Pumpkin Ale

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jayhuff

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Well I am in the middle of trying a pumpkin ale after reading many other recipes. This is an extract version, so it is easy and hopefully tasty!

3 lbs Muntons Light DME
8oz 20L crystal malt
4 oz chocolate malt
30oz pumpkin- 2 cans (baked at 350 for 20 mins with 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice)
.75oz Kent Golding 60min
.25oz Kent Golding 15min
1 tsp pumpkin spice 15 min
1 tsp Irish moss 15 min
Muntons' Gold yeast

This is a 2.5 gallon batch just to test out how it will go. Great I hope!
 

cactusgarrett

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Might consider upping the pumpkin spice amount a little. The spices will subside given time. Also, the only other thing that strikes me is that the pumpkin needs to be mashed. Otherwise there's no point in puting it into an extract recipe.
 

flyangler18

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Also, the only other thing that strikes me is that the pumpkin needs to be mashed. Otherwise there's no point in puting it into an extract recipe.
It can be boiled. When I did my AG pumpkin ale, I added pumpkin to the boil, not wanting to deal with the slop in my MLT.
 

cactusgarrett

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Boiling kills the enzymes, which won't allow for the starch conversion, though. You can do it, but IMHO adding pumpkin to the boil doesn't contribut much, if anything perceptible to the beer.
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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I appreciate the advice. I will try it sometime in the future with a partial mash. I wasn't looking to get enzymes out of it as much as I was flavor. I was thinking that I might add spice to the secondary or even at bottling, although, bottling would be hard to get the spices mixed in without much stirring and agitation. Spices in the secondary might just be the way to go!
 

cactusgarrett

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Pumpkin imparts very little flavor to a beer in the first place, and in my opinion the least when boiled. The majority of commercial brews' flavor comes from the spice load, and i'll go out on a limb to say the majority don't even use pumpkin in the brewing process for that reason.

That said, I spice with 5-10min left in the boil and my pumpkins turn out fine. "Dry-spicing" in the secondary or bottling bucket is feasible, too, as this will exhibit the least flavor loss (vs. adding during the boiling process). Good luck.
 

beergorila

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I'm doing a pumpkin ale tonight with English Ale ingredients... I have 2 cans of pumpkin WITH spice and 2 actual little pumpkins (finally in season, sorta)

I'm not sure yet if I should boil the pumpkin or not ... it seems everyone does it differently. Maybe 1 can/1 pumpkin in the boil, and the rest add with cooled wort?

Anyone have suggestions? Anyone? ... Bueller?
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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I have never done it before, so the way I did it is the only way I know. Who knows how it will turn out, but it is beer!
 

cactusgarrett

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...and the rest add with cooled wort?
Like i mentioned above, if you don't mash at sacc temps, you're just getting starches in your beer, and no conversion. So, there'd be little point in adding pumpkin directly into the mash.

The color looks amazing, if it hangs around. I've had a lot of batches look different once the yeast flocc out (including my pumpkin beers). Did you take a sample prior to transferring to the fermenter? I'm predicting little pumpkin flavor, since you added to the boil.
 

beergorila

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Did you take a sample prior to transferring to the fermenter? I'm predicting little pumpkin flavor, since you added to the boil.
Yes ... there was TONS of flavor. I understand the point about non-conversion of starches & killing off enzymes at higher temps, but the flavor isn't necessarily in the sugars, right?

I mean, the hops are not converted into anything, nor end up in the final product (filtered) other than flavor. Seems this would do the same, no?
 

cactusgarrett

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Yes ... there was TONS of flavor. I understand the point about non-conversion of starches & killing off enzymes at higher temps, but the flavor isn't necessarily in the sugars, right?

I mean, the hops are not converted into anything, nor end up in the final product (filtered) other than flavor. Seems this would do the same, no?
Adding in intervals during the boil might be the key in keeping flavor. I don't know as I'm only relaying info I've heard secondhand, as i've never added to the boil. In relation, not converting those starches (by not mashing) is going to keep your beer pretty cloudy, and typically that isn't something i'm looking for - that's why i, personally, keep boil-additions to a minimum.

Just my thoughts.
 

beergorila

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I appreciate the input!

I plan on using a secondary once fermentation has subsided, and I also added whirlfloc at 5 min. It's the final flavor I'm most worried about, but it's all part of the learning process!

I'll let you all know what the final product is like. There's always next Fall... :D
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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when I sampled my og reading, there was a lot of pumpkin flavor. it may have been the spices, but it was very good. After 1 week in the primary, the one drawback I am seeing is like 2 inches of trub! holy cow there is a lot on the bottom! looking forward to trying this one nice and cold. I am not so concerned with cloudy beer because it is usually gone before I get a good chance to look at it! :)
 

cactusgarrett

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when I sampled my og reading, there was a lot of pumpkin flavor. it may have been the spices, but it was very good.
As long as it's good, i'm not going to argue. There's the rub, though. Finding someone who can differentiate the pumpkin flavor from the pumpkin PIE flavor in a beer isn't as easy as you'd think. Most people are looking for the pie flavor in the first place, anyway.
 

