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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: fmader on August 18, 2013, 10:06:49 AM

Title: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 18, 2013, 10:06:49 AM
'Tis the season.... Has anybody ever brewed a split batch like the one illustrated in the Sept/Oct Zymurgy? Or plan on brewing that recipe? It's pretty intriguing due to it's ability to kill two birds with one stone. I had three beers scheduled for the annual Christmas party, and this Pumpkin saison idea could cap off the line up.

I'm leaning towards doing it. I wasn't thrilled with my pumpkin ale last year...I waited too long because I wanted fresh pumpkins in it. The fresh pumpkins were a pain in the arse to clean, bake, and peal. I'm bailing on that genuine idea.

If I do this, I think I would modify the recipe to put my own twist on it.
a. Maybe cut out a 1/2 lb of each the honey and maple syrup and add in a lb of molasses
b. Add a later addition of Mt. Hood hops. I like the spiciness of that hop in a pumpkin ale 

It also lists 6 row pale malt as the base grain. I have never used 6 row. What would be the significant difference in using 6 row as opposed to 2 row?
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: snowtiger87 on August 21, 2013, 12:52:06 PM
Quote
Has anybody ever brewed a split batch like the one illustrated in the Sept/Oct Zymurgy?

I have (since I wrote the article)  ;)

The 6-row just gives you a better grain bed and more enzymes to deal with the pumpkin AND seems a bit more authentic since it is a native American grain. If you have never brewed with it I encourage you to try it - it is a great grain to work with.

Be careful with the molasses. It is a very strong flavor in beer and takes a while to mellow. Perhaps brown sugar would be a better tweak.

Cheers and have fun brewing the pumpkin beer.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: duncan on August 21, 2013, 01:08:54 PM
The saison version is definitely my next brew. I kind of want to try it with baked pie pumpkins, but cans sound a helluvalot easier. Decisions, decisions...
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: AmandaK on August 21, 2013, 01:22:31 PM
I'm thinking about using sweet potatoes in my pumpkin beer this year. I would have liked to use butternut squash, but the season seems to be running late this year.  :-\
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 21, 2013, 01:37:03 PM
Very nice article. I used molasses in my pumpkin beer last last year. I was over-cautious because I didn't get enough of the desired flavor. I can't remember off the top of my head how much, but it wasn't a whole jar. I didn't want Southern Tier Pumpking because I think that is overkill with the molasses.

I may leave it as is. I just like to put my own twist on things if you know what I mean.

I would also bottle the harvest ale and keg the saison. Mainly because my keg system isn't set up. The goal is to have it up and running for the annual Christmas party.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 21, 2013, 01:38:47 PM
The saison version is definitely my next brew. I kind of want to try it with baked pie pumpkins, but cans sound a helluvalot easier. Decisions, decisions...

I baked 20 lb last year... I don't think it was worth the hassle. That and it was late September/ early October before I could get a pumpkin around here.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 21, 2013, 01:53:26 PM
I use four ounces of molasses in a stout and it is noticeable.  I cut back from 8 oz because that was too much.  A little goes a long way, IMO.

Sweet potatoes are a great substitute for pumpkin and can make an awesome beer, too.

For my money, canned pumpkin is just fine.  No need to go the extra mile with pie pumpkins.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: kramerog on August 21, 2013, 02:27:58 PM
I might make just the saison.  I'm not sure that I want 10 gallons of pumpkin beer.  I used to do pumpkin ales annually but I got tired of the stuck mash/slow runoff.  I have a shorter/wider mash tun than in the past so maybe the mash won't be so slow.  I might also scale back the amount of pumpkin since it is not that big a part of the pumpkin pie flavor (and would be easier to mash), but I am definitely in the camp of pumpkin and pumpkin spice is better than just pumpkin spice.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: duncan on August 21, 2013, 03:39:33 PM
The saison version is definitely my next brew. I kind of want to try it with baked pie pumpkins, but cans sound a helluvalot easier. Decisions, decisions...

I baked 20 lb last year... I don't think it was worth the hassle. That and it was late September/ early October before I could get a pumpkin around here.

Good call. Canned it is.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 21, 2013, 03:56:20 PM
+1 to canned pumpkin .  I've had a couple homebrewed pumpkin ales with fresh pumpkin that were good , but weren't any better than the last one I made with canned. I think having the right mix of spice in the right amount is more important. +1 to using pumpkin and spice, not just spice.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: phillamb168 on August 22, 2013, 01:49:15 AM
I didn't want Southern Tier Pumpking because I think that is overkill with the molasses.

Do you have any more insight into what's in Pumpking? It's my favorite pumpkin beer.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: cornershot on August 22, 2013, 02:56:58 AM
Quote
Has anybody ever brewed a split batch like the one illustrated in the Sept/Oct Zymurgy?

