Making Mash Tun out of Pumpkin?????

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Tresden

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I'm making 2 pumpkin ales this week. 1 is on the stove as we speak, but the other, well I want it to be an experiment. I know most people mash with the pumpkin in the mash tun. I am curious as to what you experienced folk think about making a mash tun out of the pumpkin. For all intensive purposes I will not go through the trouble of putting copper tubing etc. strictly mashing in the pumpkin, then pouring it into my mash tun for filtration later. Is this practical? I mean, I know I can probably pull the process off, but would this achieve anything different than throwing pumpkins in the mash? Also, what would you guys think about fermenting inside of a pumpkin? Wild notion or stroke of genius?
 
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Normally this is done where the ale is fermented inside of the pumpkin, called a cask-o-lantern. I don't think I've seen it done as a mash tun though. The folks that have used a pumpkin as a fermenter say it doesn't impart much flavor, and that toasting pumpkin and adding it to the wort in the primary adds more flavor.
 

chrislehr

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All intents and purposes. FYI.

This sounds like a big mess waiting to happen. I get nervous enough about flies around my mash tun. a pumpkin also isn't really made to hold the pressure of all that liquid. Would likely stretch and break with the added temp as well.
 

chrislehr

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Well ill be damned. I was way off. That looks CRAZY as hell. fermenting in one too must really bring some interesting flavors.
 

3PegBrew

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Looks very labor intensive....I guess if you want to do it just so you can say "I mashed and fermented in a pumpkin..." go for it!:mug:
 
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Tresden

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well, I'm not clear how they bypassed an infection fermenting like that? Would I soak the pumpkin in sanitizer?
 

biochemedic

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well, I'm not clear how they bypassed an infection fermenting like that? Would I soak the pumpkin in sanitizer?
The inside of a pumpkin should be essentially sterile...if you sanitize the outside and clean it out with a big sanitized spoon, you should have no risk of infection from the pumpkin itself.
 

pjj2ba

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I'm tempted to try a "pumpkinback" - instead of a hop back. I'd simply poke a hole for hot wort to flow in and then another for the wort to flow out. I'd leave all the guts (aka flavor donors) inside. The only issues are making sure it doesn't leak, and how much it will soften as it basically cooks from the inside.

Alternatively, I might cut the top off so I could fill it with the hot wort, replace the lid, and then let it sit for 5-15 min, and then siphon it out. Might take a couple pumpkins to fit 5 gal.
 
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