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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Dissolve pumpkin in sparge water?
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
campbelldm1
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Default Dissolve pumpkin in sparge water?

I am getting ready to do my pumpkin beer and after research I have seen mention of doing this. Has anyone done it? Does it work?


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Old 07-11-2013, 02:06 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by campbelldm1 View Post
I am getting ready to do my pumpkin beer and after research I have seen mention of doing this. Has anyone done it? Does it work?
I have never heard of anyone dissolving in the sparge water. For a Southern Tier Pumking clone, I roast two whole pumpkins (gunk removed) in the oven for about 2-3 hours at 250 Deg F. I then cool it down, scoop out all the meat, and mash it directly with the grain. It wouldn't seem to me that you would get much out of dissolving in the sparge. You need it to be part of the mash to extract the flavoring and very small amount of diastatic power. If you go the mash route, I recommend using rice hulls. You will suffer through many a' stuck sparge trying to get through this. Also, it's worth noting that Southern Tier doesn't piss around with whole pumpkins. They use the canned pumpkin puree. "Food" for thought...


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Old 07-11-2013, 02:42 AM   #3
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If you are putting it in the mash tun anyway, you may as well get it in there from the start. Just get a bunch of rice hulls and plan on worse efficiency than usual.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response. I had previously just gone the mash route but was curious when I read about dissolving. Will stick with the normal plan.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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I am planning a pumpkin ale but was going to add the pumpkin after fermentation - similar to dry hopping. Any drawbacks to this approach?
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:55 PM   #6
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Dissolve it in your strike water first. Then add the grain. Fewer clumps that way. Plan on sticky. It's sticky.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #7
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Definitely definitely definitely use Rice hulls. A stuck sparge sucks and the time you spend trying to extract whatever you can will drive you nuts.

I used 15 lbs of the canned pumpkin puree and in the mash it liquefied and I had a stuck sparge. Rice hulls should solve that issue next time.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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Definitely definitely definitely use Rice hulls. A stuck sparge sucks and the time you spend trying to extract whatever you can will drive you nuts.

I used 15 lbs of the canned pumpkin puree and in the mash it liquefied and I had a stuck sparge. Rice hulls should solve that issue next time.
Pumpkin is no joke. That crap turns into a nightmare when mixed with hot water. It really is like sludge.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Dissolve it in your strike water first. Then add the grain. Fewer clumps that way. Plan on sticky. It's sticky.

This is exactly what I did when I brewed my first pumpkin beer just a couple of weeks ago, matter of fact I kegged it just the other day. For my 5 gallon all grain brew I put 2 cans of roasted pumpkin in my strike water and whisked it up with an aerator I have that attaches to a drill.

When using this method you dont have to let your pumpkin cool after roasting just add to striker water and heat up. No temperature adjustments needed either.

There was almost no visible pumpkin trub in the fermentation carboy after fermentation was complete using this method. I have read through a lot of pumpkin threads where people say be ready for 4 inches or so of pumpkin trub. I have been thinking I had no pumpkin sediment due to how thoroughly the roasted pumpkin was mixed with the strike water. I dunno?


Also, I used a whole pound of rice hulls and had a slow sparge that had to be stopped, re-mixed, and re-vorlaufed a couple of times but managed to get the job done.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:21 PM   #10
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I have been very much terrified of the mess in the tun, so I use a 5gl paint strainer bag, and steep (and stir like heck for a few min) the pumpkin in the strike water for 45min before I mash. to compensate for what flavor I might lose by not using the pumpkin in the mash I use almost 8lb of pumpkin for a 3gl batch. I also account for absorption of the pumpkin and start off with more strike water than needed for the mash. The bag then goes into the sparge water pot, and repeat. So I have pumpkin in the mash water and the sparge water.


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