I have (since I wrote the article)  ;)

The 6-row just gives you a better grain bed and more enzymes to deal with the pumpkin AND seems a bit more authentic since it is a native American grain. If you have never brewed with it I encourage you to try it - it is a great grain to work with.

Be careful with the molasses. It is a very strong flavor in beer and takes a while to mellow. Perhaps brown sugar would be a better tweak.

Cheers and have fun brewing the pumpkin beer.

Very nice article! A friend brought over a couple bombers of Pumking and challenged me to brew it. It tastes like pumpkin creme brulee to me. I think I'll just brew your recipe instead and maybe add vanilla to taste in the keg.
Thanks for the article! Perfect timing.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 22, 2013, 03:07:19 AM
I didn't want Southern Tier Pumpking because I think that is overkill with the molasses.

Do you have any more insight into what's in Pumpking? It's my favorite pumpkin beer.

I'm not sure. I'm good for about drinking 6 oz of it and then it becames too much for me. Way too sweet. I had a pumpkin beer last year that had the same flavor and taste as the Pumpking, except it was toned down quite a bit. It was delicious and the best pumpkin beer I ever had.... I'll be damned if I could remember what it was lol
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: duncan on August 22, 2013, 08:00:50 AM
Just curious what some other people do for spice additions.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 22, 2013, 08:28:10 AM
I've always done cinnamon, all spice, cloves.  Maybe a touch of ginger.  It's been awhile since I've done a pumpkin ale.

I've alternated between spices added in at the end of the boil and spices added to the keg as a tincture (soaked in vodka for awhile, and then add the vodka).  I have found that I prefer the spices added to the boil, but everyone is different.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: thebigbaker on August 22, 2013, 08:33:36 AM
Just curious what some other people do for spice additions.

I do 3 gallon batches and use 2.5tsp of McCormick's Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 22, 2013, 08:35:44 AM
I've always done cinnamon, all spice, cloves.  Maybe a touch of ginger.  It's been awhile since I've done a pumpkin ale.

I've alternated between spices added in at the end of the boil and spices added to the keg as a tincture (soaked in vodka for awhile, and then add the vodka).  I have found that I prefer the spices added to the boil, but everyone is different.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, a LITTLE clove (it's very strong), vanilla.  I prefer the end of boil too.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: goschman on August 22, 2013, 10:59:28 AM
From highest amount to lowest I use Cinammon, ginger, nutmeg, & cloves. I use simple preground varieties from the grocery store and has worked great up to this point. Last year, I added orange zest as well and really liked the outcome.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: snowtiger87 on August 22, 2013, 12:56:52 PM
I have used the individual spices and even a local blend, but I like good ole McCormick's for consistency.

Sweet potatoes good be an interesting twist as a substitute for pumpkin. They may have more sugar content.

Most people that try my pumpkin beer compare it to Dogfishhead's Punkin Ale. I try to make mine beer first, pumpkin later so that it is more drinkable.

The pumpkin Saison is fabulous.

I am getting a lot of positive feedack on the article. Maybe they will let me write another for them on day.  :)
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: duncan on August 22, 2013, 02:40:33 PM
I have used the individual spices and even a local blend, but I like good ole McCormick's for consistency.

Sweet potatoes good be an interesting twist as a substitute for pumpkin. They may have more sugar content.

Most people that try my pumpkin beer compare it to Dogfishhead's Punkin Ale. I try to make mine beer first, pumpkin later so that it is more drinkable.

The pumpkin Saison is fabulous.

I am getting a lot of positive feedack on the article. Maybe they will let me write another for them on day.  :)

My plan is to stick with your recipe to the tee and do a 3 gallon batch of the ale and 3gal of the saison. Can't wait...
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 22, 2013, 05:20:08 PM
I have used the individual spices and even a local blend, but I like good ole McCormick's for consistency.

Sweet potatoes good be an interesting twist as a substitute for pumpkin. They may have more sugar content.

Most people that try my pumpkin beer compare it to Dogfishhead's Punkin Ale. I try to make mine beer first, pumpkin later so that it is more drinkable.

The pumpkin Saison is fabulous.

I am getting a lot of positive feedack on the article. Maybe they will let me write another for them on day.  :)

I don't see why not. It was very nicely written and solid. I turned right to it!
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: amh0001 on August 23, 2013, 09:41:04 AM
The only Pumpkin beer I have brewed was Jamil's out of BCS. I thought it was really good, and he gives good advice about pumpkin beers. Also if you listen to the Jamil Show he talks about it.

