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Old 11-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
Jul 2011
, ca
Posts: 383

I purchased a pumpkin ale kit from northern brewers. I added ruffly around 80 oz. of pumpkin, because I wanted a more pronounced pumpkin flavor. But I got zero pumpkin, beer is good.
I added the canned pumpkin at last 15 min of boil. A lot was removed when transferred to bucket and while transferring to secondary. Beer was fermented around 65ish.

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
daksin's Avatar
Aug 2011
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,617
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Well, many pumpkin ales actually have NO pumpkin at all, just pumpkin pie spice (cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon). Pumpkin actually adds almost nothing to the beer- maybe a bit of mouthfeel, but there isn't any appreciable starch to contribute sugars during the mash and isn't particularly flavorful. If it's still in secondary, I would make a spice tea and add some of that to punch of the flavor a bit.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
Apr 2012
Quakertown, PA
Posts: 76
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Like Daskin said, you'd be shocked how many "pumpkin ales" have NO pumpkin. It is a delicate flavor, and I would presume most would be lost to the fermentation process.

I would guess the best bet for using real pumpkin would be to secondary on it. That's what I did with a Pumpkin Wheat & a Pumpkin Porter.

Can't tell you how they turned out yet, as they were just kegged in the last week, and no room in the kegerator. The hygrometer samples tasted pretty good, so hopefully they will be even better when they aren't warm & flat!

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Old 11-21-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
Jan 2012
Wallingford, CT
Posts: 22

I added 60 oz. to the boil for 20 minutes and 1 oz. of pumpkin pie spice for the last 5 min. Came out great. I'm a believer you can't call it a pumpkin beer if you don't add pumpkin. Although faint, i do believe it adds some flavor and gives a better mouthfeel.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
Sep 2011
willow grove, pa
Posts: 130
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i have a pumpkin ale in primary now an dcant pickup any aromas from teh spice (1 teaspoon) or pumpkin (60oz of Libby canned). it steill smells like a nice malty ale so i'll be happy with that

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Old 11-24-2012, 03:11 AM   #6
Oct 2012
Posts: 23
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I diced up a small "pie pumpkin" that weighed about 3 lbs at the store and put it in a muslin bag and added to boil. I kept it in primary for a week then removed the whole bag when I transferred to secondary.

The ale had a deffinate pumpkin flavor and I just finished the last of it last night for thanksgiving. Everyone liked it as did myself.

I don't think I would want to put canned pumpkin mush into my beer.

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Old 11-24-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
Mar 2010
Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 137
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Originally Posted by jdgapc View Post
i have a pumpkin ale in primary now an dcant pickup any aromas from teh spice (1 teaspoon) or pumpkin (60oz of Libby canned). it steill smells like a nice malty ale so i'll be happy with that
I use 2 teaspoons of pumpking pie spice in 5 gallons and it's a very subtle aroma and taste. I usually don't smell it in the fermenter, but it will be there after you condition/carbonate it. Again, it may be very subtle, but that amount of spice will not dominate the beer.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:06 AM   #8
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Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
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As others have said many pumpkin beers have zero pumpkin. Some of the top-rated pumpkin beers only use canned pumpkin (Pumpkinator comes to mind).

I've never had good luck adding pumpkin to the beer. As I understand it, you need to add enormous amounts of pumpkin to get flavor. Otherwise you should just go right to the spices. I am borrowing an idea from a local brewery that makes a pumpkin spiced American-style dunkelweizen but I am doing it as a German-style dunkelweizen. No pumpkin, just a blend of spices I concocted from other recipes. Just brewed it on Thanksgiving but it smelled fantastic going in the fermenter. Some of the pumpkin beers are too heavy on the allspice and ginger which makes it taste like potpourri. I do not like that. I'm more about the cinnamon-nutmeg-clove with a tiny amount of allspice and ginger.

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