Sumo

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Here is a recipe I did for pumpkin Ale. Its has a nice pumpkin squash flavor to it at first. The nutmeg and cinnamon are in the middle with the orange peel at the end.
I used t4 cans of libby pumpkin. Its the real deal with no preservatives or spices. Oh my what a mess on the bottom of my carboy, but it was worth it.

Instructions for brewing the extract version of
PUMPKIN ALE
1) Sanitize your fermenter (either carboy, stopper and blow-off
tubing or plastic bucket, lid and airlock) by soaking for a minimum
of 5 minutes in an Iodophor solution: 1/2 oz.(1 Tbs.) per 5 gallons
water (a one step cleaner/sanitizer may be used instead).
2) Add 11/2-2 1/2 gallons of cold water to your brewpot. Add the
cracked grains to the water and heat. Steep grains until water starts
to boil. Turn off heat and remove grains.
1 lb. Crystal 20L and EITHER a 5 pound pumpkin halved,
seeded and baked skin side up at 450F till tender (30 to 45
min), then mashed; OR 2-4 pounds of canned pumpkin (if
spiced, skip spices below)
3) Add malt extract (and any other sugars and/or water treatments,
but do not add your priming/bottling sugar). Stir until everything has
dissolved. Turn on heat.
6.6 pounds of Light malt extract Syrup
4) Boil above ingredients (wort) for a total of one hour. Add hops
throughout the boil.
1 ounce of Willamette hop pellets bittering hops for full hour.
1/2 tsp. of Irish Moss last 15 to 20 minutes of boil.
1 tsp. each of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Orange Peel last 5
minutes of boil.
5) Turn off heat. In order to help cool down the wort, take your
brewpot off the stove and cover it to avoid splashing. Immerse it in
a sink partially filled with ice-water and swirl the pot occasionally.
Chill until the bottom of the pot is cool to the touch when removed
from the ice water bath.
6) Fill your sanitized fermenter with approximately 2 gallons of room
temperature water. It is important that you add the water to the
fermenter first when using a glass carboy since the glass can crack
when subjected to extreme temperature changes.
7) Add the wort to the fermenter while straining out the hops. Shake
the fermenter in order to help dissolve some air into the wort . Top
up to 5 gallons with room temporature water.
8) Immediately add (pitch) your yeast when the wort is at or below
78F (when the fermenter no longer feels warm to the touch).
If you like dry yeast use Muntons, for liquid yeast use Wyeast
1056, or Whitelabs WLP001
9) If using a carboy, attach stopper and blow-off tubing and run the
other end into water in a container to collect excess foam (blow-off).
Make sure stopper is dry so that it creates a firm seal in the neck of
the carboy. After blow-off has subsided (24-48 hours.) replace
tubing with a sanitized airlock 1/2 full of water. If fermenting in a
plastic bucket, attach lid and airlock 1/2 full of water.
10)Ferment in a dark place. Fermentation should start within 48
hours and finish within 3-10 days or up to 50 days at colder
temperatures (Ale yeast is best used between 63F-75F. Lager
yeast is best used at 42F-58F). When it takes more than two
minutes for a bubble to escape from the airlock you can assume
fermentation is complete. You're now ready to bottle and should do
so within the next week.
11) Sanitize your siphon, bottles a nd bottling bucket as indicated in
step #1 above.
12) To be sure fermentation is complete siphon off enough beer to
fill your hydrometer flask and float your hydrometer in it. A specific
gravity higher than 1.020 indicates incomplete fermentation. The
beer is not safe to bottle.
13) Boil bottle caps in a pint of water for 15 minutes or sanitize as
indicated in step #1 above.
14) Boil (priming sugar) in one pint of water for 15 minutes and pour
into your bottling bucket.
3/4 cup corn sugar (priming sugar) or 1 1/4 cups of dried malt
extract
15) Siphon beer from fermenter to bottling bucket. Avoid taking up
yeast from fermenter and splashing beer in bottling bucket. Gently
stir with the end of the siphon tube to mix in the priming sugar.
16) Fill bottles from spigot, leaving 1/2" to 1" airspace and cap.
17) Store bottles upright in dark place at fermentation temperature
for at least two weeks.
18) Drink the beer. Repeat.
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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Looks like a good recipe to me! I will be bottling my pumpkin ale this weekend. Looking forward to the sample!

That would be the 1-2-3 week method. :)
 

Sumo

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Yea it takes time for the flavor to mellow out and blend. I tried it early on and the flavors were not as nice as they are now. It's true what you read on the postings, the bottom of the keg tastes the best.
 

foonder

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I want to try making a pumpkin porter. I've only made a pumpkin beer once, and used pumpkin puree (never again). I wish I could've had it ready by Halloween, but I'll be lucky if I have it ready by next freakin Halloween. F***ing school. =/

Good luck with the pumpkin brew BTW, color looks great.
Personally, I like a lot of cinnamon and not a lot of nutmeg in my pumpkin brews, I don't think I'd ever use 'pumpkin pie spice'; not sure how much of what spice is in there. Naa mean?
 