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/The-Jamil-Show/Spice-Beer-The-Jamil-Show-10-23-06


Hey, I also just found this, a Sunday Session all about Pumpkin and Spice beer:

http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/916
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 26, 2013, 06:34:44 PM
I just ordered the ingredients. This should be my next brew!
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: amh0001 on August 26, 2013, 08:24:14 PM
So post your recipe!!
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on August 27, 2013, 03:00:10 AM
I'm brewing the recipe in the new Zymurgy.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: cornershot on September 03, 2013, 03:48:52 AM
Brewed this one yesterday. First pumpkin brew ever. Since my mash tun was full of tomato sauce, I brewed with BIAB method, thinking I'd avoid a stuck mash with the pumpkin. Well that pumpkin clogged up my bag. I managed to get it into a bucket and squeeze it out but what a mess! Good thing I brewed outside!
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on September 03, 2013, 05:04:19 AM
Just promised the wife a pumpkin beer (*grumble*)

Going to brew 5-10 gallons of either Bock, ESB, or porter, then pull 1 gallon and dose with pumpkin pie spice tincture.

I'm thinking Bock would be a nice pair for the pumpkin. Anyone ever tried it?
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 03, 2013, 06:35:42 AM
Just promised the wife a pumpkin beer (*grumble*)

Going to brew 5-10 gallons of either Bock, ESB, or porter, then pull 1 gallon and dose with pumpkin pie spice tincture.

I'm thinking Bock would be a nice pair for the pumpkin. Anyone ever tried it?

I just made the same promise.  Haven't brewed one in about three years.  I've never done a pumpkin Bock, but I could see it with a ESB or porter definitely.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: yso191 on September 03, 2013, 09:05:17 AM
I'm going to stick with the recipe in Zymurgy, a 5.5 gallon batch using Saison yeast.  I'm curious if anyone has thoughts on the Belle Saison yeast in this application.

Also, most (every?) pumpkin beer I have tasted have been light on spice for my palate.  That being the case the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp / 6 gallons - what would the upper limit be?
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: morticaixavier on September 03, 2013, 09:14:26 AM
I'm going to stick with the recipe in Zymurgy, a 5.5 gallon batch using Saison yeast.  I'm curious if anyone has thoughts on the Belle Saison yeast in this application.

Also, most (every?) pumpkin beer I have tasted have been light on spice for my palate.  That being the case the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp / 6 gallons - what would the upper limit be?

Belle saison is a beast. it took my table saison to 1.000.

I would start with the amount of spice the recipe calls for and make a tincture as well. At packaging time take measured samples and doctor with tincture at measured concentrations till you meet or exceed your personal upper limit.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: bluesman on September 03, 2013, 09:29:28 AM
Anybody ever try mashing with some roasted spiced pumpkin?
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on September 03, 2013, 10:09:34 AM
I'll be brewing the Zymurgy recipe Saturday. I got my starters with 565 and 008 going last night. I'm looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 03, 2013, 11:30:24 AM
Anybody ever try mashing with some roasted spiced pumpkin?

You mean using a pie pumpkin and chopping it up and roasting it?  No.

I did mash once with the Libby spiced pumpkin pie mix and it was one of the tastiest pumpkin beers I ever made.  I did not roast it, though.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: yso191 on September 03, 2013, 11:38:03 AM
Belle saison is a beast. it took my table saison to 1.000.

Yes!  My last brew was a Saison using this yeast.  It took it to 1.000 also.  It is not done with cold conditioning yet, but the sample I tasted when kegging was pretty good.  Thanks for the input.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on September 03, 2013, 02:32:42 PM
Anybody ever try mashing with some roasted spiced pumpkin?

You mean using a pie pumpkin and chopping it up and roasting it?  No.

I did mash once with the Libby spiced pumpkin pie mix and it was one of the tastiest pumpkin beers I ever made.  I did not roast it, though.

I did last year if this what you mean. Hard to get pumpkins here until October. Lot of work. I just bought six cans.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: yso191 on September 04, 2013, 09:22:03 AM
What about water additions?  I brew with 100% RO and add water salts using Brun' Water as a guide.  Should I ignore the pumpkin in the mash?  Does it have an effect on pH?  I imagine it would at least add Alkalinity, but my guesses in this area are a 50/50 shot.

Barring any info coming which will change my mind I'll just use my Saison profile.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: kramerog on September 04, 2013, 10:40:44 AM
What about water additions?  I brew with 100% RO and add water salts using Brun' Water as a guide.  Should I ignore the pumpkin in the mash?  Does it have an effect on pH?  I imagine it would at least add Alkalinity, but my guesses in this area are a 50/50 shot.


I suspect that the mineral content of the unroasted pumpkin is a reflection of the soil where the pumpkin was grown.  Consequently, it may be hard to get any data that is helpful.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on September 04, 2013, 02:28:39 PM
What about water additions?  I brew with 100% RO and add water salts using Brun' Water as a guide.  Should I ignore the pumpkin in the mash?  Does it have an effect on pH?  I imagine it would at least add Alkalinity, but my guesses in this area are a 50/50 shot.

Barring any info coming which will change my mind I'll just use my Saison profile.

