HELP QUICK!! Pumpkin Spice ale

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zac

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Folks: SWMBO & I both have the day off due to the snow/ice storm, so I thought it'd be a good day to brew. I have Austin Homebrew Supplies pumpkin ale ready to go, and alas, no pumpkin. SWMBO offered to sacrifice 5 15oz cans of solid pack pumpkin left over from christmas..... Will this work?

thanks
z
 

RichBrewer

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Any cooked pumpkin will work. I used Libby's canned pumpkin in mine and it turned out fantastic.
Just make sure there are no preservatives in it. The only ingredient should be pumpkin.
 

FatMonsters

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I used two of the 30 oz cans and baked it at 350 for an hour. Next tiime I think I would up it to 3 cans.

FWIW, watch the spice additions. I made mine and added a little toom much. I wanted to make sure the spice came through, but its a spice bomb. Everyone tells me they love it. I can't get past the spice taste...
 
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zac

zac

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I checked the pumpkin cans: Ingredients: Pumpkins

So do I need to bake this stuff before I mash it? I'm such a n00b........

thanks again
z
 

FatMonsters

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You don't have to mash it with the grains. You can, but from what I understand you won't get very much fermentables out of mashing it anyway. Plus you run the risk of a stuck sparge with all that goopy mess in the mash tun.

Just bake it for about an hour, or until it starts to darken. Then scoop it into the kettle during the boil. Stir well when you add it.
 

Professor Frink

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I wouldn't bother mashing the pumpkin, you'll likely get a stuck sparge. I've never even bothered to bake it, but I think that's personal preference. One thing you need to remember to do is to bump up your volume added to the fermenter to at least 6 gallons, the pumpkin will leave about a gallon of trub, if not more.
 

FatMonsters

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Professor Frink said:
One thing you need to remember to do is to bump up your volume added to the fermenter to at least 6 gallons, the pumpkin will leave about a gallon of trub, if not more.
yeah good point!! I didn't do that and barely netted 4 gallons.
 

TheH2

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"FWIW, watch the spice additions. I made mine and added a little toom much. I wanted to make sure the spice came through, but its a spice bomb. Everyone tells me they love it. I can't get past the spice taste..."

I had the same problem and I only added about 2 teaspoons of spices at the last minute of the boil. But, everyone else pretty much loves it so I have given a lot away. Allspice and cloves are very, very strong.
 

SuperiorBrew

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I mashed 3 cans in a 5 gallon batch and had no stuck mash problems. Next year I will use more pumpkin though.
 

wildwest450

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I have the same kit (extract- from austin homebrew), and im scared to death to try something different (second brew). So you just put it in a pan and bake it first? Can you do this the day before? I read another post that said you don't gain that much flavor from the pumpkin, it's the spice pack that does it. BTW I called AHS ans tried to ask these questions, but talked to a punk who tried to make me feel like an idiot, I ended hanging up on him. -1 AHS. Sorry one more question, Do you add it before first hop addition and let it dissolve first? Does it dissolve?
 

beeraggie

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wildwest450 said:
Do you add it before first hop addition and let it dissolve first? Does it dissolve?
I added mine at the start of a 90 min boil and did my first hop add at 60 mins.

It will somewhat dissolve, just make sure you add it slowly and mix VERY well
 

SuperiorBrew

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I have always read you add it to the mash. Here is a BYO article on brewing with pumpkin

I just stirred mine every time it worked its way to the top, I dont see how it can stick the mash when it wants to float to the top. I batch sparged and ran it with the valve wide open after the vorloff and not hint of it even slowing down.
I will add a couple more cans to my next batch and try baking it first to get more pumpkin flavor to come thru
 
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zac

zac

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Ok, reading all the posts here's what I did:

Baked 4lbs of pumpkin goo for an hour on 350. Mixed that in with my mash water until dissolved, added my grains & sparged for a little over an hour. (Sparge stick, but a quick stir & I was able to get enough to start boiling down) Boiled the wort down to about 5.5 gallons, added the spices & racked into the fermenter... AND FORGOT TO TAKE AN OG READING!!!! It's been one of those weeks......Hopefully its drinkable.

