When to brew a pumpkin ale

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palmtrees

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I'm starting to plan my late summer/early fall brews, and I'm thinking of doing a pumpkin ale. I've only brewed one and it was about seven years ago, so I don't remember much about it.

I've been reading old threads about brewing them, and I've seen conflicting advice about whether pumpkin ales benefit from a bit of aging and if so how much.

Anybody have a sense of whether it's better to brew a pumpkin ale in August and let it sit in a carboy for an extra month, or brew it in late September with my typical turnaround time of two weeks in a fermenter then a week in a keg?

For reference, I have a fermenter that can prevent oxygen ingress and then do a closed transfer to a keg, so I'm not super concerned about oxygenation during aging. I would probably have to age it outside my temp controlled ferm chamber, though, because I can only have one beer in there at a time. I could do temp control during active fermentation, but then would have to swap it out for the next beer in the pipeline.

Alternately, I could brew it early, keg it when fermentation is gone, carbonate in the keg and then bottle it for longer te storage. I'd love to be able to leave it in a keg for a month or two, but I don't have enough space to have an untapped keg.
 

Zemillard90

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I brew a pumpkin saison for our yearly Oktoberfest party in late September. The past two years I have brewed lste August/first week of September and they turned out great. However, I do think the beer benefited from a little longer time in the keg when I brewed it once in early July. What kind of ale?
 
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palmtrees

palmtrees

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I brew a pumpkin saison for our yearly Oktoberfest party in late September. The past two years I have brewed lste August/first week of September and they turned out great. However, I do think the beer benefited from a little longer time in the keg when I brewed it once in early July. What kind of ale?
I was going to do an amber base with pumpkin in the mash, spices in the boil, and then fermented with a clean American yeast or an ESB yeast.
 

BrewZer

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I'm starting to plan my late summer/early fall brews, and I'm thinking of doing a pumpkin ale. I've only brewed one and it was about seven years ago, so I don't remember much about it.
That's called "selective memory" and it's a coping mechanism that helps you get over a very bad experience.
 

Sammy86

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My initial response it to never brew a pumpkin beer…however since you are keen on doing so I’m with @Zemillard90 beer does better with time in the keg at near freezing temps. Brew it early and let it condition/lager in the keg! Good luck!
 

bkboiler

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Not meant to be negative, but some of the best pumpkin beers I've had are just amber ales with pumpkin pie spice. No pumpkin itself added.
I'd brew around early September as long as you can do temp control.
I've done pumpkin beer a few times in the past and it got a little estery since the temps got too high.
 

DBhomebrew

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Different folks, different tastes. The only pumpkin ale I've ever enjoyed in a sessionable way was Wolaver's Organic. You could really taste the gourd, very subtle if any pie spice. I can't stand pie in a bottle, I very much enjoyed that beer.
 
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