Hello all! I'm a long time lurker and a new register---er? Anyhow, I've brewed a half dozen times with a close friend of mine and twice on my own since I was blessed with a kit for my birthday. I'm a partial grain brewer and am planning on getting a Pumpkin Wheat going this Saturday. I'm basically converting a Pumpkin Ale recipe that was given to me into a traditional Heffeweissen with the pumpkin aspect from the original recipe.
Basically I had a couple questions as far as sugars and the fermentation process I was hoping one of you beer gods wouldn't mind helping me out with.
1. I'm carmelizing the canned pumpkin in the oven prior to adding it at the beginning of the mash (60 minute). With the starches converting to sugars, as far as I understand it, the yeast should go crazy with the extras and up my ABV in the end. Is this a pretty accurate statement? I know not all sugars are 100% convertable.
2. I read that adding your "fruit" or in this case pumpkin early on (as in, during the boil) leaves you with a subtle flavor. Whereas adding your "fruit" in the secondary gives you a really strong aroma and flavor. I'm worried that since I'm using pumpkin and not a traditional fruit with juices that adding in the secondary wont do anything but leave me a half carboy of pumpkin flesh. Is this true? And would adding a bit extra pumpkin in the mash make up for this?
3. What's pumpkin pie without brown sugar? I'm worried that with all the extra sugars from the pumpkin that adding brown sugar in a quantity large enough to taste will ruin my beer. Could I get away with just adding the molasses part of it without the granulated aspect of brown sugar?
Again, I'm very new to all this so I apologize in advance if I'm asking dumb questions. I've searched the website and haven't been able to find answers to my questions. I'm a chef, love food, and with my new hobby of brewing it's a perfect outlet for me to experiment!!! Thank you in advance!