Rich, first congrats on a thread that has been rolling for years! I love a pumpkin ale in the fall and just brewed two batches a couple of weeks ago. One AG batch that varies a bit from yours and one MWS extract. I got alot of good info from this thread but did want to point out one thing I learned concerning maple syrup. While I can not yet speak to finished product, I did realize there are different grades of maple syrup and I chose to use grade B. The grade B is a darker, richer flavored maple syrup so i am hoping the flavor is prevalent. Stay tuned and i will update 6 weeks or so when i hope to be njoying the first glass! Just wanted to pass a learning along since there seem to be a lot of questions concerning subs for maple syrup. The extract kit from MWS utilized brown sugar, no syrup. I also utilized a hop spyder for pumpkin addition which kept alot of the "crud" out of my fermentors.