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Old 10-17-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
Brewskier
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Default Pumpkin ale -- should I add vanilla extract and lactose at bottling?

I brewed up a pumpkin beer yesterday, here are the ingredients I used. (based off Terpsichoreankid's recipe)

Quote:
9 lbs 2 row
1 lb Biscuit Malt
0.5 lb Crystal 60
0.5 lb Flaked Wheat
1.0 lb Rice Hulls

90oz baked Pumpkin (Libby's)

0.75 oz Centennial @ 60 (8.9%)

1 tsp cinnamon @ 5
1 tsp cloves @ 5
0.5 tsp ginger @ 5

Nottingham Yeast
Anyway, based on the hydrometer sample, I have a feeling this is going to be a tasty beer. I've read some comments about pumpkin beers, and what some people do is add vanilla and/or lactose at bottling time. Has anyone ever tried this? How did it turn out? I'm generally not a huge fan of sweet beers, but considering how the hydrometer sample tasted like liquid pumpkin pie, I might want to keep some of the sweetness after fermentation is all wrapped up.

Opinions?


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Old 10-17-2011, 10:06 PM   #2
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Yeah I wouldn't mess with it. Pumpkin pie doesn't normally have vanilla. I wouldn't added some nutmeg and some allspice though.


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Old 10-17-2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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You know, the spice combo I had originally decided on was 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 0.5 tsp clove, 0.5 tsp allspice, but the other mixture smelled a lot better, and closer to what I was originally shooting for.

So, no on the vanilla extract. Do you think a tiny bit of lactose would help? I'm thinking that a very subtle hint of sweetness might complement the flavor of the beer.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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My Punkin Porter had a very similar spice profile. I *did* add 2teaspoons of vanilla and I also added a pound of lactose. It's absolutely my wife's favorite of the 20 batches I've made, and I like it more than any commercial pumpkin beer. If I changed anything, I'd cut the lactose down to .5 lb.

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Old 10-18-2011, 12:27 AM   #5
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I agree on cutting the lactose down. I used a pound and think I'll cut in half next time. I also put 2 TBSP of vanilla extract in secondary and can't taste it at all. All in all a very good pumpkin beer, but will tweak a few things next year.
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:59 AM   #6
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I just bottled my pumpkin ale with a similar grain build. I added 1 full tbsp of pumpkin pie spice at 10 mins, and a tsp at bottling. To get that "whipped cream" topping flavor, I added 1 cup of lactose and 1 oz. of pure vanilla extract at bottling.

Its still conditioning in the bottle atm, but, the pint I pulled out of the bucket was pretty darn perfect. Not over spiced, but there. Great mouthfeel from the lactose, and the hint of vanilla at the end was just like topping on the pie.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:09 AM   #7
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Generally i was disapointed using less lactose,go for it add a liitle vanilla if you want,doesnt seem liked you overspiced. But with the spice/vanilla and good carbonation it can turn out to be cola like.Your recipe looks decent but dont overdue the vanilla.You almost dont need the lactose with that much pumpkin, you should get a slick smooth mouth fell from it,maybe add more crystal next time but let us know it seems like what your going for and may want next time.
Your spice shouldnt be overdone at all, your recipe looks decent to me and should turn out nicely if it doesnt sit on it and let it condition,but do yourself a favor and at least save a bunch of them to age and check them out along the way.
Although centennial seems a little odd for me, i dont think a citrus hop fits pumpkin, but i could be wrong too ive never tried it.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmohno View Post
Generally i was disapointed using less lactose,go for it add a liitle vanilla if you want,doesnt seem liked you overspiced. But with the spice/vanilla and good carbonation it can turn out to be cola like.Your recipe looks decent but dont overdue the vanilla.You almost dont need the lactose with that much pumpkin, you should get a slick smooth mouth fell from it,maybe add more crystal next time but let us know it seems like what your going for and may want next time.
Your spice shouldnt be overdone at all, your recipe looks decent to me and should turn out nicely if it doesnt sit on it and let it condition,but do yourself a favor and at least save a bunch of them to age and check them out along the way.
Although centennial seems a little odd for me, i dont think a citrus hop fits pumpkin, but i could be wrong too ive never tried it.
The original recipe called for 2 lbs of crystal, but I decided against using that much, since too much crystal usually makes for an overly malty beer, and I was afraid it would overshadow the spices. Terpsichoreankid's review seemed to agree with this, since he said the spices were all in the background, and the malt flavor dominated.

The centennial was just used as a bittering hop. In my experience, it's a clean bittering hop choice. It was all I had on hand.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterboy42 View Post
I just bottled my pumpkin ale with a similar grain build. I added 1 full tbsp of pumpkin pie spice at 10 mins, and a tsp at bottling. To get that "whipped cream" topping flavor, I added 1 cup of lactose and 1 oz. of pure vanilla extract at bottling.

Its still conditioning in the bottle atm, but, the pint I pulled out of the bucket was pretty darn perfect. Not over spiced, but there. Great mouthfeel from the lactose, and the hint of vanilla at the end was just like topping on the pie.
Did the lactose amount you used add any sweetness to the flavor? I would want just a subtle hint of sweetness and vanilla. If the beer keeps the same spice level throughout fermentation, I would want that to still be in the forefront.

What's a good vanilla extract to use?
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewskier View Post
You know, the spice combo I had originally decided on was 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 0.5 tsp clove, 0.5 tsp allspice, but the other mixture smelled a lot better, and closer to what I was originally shooting for.

So, no on the vanilla extract. Do you think a tiny bit of lactose would help? I'm thinking that a very subtle hint of sweetness might complement the flavor of the beer.
I personally don't like lactose in beer, or sweet beer in general, so I'm not a good one to ask. I think plenty of sweetness can be obtained from crystal malts.


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