Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

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patrickls83
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Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by patrickls83 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:03 pm

I just brewed a pumpkin ale a couple weeks ago because I wanted to test a recipe and the process well ahead of fall.. and beforehand I scoured the internet looking for advice and decided to go with pumpkin puree (libbys) in the mash. I don't have the exact recipe in front of me but it was a 5 gallon batch and had like 95% 2-row malt and like 5% roasted malt, 3 lbs of libby's and 1 lb of rice hulls in the mash for 90 min. I added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (my own concoction not the premade mix) at the last 10 min of the boil. The only hiccup was my SG was lower than expected, not catastrophic low but I think it calculated to 65% efficiency in beersmith, ususally I hit 80% no problem. I'm pretty sure the root cause was the mash being so gunked up with libby pumpkin puree that it creates an impenetrable layer on top of the mash that you have to really stir up good and often while mashing, the whirlpool from the recirc does not cut it. I don't think I hand stirred it enough to really get all the grain mashing correctly. Good new, the beer came out fantastic, tastes awesome. So I'm curious if others have done a pumpkin ale on the BM and what method you use.

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Hooch
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Re: Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by Hooch » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:03 pm

Aw, dude you're brave, I wouldn't dream of putting pumpkin puree in my mash tun, but I'm glad things turned out okay for you. I've heard/read of using 6-row malt to help with the starch conversion from using pumpkin.

My pumpkin ale is basically an english brown with added spices (nutmeg, all spice, cinnamon & perhaps ginger) at knockout. I usually go light on the spices so that you can have more than one at a sitting.

Thanks for sharing,
Hooch
Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. - Ernest Hemingway

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HopMonster
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Re: Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by HopMonster » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:49 am

I did that once. Not Libby's but my own roasted, pureed crap. Last pumpkin beer I ever made.

patrickls83
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Re: Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by patrickls83 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:54 am

I did another one of these last weekend but 10 gallons this time and it was twice the headache with the mash stuck and needing hand stirring the entire time. I need to figure out a new method. Maybe pumpkin directly in the boil with one of those bazooka filters or something to strain it out, maybe even the paint strainer bags.

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HopMonster
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Re: Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by HopMonster » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:23 am

I should have been a little less flip. My problems really showed up in the final product. Murky proteins made the been unpleasant to look at in general. It was sort of like a cup of amberish cider. The fruitiness was sort of off putting as well, which was really odd as I used German Ale yeast. Overall it was unbalanced. This was about 20 years ago, but it still ranks as one of my more significant mistakes. Really just unpleasant.

patrickls83
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Re: Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by patrickls83 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:18 am

When I used to do this on the stove with extract kits I would just boil the puree and dump it all into the primary, no filtering. It would settle out above the trub and I would siphon a little higher up, always got clear beer with no issues with flavor. I'm hoping this will be even easier with my conicals. I'm going to blow the cone a few times and keep my fingers crossed that it comes out ok.

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HopMonster
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Re: Pumpkin Ale - what's your method

Post by HopMonster » Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:27 am

The "best" I have had have omitted the pumpkin. It really adds very little that you cannot do with manipulating the malt. Cannot really call it a pumpkin beer because it is a spiced ale, but that is the easiest path IMO. In general I am not a fan. No offense, just preference.

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