pumpkin ale questions

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Steve50

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Brewing a pumpkin ale got a recipe from the brew site.My question is concerning the pumpkin spices. Recipe calls for 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the spices listed below:
cinnamon
allspice
mace
ginger
Would it be 1/2 to 1 teasp. of each or combine all the spices and add 1/2 to 1 teasp.? Also, it suggests adding spices to the secondary fermenter. What would be the amount? Thanks, Steve:ban:
 

mxpx5678

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It really depends on your preference honestly. It is hard to know what the recipe meant not seeing the recipe. I think you could be ok with a 1/2 teaspoon of each. And i would suggest adding them at flameout rather than secondary.
 
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Steve50

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spices at end of boil and additional when moving to secondary. how long at the end of boil? last 5 mimutes?
 

mxpx5678

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ahh this recipe does say 1 teaspoon total of all the spices. that seems a little light but i usually work in grams/ounces so I am not quite sure how much that is. I would say last 5 minutes of boil should be fine. Taste it if you are moving to secondary, if you think it needs more add more.
 

bobbrews

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If you're using mace, I suggest using it in tandem with nutmeg for a rounder flavor. I'd probably use cardamom or clove instead of allspice, which can be more like black pepper than anything else. Clove and nutmeg are more intense than the other spices, so you'll need less of them.

I don't bother with stressing over adding measured amounts when using spices for a beer. Instead, I simmer a spice tea with water and whole/cracked spices until I like the flavor and pitch that at flameout, until I once again like the flavor. Some more could be added prior to bottling if you feel it needs it.

The moral of the story is that it's better to taste, adjust, and see vs. asking if there are proven additions that work. This advice won't help everyone in every situation.
 
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Steve50

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so the spice profile could be cinnamon,nutmeg,mace,clove and ginger?
 

bobbrews

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You're too hung up on measurements. Just make it. Taste it. Adjust it. Use it.
 

mxpx5678

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Steve50 said:
12 oz for tea? help a bro out!
Again stop worrying. Try 12 ozs if that works then great. If not use more or less water. Add spices. Start off smaller. If the beer needs more taste add more.
 

J187

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Basically, he's simulating the spice "pumpkin pie" by mixing his own. So, I'm assuming he thought it would be appropriate to add what would amount to a single measure of once spice since he's treating the spice mixture as a single spice. Does that make sense? Anyway, when I brewed my pumpkin ale, I used a whole tsp of most spices individually - Allspice, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves, etc. I added a whole ounce of Vanilla extract. Also, I added mine during the boil, not at flameout. From what I've read, a little heat is good to extract the spice flavors. His argument about nullifying spice flavors by cooking seems weird to me since you often bake spices at 350 deg for 45+ min when baking... Anyway, I added my spices I think at 10min. 5-10 min seems like a good time. I've tasted my wort and I can certainly guarantee that my spices aren't nullified. I think if you add what equates to 4 or spices to create 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture, for all intents and purposes using 1/8th or 1/10th of one teaspoon of each, you might as well not even bother IMO.

Also, for me, I chose to add to my pumpkin to the boil at 45 min. I steeped my specialty grains like normal and just added my pumpkin to the boil as an early-ish addition. It imparted plenty of pumpkin aroma, and gave a very nice color. I taste it in the fermented wort as well.
 

bobeer

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I made a pumpkin porter about 3 weeks ago and I just used the pumpkin pie spice since it's pumpkin enough for me. After reading a lot on the forum on what to use, when to add, and do I readd after fermentation, I decided to just do it to taste and add more later if needed. Using the pie spice combined with the baked pumpkin I dumped in the boil it'll taste like pumpkin.

If I was going to make the tea I'd use 1-2 cups of water in a small pot on the stove. 2 cups might be too much but it doesn't really matter IMO. Dissolve the spices and pitch it to the wort. After fermentation if you want more than make another tea but cool it before you add it to the beer. You could even flavor your priming solution if you're bottling. In the end you're still making beer and it will have some sort of pumpkin taste to it. Just take notes on what you're doing so you can make adjustment next year.
 

ReddHead

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I'm brewing a pumpkin ale this weekend and plan on using canned pumpkin pie mix. Would you all recommend baking the mix before hand or just putting it in straight from the can?
 

bobeer

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I'm brewing a pumpkin ale this weekend and plan on using canned pumpkin pie mix. Would you all recommend baking the mix before hand or just putting it in straight from the can?
Bake if for sure. That way you'll caramelize the pumpkin and get more flavor out of it. I even added half the pumpkin half way through the boil and the other half at 15 minutes. IDK if it will do anything but that's what makes this hobby fun.
Bake it at 350 for an hour spread evenly on a cookie sheet.
 

ReddHead

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Ok cool. I thought I could get canned pumpkin pie mix but only canned pumpkin is available right now. I'll just have to make up for it with the spice additions.
Thanks.
 

bobeer

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ReddHead said:
Ok cool. I thought I could get canned pumpkin pie mix but only canned pumpkin is available right now. I'll just have to make up for it with the spice additions.
Thanks.
no problem. I just bottled a honey pumpkin porter and it smells and tastes like pumpkin; tastes awesome, 5.65%. I used the same canned pure pumpkin as you and about 2 tea spoons of pumpkin pie spice for a 2.5 gallon batch. Baked the pumpkin at 350 for an hour and added to the boil. Hope yours turns out man!
 

ReddHead

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Fingers crossed. It's bubbling away in the primary right now and then I might transfer it to secondary for a bit and then cold crash it to try and get it as clear as possible with my limited hardware.
 

J187

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Fingers crossed. It's bubbling away in the primary right now and then I might transfer it to secondary for a bit and then cold crash it to try and get it as clear as possible with my limited hardware.
Unless you got something further to do - adding something or dry hopping, I'd just leave it in primary to finish fermenting and clear up, then rack to the bottling bucket or keg.
 

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