Well, I had heard of a lot of places tapping a pumpkin with their pumpkin beer in it, but I’ve never heard of anyone actually ageing their beer in a pumpkin. So this year I did a fun experiment with one of my pumpkin beers. Follow me down the rabbit hole…
After primary fermentation was finished, I racked about 3.5 gallons of the pumpkin beer (my all-grain beer named: It’s The Great Pumpkin Ale, Charlie Brown) into the bottling bucket, leaving 1.5 gallons left. I opened the top of the pumpkin, scooped it’s guts out, drilled a hole for an air lock and they some sanitizer water went in it. I swirled it around for a few second, then dumped it.
I racked the 1.5 gallons I had left right into the top:
Covered it up, slapped the airlock on, and then put duct tape over the slices for the opening (not shown):
Exactly one week later I opened it up. Around the top was some nasty mold, but inside it was pristine! I racked it out of there, bottled, and let sit for the last two weeks to carb. Last night I opened it and did a side by side tasting with the non-pumpkin aged one.
No wild bugs got into the beer but what had happened baffled me. It’s like most of the life and flavor was sucked out of the beer. The mouth feel was thin, it was less pie pumpkin tasting and more jack-o-lantern pumpkin tasting (which would make sense…that’s what I aged it in after all). It was still a drinkable and tasty beer, but had lost a lot of what made this batch really fantastic this year.
Anyone ever try this and what were your results?