Moon Hill Pumpkin Ale
Moon Hill Pumpkin Ale ***See important notes at bottom
*Updated in separate post with FG readings, pictures, and tasting notes.
1 lb light DME (60 mins)
3 lbs Pale LME (15 mins)
1/2 lb brown sugar (15 mins)
8 oz wheat DME (15 mins)
Base Grains (Mash)
2 lbs pale 2-row malt
3/4 pound Maris Otter
Specialty Grains (Mash)
6 oz Caramel Munich
4 oz Briess Victory
4 oz Biscuit Malt
8 oz Briess 2 Row Caramel 80
.75 oz Mt Hood Hops (60 mins) 5.5% AA
.5 oz Hallertauer Hops (30 mins) 3.6% AA
3 15 oz cans of pumpkin (2 cans for mash, 1 can for boil)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (2 min)
(The following are fresh grated) 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg , 1/8 tsp allspice (2 mins)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (flame out)
After 3 weeks: Spice Tea (optional)
(Freshly ground whole spices) .5 tsp cinnamon, .25 tsp allspice, dash of pumpkin pie spice (Make an 8 oz. spice tea and add to secondary. Do this to taste. If you want even more spice flavor upfront, you can double the amounts. You can also substitute an equal amount of pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice if you prefer).
Instructions (This is for a stove top BIAB method. Change as necessary for your setup).
Caramelize pumpkin in the oven (350 for an hour). I really would like to use fresh, but I had to use canned.
Heat 1.5 gallons strike water to 165 degrees. (1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain to make up for the pumpkin addition. In retrospect, the mash was fiarly thin, so if you want a thick mash, you could do 1.25 quarts per pound).
Dough in grain and 2 15 oz cans of pumpkin. Get water to 146-154 degrees. Hold at temps for 1 hour.
Heat 2 gallons sparge water to 168 degrees.
Sparge with 2 gallons water.
Add top-off water to bring to 3 gallons after mash and sparge (if needed. I had 2.5 gallons post mash/sparge). 3 gallons is a lot to chill without an immersion chiller (though I did it), so you could skip the top off water at this point if you wanted to. It will change the hop utilization slightly, but it shouldn't make a *huge* difference.
Bring to boil. Add 1 lb light DME, first hop addition, and remaining pumpkin at boil.
At 30 mins add second hop addition.
At 15 add whilrflock tab, the 3 lb LME, 8 oz wheat DME, and 8 oz Brown sugar.
At 2 mins add and spice mixture
At flame out add 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
Chill, add top off water to fermenter, aerate, pitch yeast, etc.
Ferment for 3-4 weeks (You can secondary if necessary to get off pumpkin trub).
*Spice Tea: One week before you bottle, add the spice tea mixture if preferred. I'd suggest taking a hydrometer reading and tasting the sample to determine if you want more spice flavor. This step is included to help regulate the spice flavor to your personal taste, and to add an extra layer of spice flavor/aroma. If you have a small hop bag, you can put the spices into it to steep, and add the tea and bag of spices directly to the fermentor for the remainder of your primary period. If you're doing an (optional) secondary, add the spices to this stage. Do not boil this spice tea, steep as you would a regular tea.
Bottle and condition at least 6-8 weeks, or more if needed.
This looks good. Let us know how it turns out! I too want to make the jump to partial mash. I noticed on another thread you said you had a difficult time sustaining the mash temp. Can I ask what happened? Because I don't have a specific cooler or anything designated for the mash tun, I've read just pre-heating the oven to 170 and turning it off and then mashing for an hour works well.
I think what I did wrong with the mash was that my oven was still too hot. I had it set to 350 for the pumpkin (to caramelize). When it was finished, I left the door of the oven opened for a couple minutes, then closed it up and let it sit (off) while I prepared my mash. I put my mash in the oven, expecting that it had cooled enough to simply keep the mash at temp. Boy was I wrong.
I checked it after 25 minutes, and it went *up* from 154 to 165-ish.
I did what I had to do to drop it back to mashing temps and finished out my mash. The final (post boil) OG was 1.058, and my calculated OG had been 1.056, so I actually hit very close to what I wanted. I'm thinking the extra two points on the OG was because my recipe presupposes a 65% efficiency (I shot low because it's BIAB and my first try), but my actual efficiency was 75%.
