Autumn Seasonal Beer Punkin' Ale

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Reno_eNVy

Reno_eNVy

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WOO! Pitched the yeast about 3 hours ago. OG was a bit low at 1.062 but it's definitely not the end of the world. Hydro sample tastes great, considering, and smells even better. Brew day went rather smoothly; increasing the mash thickness to 2.0 qt/lb, using a 1# rice hulls instead of 0.5#, plus baking the pumpkin for an extra hour really made the lauter easy. It was much faster than last year.
 

Blackhawkbrew

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+100 Brewed this up today and things could not have gone better! The pound of rice hulls REALLY helped. It was the clearest runnings I've ever had. The samples at each phase tasted better and better. I hope the yeast takes off - first time rehydrating dry yeast. I was nervous about this brew day because of all the stories I've read about how long the runnings were taking, but no problems here. Thanks to everyone on this thread and the OP for the recipe. :mug:
 

icebrain

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About to try this one tomorrow morning. It'll be my second all-grain attempt; hopefully it goes better than my first (undershot efficiency by about 25%).
 

icebrain

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How'd it go icebrain? Hope you remembered the rice hulls.
Well, it looks and smells great... but my process could probably still use some improvement.

I lost a lot of the foamy stuff at the beginning of the boil; it cleared away a lot of particulate matter but I probably lost a few ounces of wort, too.

My OG was also lower than I expected (1.051). I stirred the mash up a lot this time, so I'm wondering if maybe the pre-milled grain I ordered from morebeer wasn't crushed enough. :confused:

And no, I forgot the rice hulls. Everything drained fine, though.
 

Mojoe4

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I brewed this last Saturday. Everything seem to work fine. But I did have really slow runnings, even with a pound of rice hulls.
My OG was a little high 1.069. This is only my 4 batch with my AG system, still trying to get the efficiency nailed down.

But I taste my samples, and they tasted great!

How long did you guys put the pumpkin in the oven for?
 
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Sweet, came home from vacation (Disneyland and LA vs NYRB soccer match) and the beer appears to have mostly finished. I need to take a hydrometer reading but it looks pretty placid.

How long did you guys put the pumpkin in the oven for?
Actually, we decided to reeeaally cook the pumpkin this time around to get more Maillard reaction flavors. Threw it in there, slightly less than an inch thick, for an hour at 350*F then turned it down to 300*F. From the original hydrometer meter I could definitely taste the actual pumpkin more (not the spices) whereas before you could only detect it if you knew to look for it. I'd do it again and recommend it.



Also:

-SWMBO thinks it would be awesome to add some vanilla extract for the whipped cream part of the pumpkin pie flavor. After I give it a month in the primary I'll take a measured amount of the uncarbed beer and add vanilla extract drop by drop until it tastes right and then scale up for a 5 gallon keg. We want just the slightest hint to add some complexity.

- We've been doing a lot of water adjustments for our brews and have been getting excellent results. Here's the profile we made:

Starting Water (ppm):
Ca: 14.4
Mg: 6.32
Na: 17
Cl: 13.5
SO4: 16.4
CaCO3: 56



Adjustments (grams) Mash / Boil Kettle:
CaCO3: 3 / 2.1
CaCl2: 1.2 / 0.84
MgSO4: 0.8 / 0.56



Mash Water / Total water (ppm):
Ca: 95 / 95
Mg: 10 / 10
Na: 17 / 17
Cl: 44 / 44
SO4: 33 / 33
CaCO3: 134 / 134

RA (mash only): 60 (10 to 15 SRM)
Cl to SO4 (total water): 1.34 (Malty)
 

Mojoe4

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why not add a vanilla bean to the secondary? That should give you a good vanilla flavor.
 

CaptKiRkLeS

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why not add a vanilla bean to the secondary? That should give you a good vanilla flavor.

I thought about this....Have you used vanilla bean at all? How would you go about making sure it was sanitary? Boil it for a bit?

The whole bean or just the insides scrapped out?
 
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why not add a vanilla bean to the secondary? That should give you a good vanilla flavor.
Well the issue is that I'm not sure how much vanilla to use... I really don't want it to stick out. If I do a small scale test first I can scale up to 5 gallons and simply rack to my keg on top of the measured amount of vanilla extract. Not only that but the vanilla extract will always taste the same and have the same intensity of flavor whereas the beans can be variable.
 
