How does my creamy pumpkin ale recipe look?

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Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2013
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I know not everyone loves pumpkin beer (no need to tell me so :)). For the others, I'd be very grateful if you could take a look at my proposed recipe and offer any suggestions. I'm going for a creamy, mouthful pumpkin ale with an ABV around 5 percent. Thank you!

Here is the recipe:

(1) Grain Bill

6 lb pale malt (2-row)
9 oz brown malt
9 oz coffee malt
7.5 oz English dark crystal malt
4.5 oz biscuit malt
4.5 oz chocolate malt
1lb flaked oats
0.58 lbs Carapils

(2) Hops and additions

0.75 oz German Northern Brewer @ 60 minutes
0.25 lb lactose at 10 minutes
2 lb roasted pumpkin
3 tsp Penzey's pumpkin spice
¼ teaspoon cardamom
12 oz cold-brewed coffee toddy
2 fresh madagascar vanilla beans

(3) Yeast

Wyeast 1450
I would put the roasted pumpkin in the mash. Mash high, such as 156F.
Pumpkin flavor is still minimal, most comes from the spices, but there are dextrins in the pumpkin that will enrich the mouthfeel.

Just adding the pumpkin to the boil won't yield anything, IMO, aside from a tiny bit of color, and a ton of trub.

Quite a few years ago I've used 5 (five) 15oz cans, toasted in the oven until dark and somewhat caramelized, then mashed with the grist. I could only notice the pumpkin barely. My notes say: double the pumpkin! Haven't rebrewed it since.
Have you ever seen or heard of Kuri squash? It’s a pumpkin orange, maybe a bit more red. They are tear drop shaped and a bit bigger than most sugar or pie pumpkins. The flavor is pumpkin but more intense. Much like acorn or butternut squash, and crossed with sweet potato. I canned a bunch of it last fall as pie filling and made baby food for my granddaughter. They are delicious! That is what I’ll be using for my beer. It’s just so much more flavorful than regular pumpkin.
+1 to toasting the pumpkin in the oven first and adding to the mash. Also highly recommend adding rice hulls to the grain bill if doing biab. I used them the first time I made my pumpkin ale and things went well. Decided to skip them the next time and the bag was totally clogged and wouldn’t drain. Not a fun situation.