From what I'm told, I may have a higher than expected FG due to possibly extracting too much unfermentable sugar from the high mash temps, but only time will tell.
This is the thread about the high mash temps, if you were interested: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/first-mash-too-hot-260019/
10 day update: It has been 10 days since I pitched my yeast, so I decided to take a hydrometer reading, and taste how it is progressing.
First, the color: It is awesome! This is exactly what I was hoping for in terms of color, a deep, golden orange like that of an autumn sunset.
The hydrometer reading is a solid 1.015, which is a mere .001 higher than I was shooting for. If you read my other thread about this recipe, you'll know I mashed a bit too high, so I was worried there would be too much unfermentable sugar. It seems I dodged a bullet though, as I was hoping for sweet, but not cloyingly sweet.
The aroma at this point was mostly yeasty with only subtle hints of spice.
I'm usually not very harsh on taste so early in the game (especially with a pumpkin ale which has to age for quite a while), but I did want to determine how much and which spices I might want to add in the spice tea.
In the recipe, you'll note that I suggest doing this step to taste.
I definitely want to increase aroma, so this stage should help dramatically with that.
The flavor right now (10 days in primary) has a surprisingly up front "pumpkin" flavor. *Not* spice. I actually taste the pumpkin. Whether this stands the test of time is another question.
It is definitely sweet, but not overtly so. I don't detect much hop aroma or taste, which is what I was going for. I wanted just enough for balance to let the spices shine through (think Belgian wit in that respect).
I did also taste the spice, but it's fairly mellow. I got hints of the spice, but no one stood out in front. There *was* a flavor I didn't care for at this juncture too. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I suspect it's nutmeg or ginger, because it isn't a "spicy" flavor.
I feel it is lacking cinnamon and "spice" like that of clove or allspice, so my plan for the spice tea is to add these components. I'm thinking 1/2-3/4 ts of cinnamon, 1/4 ts of allspice, and maybe a pinch of pumpkin pie spice should round out the flavor and bring out the aroma. I want to avoid too much nutmeg and ginger at this stage.
There you have it, my "day 10" in primary tasting notes. I am ecstatic with the progression of this beer so far, and I feel with the addition of the spice tea and proper aging, this will turn out great.
Week 3 update:
Another hydro sample has verified a FG of 1.015. The flavor has balanced and mellowed more since my first sample taste. The predominant flavors are still pumpkin with a background note of spice. But now the yeast flavor is gone, replaced by a nice "bread/pie crust" flavor from the Victory and Biscuit malts.
I had a second taster agree on further spicing. I added the following:
Spice tea: 1/2 ts Cinnamon, 1/4 ts allspice, 1/4 ts pumpkin pie spice. Heat water in tea kettle and steep spices in 8 oz water. Add to carboy. EDIT: Upon further inspection I've found the the ground spices formed into a weird looking goo that floats at the top of the beer. It's not big problem (I can easily siphon around it), but in the future, I will add *only* the tea, and strain out the spices, or else not grind the spices.
I'll leave that for a week and taste again. If I'm not happy with the spice flavor, I'll do a second spice tea for another week, otherwise I'll bottle.
I will continue to update. :mug:
You should post this after you tried it, if it sucks then what?
I love a good pumpkin brew, but the pumpkin beer I brewed last year was none-so-great, in my opinion, though others liked it (too alcoholic and astringent and lacking in pumpkin character for my taste). I'm almost obsessive about research, especially when it comes to my brewing recipes and this year's pumpkin beer recipe has been no exception.
I looked up some clone recipes and pumpkin use-methods of my favorites in the pumpkin-genre for direction/inspiration - Punkin (Dogfish Head), Imperial Pumpking (Southern Tier) and The Great Pumpikn Ale (Elysian), plus others... When I came across your post here, onipar, I knew I had come across something interesting and unique in the category.
When I was putting together my recipe, I noticed that yours seemed to capture many of the elements I wanted to add from those other clones so I thought, "what the heck" and made up a recipe very similar to yours. I appreciated the detail and care of thought you've put into this recipe so I felt it was worth a go.
