is always fun...

!! IT TASTES LIKE A ROTTEN PUMPKIN !!

with cinnamon...

what's up with that?

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:44 PM   #2
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Three weeks seems like a mighty long time to be bubbling. My guess is that you got some unwanted yeasties in there somehow which spoiled it. However, it may taste better if you give it more than a week to prime. Key word on this one "may"...

Props on being so experimental with the Mr Beer by the way!

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Old 02-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #3
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Did you boil the pumpkin water and lme with the lid off for an hour?

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Old 02-23-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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No, i brought the pumpkin water to a boil and let it boil about 5 minutes then added my lme and stirred, boiled for about 5 minutes, put the lid on and ice bathed it. I figured the lme was sterile already anyway because of the canning process...

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:38 AM   #5
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A long rolling boil may be in order for your next attempt. Besides killing stuff, there are also alot of chemical reactions going on. One of the very important ones is the volitization of DME, which can cause rotting vegetable flavors. If a good hearty boil is carried out, with no lid, it will boil off into the air. There are also a number of other reasons why you want to boil for at least an hour. Try it again... I bet it comes out better.

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Old 02-24-2012, 12:40 AM   #6
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Good job by the way on the adventure part of the whole thing.

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:31 AM   #7
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Thank you, for the compliments on being adventurous! I thought for sure I would hear a "why bother with the mr. beer" or something along those lines. the next pumpkn brew I do I will definitely do things differently. I wasn't sure if I should do a long boil with this because I didn't want to damage the deliate hops flavors, I had heard that it would "muddy" the flavor of the beer. I will try it but as it is now spring I will hold off for a while.


Also, Ive heard that you can make a better pumpkin beer by using butternut squash, any thoughts?

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Old 02-25-2012, 03:38 AM   #8
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my first thought is that it might need longer to age. if it's still fermenting at all, even "invisibly", as in no bubbles, it's still generating sulfur and co2, which combined with pumpkin, would smell rotten. let it sit longer, and be careful of exploding bottles. every pumpkin beer i brew, i let it primary 3 weeks, secondary under the pumpkin 2 weeks, and age 2 months minimum

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:18 AM   #9
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+1. Your beer now wont be that beer your having now- in another month maybe even 6 months. Ive so far had better luck aging my pumpkin beers especially if they dont taste right yet.Sounds like it has an upfront harshness.Im shure it will fade while everything else will show up.Especially being a bigger beer with more complex ingredinets. Sometimes its the spices also.

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubakevdm
A long rolling boil may be in order for your next attempt. Besides killing stuff, there are also alot of chemical reactions going on. One of the very important ones is the volitization of DME, which can cause rotting vegetable flavors. If a good hearty boil is carried out, with no lid, it will boil off into the air. There are also a number of other reasons why you want to boil for at least an hour. Try it again... I bet it comes out better.
Dms not dme. Sorry, posting from an iPhone.
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