But I did go to a new beer cellar in the next town & came home with 21 different beers I've never had before.

Thanks folks
 

RichBrewer

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I didn't bake the pumpkin or add it to the mash. I just added it to the boil and let as much as possible get into the fermenter. It scored a 35 in the preliminaries of the AHA's national contest.
 

FatMonsters

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RichBrewer said:
I didn't bake the pumpkin or add it to the mash. I just added it to the boil and let as much as possible get into the fermenter.
That's awesome. I'm totally doing that next time. One less step to worry about.
 

FatMonsters

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TheH2 said:
I had the same problem and I only added about 2 teaspoons of spices at the last minute of the boil. But, everyone else pretty much loves it so I have given a lot away. Allspice and cloves are very, very strong.
The allspice did mine in. That's all I taste. And I gave a lot of mine away too!
 

chthonik

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I've done 1 pumpkin beer, a partial mash where we mashed cubed pumpkin to try to avoid the hassle of the canned stuff (which I imagine means we didn't get all the sugars out of it we couldhave, but clean up was easy). My understanding is that the starches in pumpkins must be mashed to be fermentable.

I used whole spices rather than ground spices, and was very conservative: 2 cinnamon sticks, 5 allspice berries, and 5 whole clove spikes, 10m before the end of the boil in a 5 gallon batch.

Pumpkin flavor wasn't extremely evident, spice flavor was present but varied greatly depending on whether it was bottled closer to the beginning of the batch or the end. I'm guessing the spices settled to the bottom of our bottling bucket and more made it into the later bottles.

This beer took a long time to carb, and the spicier bottles were less carbonated than the not-as-spicy (the spices probably inhibit the growth of the yeast; I know this can happen with baking).
 

Donasay

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Don't worry about taking an OG reading when brewing pumpkin beer, so much of the pumpkin fiber is floating in the beer that it artificially raises the reading, it is unfermentable and settles out in the gallon plus of trub, you will get so the numbers are meaningless. I acutally have to rack my pumpkin beer twice to keep it off of the trub that all that extra pumpkin makes.
 

kinison_fan

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I made a batch of this in October, and it really hit its sweet spot just recently.
I used two cans of pumpkin added to the boil, and added spices per the can's recipe for one pie. Once kegged, it took a long time to carbonate, and to clear and the spices were pretty prevalent at first-I wasn't thrilled with it.
By around Jan 1st, it must have aged enough, because now it is a very good beer.
 
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zac

zac

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I finally got some bubbling action in the airlock. I pitched on thursday evening & finally it took off tonight around 9pm. This if my first shot in a plastic bucket fermenter, my 3rd shot at AG & my 4th beer over-all. The light Ale from Morebeer.com didn't last very long.

Thanks folks for the advice. Great forum & great people.

Up next: Imperial Stout (morebeer)& Rouge Shakespeare Stout clone(Austin Homebrew). Anybody got tips on these I should be aware of?
 

runhard

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zac said:
I finally got some bubbling action in the airlock. I pitched on thursday evening & finally it took off tonight around 9pm. This if my first shot in a plastic bucket fermenter, my 3rd shot at AG & my 4th beer over-all. The light Ale from Morebeer.com didn't last very long.

Thanks folks for the advice. Great forum & great people.

Up next: Imperial Stout (morebeer)& Rouge Shakespeare Stout clone(Austin Homebrew). Anybody got tips on these I should be aware of?
After you conditon your pumpkin beer, let us know how if the pumpkin flavour is prominent or subtle, spice aroma, etc. I've got a reicpe that works for me but I can always learn a few tricks here and there and keep refining the final product.
:mug:
 

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