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I did some experiments with lactose and vanilla extract in some Post Road Pumpkin Ale last night.

All experiments ended not-so-good. Nothing conclusive here because I was just f-ing around, but it made me consider skipping both in my next pumpkin beer.
 

rainingbullets

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Okay, so here's the update on this brew:

I came up with 1.072 OG into the brew kettle. I used the "hybrid fly/batch sparge" presented by Biermuncher's sticky.

The brew sat in the fermenter for two weeks, and came out at 1.018. Bottled this puppy up, using 5.6 oz of corn sugar (for 2.9 vols carbonation). Let the bottles sit for another three weeks...

...opened one up for a sampling and....HOLY SMOKES, thats a LOT of carbonation! How could this be? Ran another gravity test...1.010 ...CRAP! I guess it was not done fermenting...

Needless to say, finishing at 1.010, the brew is very dry. I think this is because my mash thermometer is off. It says "154 F", when really I think it is about "150 - 151 F".

Also, I cut back a bit on the amount of spice I used (because I bought the wrong Libby's pumpkin stuff!). As a result, the brew is not as "pumpkin-y" as I would have liked. BUT, the brew is still fairly young. Couple more weeks, and I will see where it's at. Hope to god the carbonation settles down a bit. haha

In conclusion (according to Beersmith), this beer finished with a pretty high alcohol content...8.11% WHOA! ... Luckily, the alcohol is undetectable. Popped open a few of these puppies last night and was feelin preeetty good. Even if it doesn't taste that great, it gets me drunk...


...round TWO of this brew comes tomorrow...

What I will change:

1) get a new freakin thermometer
2) get the CORRECT pumpkin mix
3) let it ferment for THREE weeks
 

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Mine finished out super quickly at 1.012 which was much drier than I had wanted, but it has a crisp spice taste and it is DELICIOUS. Brought a few 22ozers to my poker game last night and it was an excellent decision. Even after a little over a week in the bottle it is infinitely drinkable and delicious.
 
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Thanks for the updates! rainingbullets: yeah, I'd definitely give this one at least three weeks. You need to give the flavors a chance to meld together... there's a lot going on in there: biscuit, toasty, spice, etc etc. Treat it like a darker brew ;)

modernlifeisANDY: Yeah, I just did a hydrometer reading... mine is at 1.012 as well. It's a little disappointing but I'm sipping the sample as I'm typing and it is just a delicious as last year, albeit green and less dextrinous.

I can't wait to get this on tap. Considering I give it my usual primary duration, I have two weeks to finish the keg of Irish red. Tomorrow should be a good day to start as it's the intrastate rivalry game between #25 Nevada and UNLV (aka Nevada-Southern) and many tasty beverages will be enjoyed. I would like to try to float the keg of tripel, which is far more delicious, but at 11% that would be a very bad idea.
 

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I did this over the weekend with some modifications...some planned and some unplanned.

I had a yeast cake of S-04 so I decided to pitch on top. Fermenting b/n 59 -61 hoping to avoid too much banana.

For the unplanned...still dialing in a change in my system and at first I ended up with an OG 1.060 so I pulled the hops and boiled a little longer...a little too long it turns out....took me to 1.069...decided to let it ride and see what happens.

My hops were a little higher AA and with the residual hops in the kettle and the extra boil time I am hoping to balance some of the sweetness.

I will post back what happens but the hydro sample was very tasty...a touch hoppier than is prolly optimal but not over the top...not that there is anything wrong with that ;)
 

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So the hoppiness has faded very nicely. Been at 60 degrees for about 3 weeks...just racked into my keg and it is sitting at .020 so I think that just became my secondary....bumping the temp up to 65 (using s-04 so watching for esters) for a week or so to see if it comes down a few points.

So tasting notes, not as much spice as I had anticipated but the savory from the pumpkin (baked) was really nice. Very bready.... looking forward to this one.
 
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Sounds great, robrob. I actually noticed last week during a hydro sample that it was a little too hoppy but it has since settled down.

Also, don't worry about raising it to 65*F. Esters are typically created during primary fermentation and expressed stronger at higher temperatures. Swirling the bucket or carboy will rouse some yeast up into suspension and promote further fermentation.

However, consider leaving it be. A FG of 1.020 will give you some excellent malty character and complexity that a dryer beer would not produce. Just a bit of a suggestion, take it or leave it. If you do end up leaving it and opting for a medium-full bodied brew, I would recommend leaving it and taking hydro reading every other day for a week or two to guarantee it's done fermenting... nobody likes bottle bombs.