I don't think I would think too much into it. I'm sure the pumpkin will add some sort of mineral content to the mash. But it's a pumpkin beer, so the mineral content that the pumpkin adds is supposed to be there. I'm probably way wrong on this but it's how I'm going about it lol
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: cornershot on September 04, 2013, 02:48:35 PM
What about water additions?  I brew with 100% RO and add water salts using Brun' Water as a guide.  Should I ignore the pumpkin in the mash?  Does it have an effect on pH?  I imagine it would at least add Alkalinity, but my guesses in this area are a 50/50 shot.

Barring any info coming which will change my mind I'll just use my Saison profile.

I don't think I would think too much into it. I'm sure the pumpkin will add some sort of mineral content to the mash. But it's a pumpkin beer, so the mineral content that the pumpkin adds is supposed to be there. I'm probably way wrong on this but it's how I'm going about it lol

I consider the mineral content of the pumpkin to be negligible. On that note, does anyone consider the mineral content of the grains before brewing? Doubt it. I would go with whatever profile you would use in the base beer. For the Zymurgy recipe, I went with a malty profile.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 04, 2013, 02:59:47 PM
What about water additions?  I brew with 100% RO and add water salts using Brun' Water as a guide.  Should I ignore the pumpkin in the mash?  Does it have an effect on pH?  I imagine it would at least add Alkalinity, but my guesses in this area are a 50/50 shot.

Barring any info coming which will change my mind I'll just use my Saison profile.

I don't think I would think too much into it. I'm sure the pumpkin will add some sort of mineral content to the mash. But it's a pumpkin beer, so the mineral content that the pumpkin adds is supposed to be there. I'm probably way wrong on this but it's how I'm going about it lol

I consider the mineral content of the pumpkin to be negligible. On that note, does anyone consider the mineral content of the grains before brewing? Doubt it. I would go with whatever profile you would use in the base beer. For the Zymurgy recipe, I went with a malty profile.
+1 on the pumpkin.  I assumed the pH effect of using pumpkin to be negligible when I made the pumpkin ales of mine, and made good beers.  As for the latter, the thing I consider with grain is the type of grain, ie. crystal, roasted etc., and the effect of the grist on pH.  Mineral content of grain, not so much.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: yso191 on September 05, 2013, 04:42:41 PM
I inferred from the article that Scott fly sparges.  I batch sparge.  He mentioned being careful to avoid a stuck sparge, so I doubled the rice hulls to 1 lb. for a 5 gallon batch.  It worked flawlessly.  Now you know.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: cornershot on September 05, 2013, 04:56:54 PM
I inferred from the article that Scott fly sparges.  I batch sparge.  He mentioned being careful to avoid a stuck sparge, so I doubled the rice hulls to 1 lb. for a 5 gallon batch.  It worked flawlessly.  Now you know.

I know I won't do a brew in a bag pumpkin beer ever again!
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on September 05, 2013, 05:31:14 PM
I inferred from the article that Scott fly sparges.  I batch sparge.  He mentioned being careful to avoid a stuck sparge, so I doubled the rice hulls to 1 lb. for a 5 gallon batch.  It worked flawlessly.  Now you know.

Good to know. I plan on using a pound, but I have a 1/2-3/4 pound on reserve if I need it after the first runoff.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on September 07, 2013, 12:30:07 PM
Just finished brewing. I'm did something dumb and missed my volume and ended up with 9 gallons. My gravity is 1.077. Big beer!
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: kvp on September 12, 2013, 01:39:52 PM
I'm curious about the maple syrup being listed as 2 pounds. Is that a misprint? Fluid volume would be how it's marked and sold.
Just want to make sure if I should use 2 pounds or 2 fluid (ounces, cups, gallons , other)?
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: morticaixavier on September 12, 2013, 02:06:31 PM
I'm curious about the maple syrup being listed as 2 pounds. Is that a misprint? Fluid volume would be how it's marked and sold.
Just want to make sure if I should use 2 pounds or 2 fluid (ounces, cups, gallons , other)?

I am pretty sure they mean lbs. I buy my syrup in bulk and it is sold by weight.

The conversion would be roughly 1.5 lbs per pint

** EDIT TO CORRECT MYSELF **

Syrup is closer to 1.4 lbs per pint or just over 11 lbs per gallon (room temp)
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: fmader on September 12, 2013, 03:07:12 PM
Pure maple syrup is by the pound.... Atleast what I bought was. Mrs Buttersworth might be fluid ounces.
Title: Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
Post by: cornershot on September 12, 2013, 04:25:46 PM
I substituted 1056 for the yeast because I had a healthy pitch ready to go and ended up with a terminal gravity of 1.009. Too dry and the spice was just not enough. So I doubled the spice(+1 tbsp) and added 8 oz lactose (ala Pumpking) and my wife loves it now.