If it survives, it will be a halloween miracle, Pumpkin ale. - Home Brew Forums
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:49 AM   #1
Aug 2011
Oxford, Oh
Posts: 19

Brewed my second beer ever tonight, and if it survives, it will be a miracle. I decided to formulate my own recipe, based around a pumpkin ale recipe on this site (see below). It started when I couldn't find sanitizer, I should have stopped then, but didn't.

I began to bake the pumpkin, and ran to walmart, hoping to find sanitizer in the canning section, they didn't have it so I grabbed isopropyl alcohol, I use it in surgeries, so I figured it would work for beer.

After sanitizing everything, things went great throughout the boil. It was when I went to move to fermenter that everything went to hell.

The alcohol dissolved my auto siphon. Yep, dissolved, just crumbled. So I had to mouth siphon the wort.The pumpkin had dispersed out of the grain bag into the wort and basically clogged everything up continually. So I had to restart the siphon several times, and at this point I couldn't sani anything, because I was afraid of melting more plastic.

I tried to siphon through the grain bag which kept clogging and needing emptied, moving back and forth meant that the kitchen has been "wortified".

Having gotten everything over, and adding some water, my O.G. Was really low, I panicked a little, and took a pound of dark brown sugar and boiled it in water and added to the cooling wort.

Stir, pitch yeast, and now my ale-coated kitchen is sticky and nasty, but the beer is fermenting.

So, tonight was definitely a learning experience. I am going to relax, not worry and have a home brew, but the infection risk with this beer is going to be high and I worry about it being thin tasting (any suggestions here would be appreciated).

Pumpkin Ale Recipe

3.3 lbs Muntons Light LME (60 minute boil)
3.3 lbs Briess Munich LME (5 Minute Boil)
1 Lb Crystal 40L (Steeped in 1 gal for 25 min @ 150F)
60 Ounces pumpkin mix (boil 60 minute, in grain bag)
1lb Brown sugar, boiled in 2 cups water added post boil.


1.0 ounce cascade 5% (60 min)
.5 oz Kent Goldings 4.9% (30min)
1.0 Oz Hersbrucker 2.6% (10min)

Pumpkin mix:
Baked 2 cans libby's pure pumpkin (not pie mix) with 1 cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice at 400F for 1 hour. Cooled and placed in grain bag to boil.

Expected O.G. =1.058
Actual O.G. = 1.042

Expected IBU = 27.5

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Old 08-30-2011, 02:54 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
Posts: 14,296
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You never have to "mouth siphon." See here:

Homebrewed Blog..........YouTube Channel .......... Shirts, posters, etc

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Old 08-30-2011, 02:57 AM   #3
Jul 2011
, Wa
Posts: 709
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

With a positive attitude like that, I bet it'll turn out amazing! Did you top off? If so, did you mix your wort and water before taking your gravity reading? The wort will drop to the bottom, causing a false reading.

Funny read, thanks for sharing.

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Old 08-30-2011, 03:12 AM   #4
Aug 2011
Oxford, Oh
Posts: 19

Great info, Thanks! Wish I had seen that before. The entire siphoning process was a clusterF___. It went everywhere, the tube clogged, the filter clogged. Oh well, a few 9% imperial stouts later, and I am feeling better about my chances.

Yeah, I topped off, but the wort was mixed pretty well and my OG reading was way low (1.036) which is why I went to the brown sugar.

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Old 08-30-2011, 05:32 AM   #5
Aug 2010
Juneau, AK
Posts: 577
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts

Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
You never have to "mouth siphon." See here:

Love the turkey baster trick -

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