What an awesome thread.
I've been following up on this every couple of days for the past month because I was trying to put together a nice PM "Pumking Clone" recipe. And as somebody mentioned before on here, this reads like a frickin' mystery novel.
I started off assembling my recipe on beer calculus a few weeks ago (based on the page 20 recipe) and kept tweaking it as new information was revealed (eg. the Graham Cracker Extract leaving a metallic taste, the alcohol soaked vanilla beans looking funky, the vanilla butter and nut extract being used instead). After I felt like I had enough of a handle on what was going on, I finally decided to buy the necessary materials and brew.
Here is what I went with:
45% 7 0 Briess DME Golden Light boiled
26% 4 0 Pumpkin, cooked mash
6% 1 0 Victory Malt mash
6% 1 0 Pale Malt, 6 Row, US mash
6% 1 0 Crystal 60L mash
5% 0 12 Dememera Sugar boiled
2% 0 4 Brown Sugar, Light boiled
2% 0 4 Gambrinus Honey Malt mash
2% 0 4 Rice Hulls mash
60 min .5 Magnum ~ pellet 14.0
20 min 0.2 Sterling ~ pellet 6.3
British Ale (WLP005)
boil 10 min 1 tbsp Irish Moss
boil 5 min 1 tsp Allspice
boil 5 min 3 ea Cinnamon Sticks
boil 5 min 1 tsp Cloves
boil 5 min 1 tsp Ginger, ground
boil 5 min 1 tsp Nutmeg
bottling 1 days 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
bottling 1 days ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Some notes about my brew day:
I mashed everything in a Coleman cooler for about 1 hour. The mash was a bit soupy because I had to keep adding hot water. It was around 146-150 (I WANTED it to be around 155 though). I "ghetto sparged" with 3 gallons of 170 degree water through a pasta strainer that I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond. Say what you want though, my efficiency was at 65% (according to beer calculus). The pumpkin really does slow things down though, took me about 40 minutes when it usually takes me about 10 minutes to "ghetto sparge".
The boil went as planned except for the last 10 minutes when my girlfriend and I realized we forgot to add the DME and sugars. So we frantically added it all just in time to toss in the plethora of spices at the 5 minute mark. I originally had .5 teaspoons for each ingredient amount, but my girlfriend prepared the spice mixture and took the liberty of doubling everything since she didn't think half a teaspoon was enough.
We racked the beer over after chilling it with my wort chiller. I must say, it smelled ABSOLUTELY DIVINE. People kept commenting on here about a lot of the spice flavors dropping out while fermentation goes on, so maybe I'll be on to something with the extra .5 teaspoon for each.
I asked the guys at my LHBS about a yeast and they said WLP005 would probably get me what I wanted. Here's to putting my faith in their hands. I made a 24-hour starter for this beer since it's going to be around 8% ABV.
Also, I added the Honey Malt because I've always wanted to use it and my LHBS is always out of it. I saw it when I was purchasing everything and decided "why the hell not?". Honey on my pumpkin pie sounds terrific.
I plan on racking this to a secondary container next week. I also plan on doing some final adjustments at bottling time with Mckormick's Pumpkin Spice and Vanilla Butter and Nut extract.
I had Pumking a couple days ago and there is something very distinct about that aroma. It really does smell like graham crackers and I don't think anything you do in the mash or boil is going to give you that. I'm almost positive it's some strange extract added during the bottling process (I know this has pretty much been established on here, just wanted to confirm it).
Although this may not necessarily be a clone since I decided to use Honey Malt, i'll keep you guys updated with how it goes. Even if this doesn't turn out being a clone, the wort smelled fantastic. I'm almost willing to say it was worth putting this all together just to smell that wort. It smelled like 10 pumpkin pies were liquefied and put into my brew bucket.
Looking back, the ONLY regret I have so far with this batch (besides mashing so low) is using straight tap water to top off my bucket. I was at like 4.8 gallons of wort and brought it up to 5.2 without boiling the water. They use chloramine to clean my water, which supposedly can give a weird medicinal taste.
Any feedback from you guys would be appreciated. I started brewing in January and I've been absolutely hooked. This is Batch 13 for me.
And THANK YOU ALL for contributing to this thread. It's been a great read!