I'm brewing something pretty similar next week. The differences are that I plan on using fresh grated ginger and cloves en lieu of pumpkin spice additions and adding greater quantaties of spices overall, per your later tasting notes. Also, I'm considering adding a couple of vanilla beans, a can of fresh pumpkin puree and, perhaps, a little lactose for sweetness, if necessary, in secondary. These additions will only be added if a taste test seems to warrant it - I'm considering them because other clone recipes almost insist on them.
So, brew on, good sir, and let us know how it turns out. If you care you care to know, I'll keep you up-to-date on how my near-clone is coming along, as well...
Absolutely, I'd love to hear how it comes, and even see the recipe. You sound about as obsessive as I was about it. I have a folder in my internet bookmarks that contains dozens of websites and articles about pumpkin ale. I went a little crazy with research getting ready for this.
I'm glad my recipe helped and serves as a good starting point for you. It's interesting, but all of the additions and changes you mentioned are all things I'm planning on experimenting with later on. I wanted to start out with something of a "base" recipe, and then start making changes based on taste. But yeah, vanilla bean, lactose, etc are all things I came across too and want to try.
So, here's the new UPDATE:
I bottled on 8/28/11/. The smell and taste had really good spice notes. Last minute, I decided to boil 1/2 a stick of Mexican cinnamon (this is different than other cinnamon, and has a citrus/floral aroma and taste) with my priming sugar solution. So that should hopefully layer on a nice cinnamon aroma.
Otherwise, the bottling went smoothly. There was a good amount of trub, and I ended up with about 4.6 gallons from the 5 gallons. But it cleared fine with only a primary, so I'm gonna say that secondary isn't really needed for this recipe. I will say that I may end up with a bit more carbonation than I wanted because I underestimated how much beer loss (due to trub) I had. I calculated for 4.8 gallons and had more like 4.5.
Now the hard part. The loooong wait while it bottle conditions. I'll probably take a sneak taste after a month, but I want to let the rest sit till near the end of October. :mug:
So, I'm brewing my version of this recipe tomorrow --- don't want to steal your thunder in any way, onipar, but I feel my notes could be useful information for brewers who want to try a pumpkin beer and, since I am relying heavily on your recipe and have tried to brew pumpkin beer a few times, more info can help interested brewers greatly...
My ultimate note to interested brewers is that a pumpkin beer really needs to at least have a partial mash. I'm sorry extract brewers but it's true and DON'T CLICK AWAY - IT AIN'T SO BAD, REALLY... - all my research on pumpkin brewing seems to point to it as do my previous lack-luster attempts. I'm sure a Senior member can provide better data as to why that is...
For you extract brewers, it really isn't as rough as it seems - check out John Palmer's description of a partial mash online - it's incredibly helpful and it's very simple to achieve a partial brew. I have a small kitchen space myself - all you really need for partial mash is a large nylon grain bag (cheap), a 5gal brew pot and a 3gal or less pot for the partial mash catchings and to be able to be able to read time and temperature. Not rocket science, just making delicious beer. And maintaining the temperature with some stirring and cool water additions isn't so rough...
Back to the subject at hand - pumpkin beer: I've got my ingredients measured out and, for the spice additions to the boil, I decided (based on smell and good 'ol Betty Crocker's pumpkin recipe) that:
- 1 tsp of Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp cloves
I felt that this should hit the mark. If more is needed, that can always be added later --- may add more spices, lactose for creaminess/sweetness, perhaps, and more pumpkin can be added during primary, secondary or at bottling.
A general note to fans of pumpkin brewers - pumpkins and cans of pumpkin puree are difficult to get a hold of in August and September, which is the ideal time to brew that style of beer. My wife usually has some fresh frozen pumpkin ready to go in the freezer, but I had to go online this year to grab up a 12-pack of cans from Amazon... uhhh... so, be prepared...
Hoping tomorrow's brew day goes smoothly - long day ahead considering there's a pumpkin roasting, followed by an hour+ long partial mash, followed by a standard 60-minute brew! But, that's a home-brewer's life who is committed to the craft...
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