Pumpkin preparation for pumpkin ale

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Zooom101

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So I have a recipe for a pumpkin ale that I'm going to brew pretty soon. It tells me to get an eight pound pumpkin, quarter it, bake it at 350 for two hours, cube it and add it to the boil.

Is this standard procedure for brewing with pumpkin? Am I supposed to scoop the guts out first or bake the guts too? If anyone has any insight please let me know.

Thanks.
 
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Zooom101

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If my recipe calls for 8 pounds of fresh pumpkin, how many cans should I use?
 
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Zooom101

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It's from the Homebrewers Recipe Guide.

3 pounds amber malt extract
3 pounds light dry malt extract
1 pound crystal malt
.5 pound chocolate malt
1 TSP gypsum
2 oz kent goldings hops
1 oz fuggles hops
1 TSP Irish moss
8 pounds pumpkin (fresh)
1 package pumpkin pie spice
4 cinnamon sticks
3 whole nutmegs
6 whole allspice
1 package London ale yeast
.75 cup corn sugar

Quarter the pumpkin and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Bake for 2 hours at 350 until tender. Remove from oven and cut into 1 inch cubes and mash slightly. Steep specialty grains at 15 for 30 min. Remove grains and add extracts, Kent goldings hops, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and allspice. Boil for 60 min. Remove whole spices and pumpkin. Cool wort and pitch yeast.


I haven't tried this recipe before. It'll be my first time brewing with anything other than grain, hops, water, and yeast.
 

Neonsilver

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In the pumpkin ale I just made I used two large cans of Libby's that were 30 oz. each so just under 4 lbs total.
 

JLem

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Seems like a lot of pumpkin to me. I just listened to the Jamil Show podcast on spice beers and he mentioned the Wild Goose Pumpkin Patch Ale that uses 1lb of pumpkin pulp for a 5 gallon batch. Not sure how much pulp you get out of an 8 lb pumpkin though.

It was also mentioned that the pumpkin pulp needs to be mashed, not added to the boil. As for your method of quartering and roasting, it sounds right - just like you would do for making a pumpkin pie from scratch. You should probably use the pie/cooking pumpkins for this though.
 

RichBrewer

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Seems like a lot of pumpkin to me. I just listened to the Jamil Show podcast on spice beers and he mentioned the Wild Goose Pumpkin Patch Ale that uses 1lb of pumpkin pulp for a 5 gallon batch. Not sure how much pulp you get out of an 8 lb pumpkin though.

It was also mentioned that the pumpkin pulp needs to be mashed, not added to the boil. As for your method of quartering and roasting, it sounds right - just like you would do for making a pumpkin pie from scratch. You should probably use the pie/cooking pumpkins for this though.
I would be interested in knowing why Jamil says the pumpkin must be mashed. I did a bit of research on pumpkin and from what I read, there isn't much starch in pumpkin and it isn't worth mashing for the sugars. The pumpkin is added for flavor and mouth feel. It should be added to the boil.

Some things I know for sure: there must be 50 ways to make pumpkin ale. Everyone thinks their method is best. I make the best pumpkin ale of anyone here at HBT. ;)
 

JLem

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I would be interested in knowing why Jamil says the pumpkin must be mashed. I did a bit of research on pumpkin and from what I read, there isn't much starch in pumpkin and it isn't worth mashing for the sugars. The pumpkin is added for flavor and mouth feel. It should be added to the boil.
Not sure, but if you listen to the podcast, at about 21:00 he fields a question concerning baking or boiling the pumpkin first and in his answer he mentions that the pumpkin needs to be converted in the mash and that extract brewers can't go and grind up a bunch of pumpkin and just throw it in the boil.
 

yummybeer

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a recipe that a friend shared with me said to use a 5 lb pumpkin. quater the pumpkin, clean off and decard the seeds, and bake the meat for an hour at 350 degrees. then take meat off rine and put the meat in the mash.
 

dcbeerboy

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IMHO, pumpkin in the mash is a waste of time. Bump up the base malt and rely on spices and specialty grains for flavor and mouthfeel.
 

OLDBREW

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First off pumpkin IMO needs to be mashed because it is a starch. either that or you really need to carmelized it well before putting it into the boil.

You will need less then half the amount of canned pumpkin as you would fresh.
Fresh pumpkin should be skinned, cut up into equal size pieces, then put in the oven on a baking sheet for an hour or so at 350*(watch it). You'll see browning occuring around the edges and the meat will be tender. This gives the pumpkin a sweeter carmelized flavor, compared to raw mashed pumpkin.

I wouldn't go over 25% of the grainbill and just use canned pumpkin dumped right into the mash for all grain. You may need rice hulls if you fly sparge. You need enzymes to convert starch to sugar using an extract recipe or carmelize the canned pumpkin by baking it on a cooking sheet.
 

RogueRyan17

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i made a pumpkin ale before using canned pumpkin. For my recipe, i used the same weight of actual pumpkin for canned pumpkin. I blended the canned pumpkin with some spices, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, etc, and then baked it for a little bit until the spices had been absorbed well into the pumpkin and then threw it all in the boil with the wort. my batch came out really great, had a mild but noticeably present pumpkin pie taste. the only thing i caution is to be ready to lose around 1/2-1 gallon when the pumpkin settles out.
 

