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Old 09-28-2010, 05:38 PM   #51
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I did some experiments with lactose and vanilla extract in some Post Road Pumpkin Ale last night.

All experiments ended not-so-good. Nothing conclusive here because I was just f-ing around, but it made me consider skipping both in my next pumpkin beer.

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Old 10-01-2010, 06:39 PM   #52
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Okay, so here's the update on this brew:

I came up with 1.072 OG into the brew kettle. I used the "hybrid fly/batch sparge" presented by Biermuncher's sticky.

The brew sat in the fermenter for two weeks, and came out at 1.018. Bottled this puppy up, using 5.6 oz of corn sugar (for 2.9 vols carbonation). Let the bottles sit for another three weeks...

...opened one up for a sampling and....HOLY SMOKES, thats a LOT of carbonation! How could this be? Ran another gravity test...1.010 ...CRAP! I guess it was not done fermenting...

Needless to say, finishing at 1.010, the brew is very dry. I think this is because my mash thermometer is off. It says "154 F", when really I think it is about "150 - 151 F".

Also, I cut back a bit on the amount of spice I used (because I bought the wrong Libby's pumpkin stuff!). As a result, the brew is not as "pumpkin-y" as I would have liked. BUT, the brew is still fairly young. Couple more weeks, and I will see where it's at. Hope to god the carbonation settles down a bit. haha

In conclusion (according to Beersmith), this beer finished with a pretty high alcohol content...8.11% WHOA! ... Luckily, the alcohol is undetectable. Popped open a few of these puppies last night and was feelin preeetty good. Even if it doesn't taste that great, it gets me drunk...


...round TWO of this brew comes tomorrow...

What I will change:

1) get a new freakin thermometer
2) get the CORRECT pumpkin mix
3) let it ferment for THREE weeks

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Old 10-01-2010, 07:11 PM   #53
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Mine finished out super quickly at 1.012 which was much drier than I had wanted, but it has a crisp spice taste and it is DELICIOUS. Brought a few 22ozers to my poker game last night and it was an excellent decision. Even after a little over a week in the bottle it is infinitely drinkable and delicious.

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Old 10-02-2010, 05:15 AM   #54
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Thanks for the updates! rainingbullets: yeah, I'd definitely give this one at least three weeks. You need to give the flavors a chance to meld together... there's a lot going on in there: biscuit, toasty, spice, etc etc. Treat it like a darker brew

modernlifeisANDY: Yeah, I just did a hydrometer reading... mine is at 1.012 as well. It's a little disappointing but I'm sipping the sample as I'm typing and it is just a delicious as last year, albeit green and less dextrinous.

I can't wait to get this on tap. Considering I give it my usual primary duration, I have two weeks to finish the keg of Irish red. Tomorrow should be a good day to start as it's the intrastate rivalry game between #25 Nevada and UNLV (aka Nevada-Southern) and many tasty beverages will be enjoyed. I would like to try to float the keg of tripel, which is far more delicious, but at 11% that would be a very bad idea.

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Old 10-05-2010, 03:37 PM   #55
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I did this over the weekend with some modifications...some planned and some unplanned.

I had a yeast cake of S-04 so I decided to pitch on top. Fermenting b/n 59 -61 hoping to avoid too much banana.

For the unplanned...still dialing in a change in my system and at first I ended up with an OG 1.060 so I pulled the hops and boiled a little longer...a little too long it turns out....took me to 1.069...decided to let it ride and see what happens.

My hops were a little higher AA and with the residual hops in the kettle and the extra boil time I am hoping to balance some of the sweetness.

I will post back what happens but the hydro sample was very tasty...a touch hoppier than is prolly optimal but not over the top...not that there is anything wrong with that

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Old 10-24-2010, 12:28 AM   #56
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So the hoppiness has faded very nicely. Been at 60 degrees for about 3 weeks...just racked into my keg and it is sitting at .020 so I think that just became my secondary....bumping the temp up to 65 (using s-04 so watching for esters) for a week or so to see if it comes down a few points.

So tasting notes, not as much spice as I had anticipated but the savory from the pumpkin (baked) was really nice. Very bready.... looking forward to this one.

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Old 10-24-2010, 07:37 AM   #57
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Sounds great, robrob. I actually noticed last week during a hydro sample that it was a little too hoppy but it has since settled down.

Also, don't worry about raising it to 65*F. Esters are typically created during primary fermentation and expressed stronger at higher temperatures. Swirling the bucket or carboy will rouse some yeast up into suspension and promote further fermentation.

However, consider leaving it be. A FG of 1.020 will give you some excellent malty character and complexity that a dryer beer would not produce. Just a bit of a suggestion, take it or leave it. If you do end up leaving it and opting for a medium-full bodied brew, I would recommend leaving it and taking hydro reading every other day for a week or two to guarantee it's done fermenting... nobody likes bottle bombs.

As for the level of spice flavor: you can always make a tincture. Take some of the pumpkin pie spice (like half a tablespoon or something like that) and pour a measured amount of vodka over it, making sure there's enough to saturate all of the spice. Let that soak for about three days and send it through a coffee filter, collecting the vodka/spice liquid (make sure it's devoid of spice particulates.) Then take a measured amount of beer from your fermenter and add the tincture (vodka/spice liquid) drop-wise and taste until you find the level of spice flavor that satisfies you. Then scale up for 5 gallons (or however much you ended up with) and add that much of the tincture or your corny keg or bottling bucket when you rack.

Hope this turns out great for you, robrob, and everybody else trying out this recipe. I'm still trudging along, trying to finish of my corny of Irish Red. I was dreadfully sick for about a month and haven't touched it since recently. But I will be sure to put in my update on the final carbed product as soon as possible!

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Old 10-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #58
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I just bottled mine Wednesday night, when I should have been doing homework (hooray grad school ). The hops seemed to be more prominent, and there was a ton of sludge left in the bottom of the carboy. I'll give them two weeks in the bottle and try the first one to see how it's progressing. FG came out at 1.01.

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Old 10-28-2010, 11:54 PM   #59
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Well, I gave in and tried one... it's still a little green, but I'm impressed at how well it turned out given my undershot efficiency. It's smooth and still has a malty taste; the pumpkin and spice is detectable and the hops are still noticeable enough to make it taste like a beer. I'll have to distribute some to family and friends and see what they think

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Old 10-31-2010, 12:27 AM   #60
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I just brewed a slight offshoot of this recipe and damn...it came out perfectly. It does taste almost exactly like dogfish punkin...except this is a little more pumpkin'y I think! I had a severely stuck sparge even with rice hulls (I ended up making a MLT manifold out of pvc....stainless braid wasnt cuttin it anymore). I just ordered the ingredients to make a round two of this since the stuck sparge=about 3 gallons which will be gone before thanksgiving. Id like to bring some of this goodness home for thanksgiving.


Oh and to make matters worse my hydrometer fell off the damn kitchen counter and smashed before I could get an OG.....just goes to show you you can end up with a very good beer even with a ton going wrong!!

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