Marko73

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One thing I used in a Pumpkin Ale last year were vanilla beans. I used two whole beans and just cut them in half to release the flavor. Did a good job adding a subtle sweetness that wasn't overbearing.
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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Last night I was able to drink a sample of this that was in the secondary and is ready to bottle... all I can say is that it taste out of sight! Awesome pumkin flavor (not just the spices) is very pronounced. I was not expecting much after some of the comments in this thread about noy getting flavor from boiling, and I had bought Blue Moon's version of pumkin ale called Harvest Moon. Harvest moon is good ale, but taste nothing like pumkin or spice- which it claimed to have both. So I draw the sample, get a SG reading and then I am knocked off my feet by the beer.

By far, the best beer I have made. This was taking place as I was brewing a pumpkin Hefeweizen. I will be posting the recipe to that one too.
 

tdavisii

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I just finished a pumkin ale last night and is bubbling away. I will NEVER again use pumkin puree. It leaves Way toooooooo much trub. i used 4.25 pounds homemade punkin puree with 5 tsp. or so of pumkin spice. Color and smell are out of this world but damn if im only going to get 2.5 gallons out of a 5 gallon batch due to all that pumkin trub.
 

englanito

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I brewed this recipe on sunday im pretty excited to see what it tastes like. I also made a vodka infusion of all the flavors to add right before bottling.
 

cabot

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I boiled my pumpkin (I forget how many cans of libby's now) for the whole 60 min, and I bottled a week ago. I tasted some of it this morning, curiousity ya know ;) Pumpkin flavor is almost tooo much! And I mean pumpkin, not the spices. I'm hoping it mellows out a bit if I leave it for a few more weeks. The finish was excellent however! Slightly cinnamony, left a real good taste in my mouth. And it's 7% to boot, I'm REALLY looking forward to this one.
 

Sumo

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I boiled my pumpkin (I forget how many cans of libby's now) for the whole 60 min, and I bottled a week ago. I tasted some of it this morning, curiousity ya know ;) Pumpkin flavor is almost tooo much! And I mean pumpkin, not the spices. I'm hoping it mellows out a bit if I leave it for a few more weeks. The finish was excellent however! Slightly cinnamony, left a real good taste in my mouth. And it's 7% to boot, I'm REALLY looking forward to this one.
I found that with the libbys you get a nice squash taste and the spices are very light. Mine is a month old now.
 

martinirish

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I brewed mine today! (AG) I used 4kg (8.8#) of homemade pumkin puree, half of it was caramelized for 60 minutes at 450F. I boiled the other half for 30 minutes and then added the caramelized one in the last 15 minutes.
I also toasted/roasted about 1.5 cup of pumkin seeds, crushed them and then added them up in the last 5 minutes.
Spiced with cinnamon, fresh ginger, nutmeg and clove. I used cascade for bittering and also a little bit for aroma.

I don't care so much about the trub.
 

farrout

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Brewing my pumpkin ale on saturday, I can't wait. I combined a few different recipes that I found. Gonna go the the local farmers market to buy the small pumpkins the morning of. Then buy some pumpkin ale at the store and brew away.
 

EinGutesBier

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So what would you say the verdict is? For best flavor, mash, boil or do both with the canned pumpkin?

One thing I'm considering, since I'm a bit gunshy about spices due to a previous experience, is get my spice from the yeast I use - possibly a Belgian or German yeast. Thoughts?
 

tdavisii

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So what would you say the verdict is? For best flavor, mash, boil or do both with the canned pumpkin?

One thing I'm considering, since I'm a bit gunshy about spices due to a previous experience, is get my spice from the yeast I use - possibly a Belgian or German yeast. Thoughts?

I think the verdict is most have used canned pumkin not that this gives the best flavor.
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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well I can say that I used canned pumpkin and it taste like pumpkin! Alot like pumpkin. The spices add a nice touch and the recipe I posted on this is one I will be using in the future again. I brew half batches, so I usually get 24-26 bottles per batch. I bottled this one and I got 21, so while I did lose some, it wasn't horrible and I am excited to see how this one tastes carbed!

So if you go easy on the spice, I think you will be fine.
 

Sumo

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well I can say that I used canned pumpkin and it taste like pumpkin! Alot like pumpkin. The spices add a nice touch and the recipe I posted on this is one I will be using in the future again. I brew half batches, so I usually get 24-26 bottles per batch. I bottled this one and I got 21, so while I did lose some, it wasn't horrible and I am excited to see how this one tastes carbed!

So if you go easy on the spice, I think you will be fine.
Did you use the recipe I posted or a different one? The one I posted tastes like squash pumpkin as opposed to pumpkin pie..
 

marc06

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I used 4 cans of libby's pumpkin in my boil (90 min) and I tasted it racking into the secondary today and I had a nice balance between pumpkin and spices (all spice, nutmeg 1.5 tsp and cinnamon 2.5 tsp in last 10 min)
 
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jayhuff

jayhuff

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I just drank the first bottle... only 10 days in the bottle. It was wonderful! This is a very good recipe and I am very pleased with the taste of pumkin, malt, and spice. Nice dark color. This is something I may do all year round.

I will not drink this for another week or two, but I will post a picture of the next glass I pour.
 
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