As for the level of spice flavor: you can always make a tincture. Take some of the pumpkin pie spice (like half a tablespoon or something like that) and pour a measured amount of vodka over it, making sure there's enough to saturate all of the spice. Let that soak for about three days and send it through a coffee filter, collecting the vodka/spice liquid (make sure it's devoid of spice particulates.) Then take a measured amount of beer from your fermenter and add the tincture (vodka/spice liquid) drop-wise and taste until you find the level of spice flavor that satisfies you. Then scale up for 5 gallons (or however much you ended up with) and add that much of the tincture or your corny keg or bottling bucket when you rack.

Hope this turns out great for you, robrob, and everybody else trying out this recipe. I'm still trudging along, trying to finish of my corny of Irish Red. I was dreadfully sick for about a month and haven't touched it since recently. But I will be sure to put in my update on the final carbed product as soon as possible! :rockin:
 

icebrain

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I just bottled mine Wednesday night, when I should have been doing homework (hooray grad school :rolleyes:). The hops seemed to be more prominent, and there was a ton of sludge left in the bottom of the carboy. I'll give them two weeks in the bottle and try the first one to see how it's progressing. FG came out at 1.01.
 

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Well, I gave in and tried one... it's still a little green, but I'm impressed at how well it turned out given my undershot efficiency. It's smooth and still has a malty taste; the pumpkin and spice is detectable and the hops are still noticeable enough to make it taste like a beer. I'll have to distribute some to family and friends and see what they think
 

aaronwillen

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I just brewed a slight offshoot of this recipe and damn...it came out perfectly. It does taste almost exactly like dogfish punkin...except this is a little more pumpkin'y I think! I had a severely stuck sparge even with rice hulls (I ended up making a MLT manifold out of pvc....stainless braid wasnt cuttin it anymore). I just ordered the ingredients to make a round two of this since the stuck sparge=about 3 gallons which will be gone before thanksgiving. Id like to bring some of this goodness home for thanksgiving.


Oh and to make matters worse my hydrometer fell off the damn kitchen counter and smashed before I could get an OG.....just goes to show you you can end up with a very good beer even with a ton going wrong!!
 

Haputanlas

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Just brewed this about two weeks ago. OG was 1.070 and the FG was 1.006. Not sure what went wrong during fermentation, but it is pretty cidery. However, it still tasted good. Only time will tell if it's going to be OK.
 
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Just brewed this about two weeks ago. OG was 1.070 and the FG was 1.006. Not sure what went wrong during fermentation, but it is pretty cidery. However, it still tasted good. Only time will tell if it's going to be OK.
Uh oh. Dude, 1.070 - 1.006 is some severe attenuation; 94%. The really low final gravity and cidery flavor lead me to believe you may have an infection. The spice flavor should still be there but I think you're going to be missing out on the malt profile.

The beer will be fine and if anything will probably just need a little more time. Thanks for giving the recipe a shot!
 

Haputanlas

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Uh oh. Dude, 1.070 - 1.006 is some severe attenuation; 94%. The really low final gravity and cidery flavor lead me to believe you may have an infection. The spice flavor should still be there but I think you're going to be missing out on the malt profile.

The beer will be fine and if anything will probably just need a little more time. Thanks for giving the recipe a shot!
That's what I was afraid of. We'll see :confused:
 

BEAR89

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I just put this in the carboy for the final 3 days of fermentation. I can't wait to keg this.
 

Haputanlas

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Uh oh. Dude, 1.070 - 1.006 is some severe attenuation; 94%. The really low final gravity and cidery flavor lead me to believe you may have an infection. The spice flavor should still be there but I think you're going to be missing out on the malt profile.

The beer will be fine and if anything will probably just need a little more time. Thanks for giving the recipe a shot!
To quickly follow up, I'm pretty certain that there is no infection. I believe that I must have somehow screwed up the Brown Sugar addition (probably added too much). At the time, I didn't have a measuring tool for the Brown Sugar and tried to "eye" it.

The beer is just really really cidery and dry. Even with this, it's still pretty good. Hopefully I won't screw it up this next time.

Thanks again for the recipe.
 
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Well at least it's still drinkable, right? :D

And yeah, brown sugar can be deceptive due to it always clumping and being easily packed down.
 