Playinitcool

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Just did a pumpkin ale last week. Recipe called for 8 - 10 lb. I got a regular large pumpkin that weighted 10 lb, gutted it and wound up with 8 lb left for the mash (per recipe). Chopped it into 3 - 6" pieces, placed in a cake pan with an inch of water and baked @ 350 for 1 1/2 - 2 hours till it was soft enough to fork it but still firm *snicker*.

Everything seemed to go smoothly. Looking back, I think I'll use the smaller pie pumpkins next time. I did enjoy using fresh pumpkin... felt more authentic :D
 

yummybeer

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have yet to brew a pumpkin ale, so someone please correct me if i'm wrong. whether a brewer uses the meat from an actual pumpkin or uses pumpkin pie filling (canned pumpkin, or whatever), it would be a matter of what the brewer wants, right? example- if you want the flavor of just the pumpkin, use the actual pumpkin; or if you want an actual pumpkin pie flavor, use the pumpkin pie filling. i hope i made it clear enough to understand and would appreciate feedback. :confused: thanx.
 

RogueRyan17

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yummybeer - as far as I know, its the same thing. canned pumpkin will taste just the same as regular pumpkin (to get pumpkin pie taste you need to add spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc) so long as the canned pumpkin is 100% pumpkin. Using pumpkin with additives can mess up your beer. Besides that its really up to the brewer's choice to lop up a pumpkin or scrape it out of a can.
 

yummybeer

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thanks for helpfull info.! that brings up a few more questions: of course, there is canned pumpkin, but is there maybe pumpkin pie filling in a can, right? if there is pumpkin pie filling in a can, could one use that in their wort to get the pumpkin pie taste without having to use cinnamon, nutmeg, spices, etc.? if the pumpkin pie filling were used, would the cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices still need to be added?
 

Sawdustguy

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First off pumpkin IMO needs to be mashed because it is a starch. either that or you really need to carmelized it well before putting it into the boil.

You will need less then half the amount of canned pumpkin as you would fresh.
Fresh pumpkin should be skinned, cut up into equal size pieces, then put in the oven on a baking sheet for an hour or so at 350*(watch it). You'll see browning occuring around the edges and the meat will be tender. This gives the pumpkin a sweeter carmelized flavor, compared to raw mashed pumpkin.

I wouldn't go over 25% of the grainbill and just use canned pumpkin dumped right into the mash for all grain. You may need rice hulls if you fly sparge. You need enzymes to convert starch to sugar using an extract recipe or carmelize the canned pumpkin by baking it on a cooking sheet.
As much as I hate to do it, +1 on this suggestion. I used canned pumpkin and dumped (4) 30oz cans right into the Mash Tun for a 10 gallon all grain recipe. It was the best pumpkin ale I have ever made and I make one for every thanksgiving.
 

Guinness

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Everyone agrees that pumpkin pie spice is the key - so how much for a 5 gallon batch? I'd like a hint of the flavour (mouthfeel, as someone mentioned) without feeling like I'm eating an actual piece of pie.

If anyone's tried Great Lakes Pumpkin ale, it's well done.
 

Playinitcool

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I ran two batches this year. first batch I uses .5 tsp of spices like most recipes call for and couldn't taste the spice. I have a feeling the problem came from adding the spice with 5 mins left in boil they say spices are volitile and loose flavor after boiling.

Second batch I did with twice the spices and dropped them in at 2 mins left in boil. It's not ready yet, but I tried a sip when transfering to secondary and was much happier with the spice.

I think 2 mins is the key here, but I would recommend the following:
1 - 1.5 tsp Cinnamon
.5 - 1 tsp Cloves
.5 - 1 tsp Allspice
.5 tsp Ginger
.5 tsp vanilla extract

I must say though, The batch with no spice flavor was still terrific. Kegged it for a Halloween party and it was a hit! That said, maybe start on the low end for your first batch.

Oh... did I mention only add it for 2 mins?! :mug:
 

yummybeer

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i went to a microbrewery/resturant earlier this week and had their pumpkin ale. best pumpkin ale that i've had. brewmaster happened to have free time and i was able to chat with him and get his recipe for it. :ban: recipe he gave me was for a 310 gallon batch and i haven't had a chance to divide up the ingridients for a 5 gallon batch yet. once i do i'll share the recipe on this forum. ;)
 

RichBrewer

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i went to a microbrewery/resturant earlier this week and had their pumpkin ale. best pumpkin ale that i've had. brewmaster happened to have free time and i was able to chat with him and get his recipe for it. :ban: recipe he gave me was for a 310 gallon batch and i haven't had a chance to divide up the ingridients for a 5 gallon batch yet. once i do i'll share the recipe on this forum. ;)
Well what are you waiting for??? :D
 

yummybeer

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i'm waiting for the amber to finish in my primary.
 

Guinness

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Just transfered from primary to secondary tonight. Only left it in the primary for 8 days because we left the pumpkin in the primary and were a little concerned about the pumpkin starting to rot.

It fermented beautifully. We poured the wort on top of an active yeast cake from a cooper's kit we had just transfered to a secondary, so things got rolling quickly. When we checked ~12h later, it was happily blowing over!

The ale was a really nice orange colour, and a sample of it had a really nice, earthy squash/pumpkin (as opposed to pumpkin pie) taste. SG is at 1.012 and I can't see it going much lower than that. Can't wait for this one!
 

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