Autumn Seasonal Beer Samhain Pumpkin Ale - Page 5 - Home Brew Forums

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Old 08-20-2010, 02:08 PM   #41
JLem
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingBrianI View Post
Yep, carastan would work perfectly. Or here is a link to Simpson's CaraMalt at BMW: http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/...psons-caramalt
Was just on Simpson's page and they have caramalt's color listed as 25-35 EBC (http://www.simpsonsmalt.co.uk/jps.asp). Doesn't this make it more like 12-17L?
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:41 PM   #42
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Yep, I never looked it up, just went with Brewmaster's Warehouse's numbers. It won't make a big difference in color though, both being relatively low.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:28 PM   #43
mscrowley
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I'm just getting started in this, but I'm liking the idea of trying this as my second batch, ready in time for Thanksgiving I'm hoping... I have a newbie question for you.

The first batch I made had was grain-only. I put the grains into a mesh bag, and brewed it like a big teabag during the "mash" step, then sparged. From your recipe, I'm trying to figure out how to include the pumpkin in the mash, and then sparge it later. Should I include it in the mesh bag as I did with the grain?

EDIT: First batch was a partial Mash brew, not all-grain. After looking into the basics of all-grain brewing, I understand more of the difference.

Also, do you only do a primary fermentation on this? No secondary?

Thanks for your patience in dealing with a newbie.


 
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscrowley View Post
I'm just getting started in this, but I'm liking the idea of trying this as my second batch, ready in time for Thanksgiving I'm hoping... I have a newbie question for you.

The first batch I made had was grain-only. I put the grains into a mesh bag, and brewed it like a big teabag during the "mash" step, then sparged. From your recipe, I'm trying to figure out how to include the pumpkin in the mash, and then sparge it later. Should I include it in the mesh bag as I did with the grain?

EDIT: First batch was a partial Mash brew, not all-grain. After looking into the basics of all-grain brewing, I understand more of the difference.

Also, do you only do a primary fermentation on this? No secondary?

Thanks for your patience in dealing with a newbie.
No problem, everyone had to start somewhere! To answer your questions, yes, the pumpkin would go straight into the bag with the grain. It will probably make draining the bag a slower process, but should work well.

A 3-4 week primary fermentation is fine for this beer. If you want to secondary, there's no harm in it and it will help your beer clear more quickly and you will avoid having as much sediment in the bottle. But primary only works almost as well and is easier.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:41 PM   #45
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Well, after all this talk about the beer, I thought I would try one of the 12 bottles I was cellaring from last year to see how it's aged. Very well is the answer! The flavors are even deeper and rounder now than before. It poured a beautiful crystal clear deep copper orange with a big, rocky, shining white head. The aroma is all malt and caramel with the faintest hint of spice. It is the sweet toasty malt and rich caramel flavors that strike you first upon taking a sip. The spice then comes in to ride the gentle bitterness through the crisp, dry finish. Mouthfeel is very round and supple. An obvious sign of the pumpkin. There is also a slight tartness that carries through below the other flavors that is definitely from the pumpkin. Overall, it is a wonderful beer, and if anyone who has made it can keep from drinking it all, it's well worth aging.

Check this out:
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:43 PM   #46
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As for the name, Samhain was a Celtic festival marking the end of the summer and the end of the harvest. It has influenced other holidays including one we are all familiar with that is celebrated around the same time, Halloween. Villagers would build great bonfires on the evening of Samhain and let all of the hearthfires in their houses die out. They would then take new flames from the bonfire and relight their own fires which would continue to heat their houses and cook their food until the next Samhain. I realize pumpkin would not have been a crop known to the people inhabiting the British Isles when this festival took place, but I think we can brew it and enjoy it in similar celebration of the harvest and the year gone, and in preparation for the cold winter and the new year. Cheers!
Another interesting thing about Samhain is that was the day you were supposed to take inventory of your winter grain and livestock. Those animals that could not be fed all winter were slaughtered and served at a Samhain feast.

I'm brewing this beer this weekend and hope to debut it at a Samhain BBQ.

 
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:15 PM   #47
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That's awesome!
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:36 PM   #48
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Saturday will be 2 weeks in the primary. Bubbles in the airlock have turned to a turtles pace, but I'm not rushing this one. The suspense is killing me!
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:06 PM   #49
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I was thinking about mixing up a couple of pounds of brown sugar in the pumpkin before I roast it. I thought is might help to caramelize it and give it a sweetness. Thoughts?

 
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:21 AM   #50
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I was thinking about mixing up a couple of pounds of brown sugar in the pumpkin before I roast it. I thought is might help to caramelize it and give it a sweetness. Thoughts?
Couldn't hurt! The only thing I'd be worried about is the beer ending up too boozy with all the sugar. I guess you could replace some of the base grain with the sugar but the resulting beer would be a bit thinner. Either mash higher or take some other measure to ensure the beer doesn't go too thin.
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