Haputanlas

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Yes, it's drinkable. I've noticed that even though it is very dry, a little bit of age has already helped.

I don't think it will ever be as good as the original recipe, but I don't really care. We learn more from mistake batches than the ones that go right. Since then, I've bought the proper scales and measuring equipment. This mistake won't happen again.

I plan on attempting this recipe again in the future. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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Great! Can't wait to read about it!
 

Haputanlas

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Another update. The beer has really made a turn around and is doing a lot better.

Still very dry, but the pumpkin and spices seem to be coming out much more than it did. The extra month or two has really helped and made it a far better beer.

As mentioned, once I redo this with the proper amount of Brown Sugar, I think it will be great.
 
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As for the level of spice flavor: you can always make a tincture. Take some of the pumpkin pie spice (like half a tablespoon or something like that) and pour a measured amount of vodka over it, making sure there's enough to saturate all of the spice. Let that soak for about three days and send it through a coffee filter, collecting the vodka/spice liquid (make sure it's devoid of spice particulates.) Then take a measured amount of beer from your fermenter and add the tincture (vodka/spice liquid) drop-wise and taste until you find the level of spice flavor that satisfies you. Then scale up for 5 gallons (or however much you ended up with) and add that much of the tincture or your corny keg or bottling bucket when you rack.
I mentioned this earlier in the thread to someone who wasn't getting the spice profile they wanted.

I'm even considering adding a little cinnamon tincture to mine... seems to have faded a bit. Or I could just get girly and rim my pint glasses with cinnamon-sugar :D
 

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Could you use Wyeast 1056 as a sub, or should I stick with dry yeast?
 
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Could you use Wyeast 1056 as a sub, or should I stick with dry yeast?
1056 will most definitely work. I typically stick with dry yeast whenever I can because it's much cheaper at the LHBS... can't beat $2 per 11.5g pack.
 
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Honestly, not very long. It doesn't really need time for the spices to mellow. I gave it three weeks in primary, racked to the keg and let that sit for a couple days at room temp (not intentional, needed the space :D) Once hooked up to gas it was 3 days at 25psi, then two days at 12psi (and also from then on) before the first pint was pulled.

Thanks for the interest. Good to see this thread alive again! :rockin:
 

munklunk

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I plan on cranking out a batch of this bad boy in a couple weeks. Looks like a promising pumpkin.
 

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I just brewed a slight offshoot of this recipe and damn...it came out perfectly. It does taste almost exactly like dogfish punkin...except this is a little more pumpkin'y I think!
Could you be a little more specific about what you did that made it "a slight offshoot?". I too am aiming for a punkin-ish brew, and I'd appreciate any tips that would lead me in that direction. Thx. :mug:
 
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munklunk, thanks for the interest!

I'm assuming the slight offshoot doesn't involve changing the Pumpkin Pie Spice, which is really where pumpkin ales get their pumkpiny flavor.... in beer, actual pumpkin is pretty flavorless.

Trust me, this recipe's use of biscuity malt, pre-balanced pie spice and molassesy brown sugar will get you that Pumpkin Pie love you look for every time you crack open a DFH Punkin'
 

nspaldi0

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Reno,

I scanned through the thread quickly as I'm about to hit the bed here on the east coast but would you mind to post or pm me the most recent recipe with details on the best way to toast the pumpkin? I'm definitely putting this on my brew list!

Thanks!
 
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Reno,

I scanned through the thread quickly as I'm about to hit the bed here on the east coast but would you mind to post or pm me the most recent recipe with details on the best way to toast the pumpkin? I'm definitely putting this on my brew list!

Thanks!
With gusto, my good sir!

I apologize for not having it on the original post, it won't let me edit the OP :( Maybe once I upgrade my account (FINALLY) I'll be able to do so. But someone asked the same thing shortly after I posted the original recipe. Here's what I do:

The 2 large cans of libby's pumpkin puree (non-spiced) should be spread out on a baking pan so it's about 1-1.5" thick. Bake between 250 and 325*F for 30-45 minutes or until the top starts browning slightly and the puree becomes less viscous. Then add to mash for the whole 60 minutes. Don't forget a few handfuls of rice hulls.
Your mileage may vary. I'm at an elevation of ~5200ft, so water up here boils at 202*F... therefore I usually need to leave it in the over a bit longer. However, if you're closer to sea-level then 30-45 will probably be your range.

As far as the rest of the recipe, it hasn't been touched. I love it just the way it is.
 
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