Pumpkin?

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Pschof

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So I decided to brew my pumpkin ale this weekend. I want it ready for Sept 1. when college football season starts, and the spices take a while to mellow, I think. So I got to like five places to look for canned pumpkin. And none have it. Apparently there is some nation-wide pumpkin shortage right now that began when 1/3 of last year's crop was wiped out. The stock was pretty much depleted after Thanksgiving or so. So pumpkin is going to be hard to find until late August, or something. At least, that is what the internet says. That just sucks, doesn't it?
 
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Hey, I'm brewing my faux-pumpkin ale this wkend too! No pumpkin in mine, and you might just consider this (at least once). In the fall I'm gonna do it with pumpkin, also, just for comparison. ( <-- my recipe is in my recipe pulldown. pics! )
 

ZehBaron

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I actually wouldn't worry too much about it; you should be able to rely almost exclusively on the spices for the beer's character. Basic Brewing radio did an experiment on pumpkin beers last year, and all the results pointed to pumpkin contributing very little to the end result of the beer. There just aren't enough fermentables in pumpkin to carry its character into the final product.

You may be able to get a little more of that pumkin pie flavor if you roast the pumpkin pretty darn well, but that's another discussion.
 
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Pschof

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Yeah, you are going to start up a debate that had been had here a number of times. I think pumpkin might give it some body. But I usually put it in there for the authenticity. Oh, well. It's not like I am going to wait until this year's pumpkin crop is ready to make this beer, so I guess it will have no pumpkin.
 

buzzkill

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and this is why last fall when picking up canned pumpkin,I got extra... Its one of those things that is seasonal. and I got 3 bottles left over from last falls brew. :ban:
 

chrislehr

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sweet yams work too.

But really - why would you ever do canned? I mean, i guess its guaranteed sanitized more for brewing purposes, but yuck :eek:
 

juvinious

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Just finished a pint of mine that I still have from last October. It's all I got left, but yeah it's debatable the flavor of pumpkin contributing to the brew... as one mentioned earlier, roasting might give it some enhanced flavors.... best to experiment.

Yams should work just as well, like to hear how it comes out.
 

Malatesta

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The brew I made with sweet potatoes was one of my best. Its was a higher gravity 6.8% ABV, that finished pretty sweet and really thick. Fuggle hops complimented the autumn spice flavor mix. I have a 1L bottle in storage that I'll open this fall.
 
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Pschof

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I looked around the internet, and people seem to agree that Yams are great and may be better than pumpkin. Mine will be over 8%, and I put some brown sugar in there too. It sure smelled great.

I didn't just mash up the Yams and throw them into the boil. I caramelized them, put them in a steeping bag during the mash, and stirred them around a lot. My past pumpkin beers had horrible, horrible trub, and I was trying to avoid that.
 

ThreeTaps

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I looked around the internet, and people seem to agree that Yams are great and may be better than pumpkin. Mine will be over 8%, and I put some brown sugar in there too. It sure smelled great.

I didn't just mash up the Yams and throw them into the boil. I caramelized them, put them in a steeping bag during the mash, and stirred them around a lot. My past pumpkin beers had horrible, horrible trub, and I was trying to avoid that.
I did this same thing last August after following suggestions from the board, using 2 cans of Libby's pumpkin as well as the AHS pumpkin spice extract kit. I steeped the canned pumpkin after baking it in nylon bags, added the brown sugar, etc. It came out WAY to gourdy tasting, and hasn't mellowed out enough to actually somewhat enjoy until last month. I figure by this fall it should be Ok enough to have others drink...but until then, it's still a bit too harsh. Nothing like the pumpkin spice beer I bought in the store. Next time I'll probably skip the pumpkin all together, and only add the spices.
 
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