Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle
Something about the numbers on the bottle don't seem to add up. The ST website says the ABV is 8.6%. There is a picture of the label that says 9% ABV and 19* Plato. 19* Plato is ~1.079 and in order to get even 8.6% ABV from that you'd need to hit a FG of ~1.013 (~84% apparent attenuation). Pumpking doesn't taste that highly attenuated so I don't get it. Unless they actually do add lactose but don't include it in the OG.
I bought a couple of bottles of Pumpking and measured the SG. It was in the 1.018-1.020 range. The label says 19* Plato and 8.6% ABV. If you start at 19* Plato (1.079) then you must ferment it down to ~1.013 to hit 8.6% ABV. Going from 1.079 to 1.019 is only ~7.8% ABV. So there is something else going on.
Maybe they ferment it down to 1.013 and then add lactose to get the SG up to 1.018-1.020. Since a FG of 1.013 is ~84% apparent attenuation this seems unlikely unless they add a decent amount of brown sugar.
Or maybe they only ferment it down to 1.018-1.020 and then add an alcohol-based tincture of pumpkin pie spices to get the alcohol up to 8.6%. A FG of 1.019 equates to ~76% apparent attenuation which is at least in the 'typical' range. If my calcs are right, it would require about 12-13 oz of 80 proof tincture in 5 gallons of beer to get that extra 0.8% ABV.
Or maybe a combination of the two.
Just a guess but I think any graham cracker flavor is a result of the spices (and sweetness). Pumpkin pie doesn't have a graham cracker crust so it would seem strange for ST to use graham cracker flavoring.