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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: BrewinSB on October 08, 2011, 03:41:09 AM

Title: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 08, 2011, 03:41:09 AM
Just had a pumpkin saison at my local brewpub and made me want to attempt a pumpkin ale.  This will only be my second all grain batch, and also my first time kegging instead of bottling.  I know there are tons of posts out there on this subject, but wanted to get peoples thoughts, tips etc. in one spot where I would remember to check. 

After some of the research I have done, I think I am going to use real pumpkins, bake them and then throw them in the mash (cooler mash tun with a braided SS hose).  However, I have no idea where to start for the grains and how much spice to use.  The pumpkin saison I had was not overly spiced, which I liked and I am pretty sure they used a belgian yeast.  What are some of your favorite (5 gallon) recipes that may be fairly easy for only a second all grain batch.  Do I have to transfer to secondary or can I just do a primary and then keg it. What sort of CO2 levels are suggested for this style.  I am looking for a fairly quick turnaround time, if that is even possible with this type of recipe.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: snowtiger87 on October 08, 2011, 01:19:11 PM
Make up an amber ale recipe base with the color toward orange. If you are short on time don't make it too big (1.050's OG at most) For hops a neutral bittering hop (like Magnum) is all you need. 20 IBU's.

Pulp the pumpkin (use a blender) before putting it in the mash. Use rice hulls. If you can do a protein rest do it.   

I add my pumpkin pie spice (I use a store bought blend) at about 1 minute left in the boil. Approx 1.5 tsp for 5 gallons. I taste it after primary and re-spice if needed at kegging.

For yeast, if you want a pumpkin Saison use Saison yeast  :D

If you are short on time I would stay away from WLP 565 and use WY 3711.

I would also secondary at least for 5 days to help it clear up a bit.

Remember, you can't rush a Saison !
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 08, 2011, 03:54:25 PM
Thanks for the tips. I have never used rice hulls before. How much do I put in the mash? I am thinking I will skip the saison yeast should I just use something like wlp001 or is there another kind you might recommend? Also, would crash cooling it work to help clear it up some instead of transferring to secondary?
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: denny on October 08, 2011, 04:35:19 PM
Thanks for the tips. I have never used rice hulls before. How much do I put in the mash? I am thinking I will skip the saison yeast should I just use something like wlp001 or is there another kind you might recommend? Also, would crash cooling it work to help clear it up some instead of transferring to secondary?

Generally a handful of rice hulls works fine.  As ti the yeast,our local Rogue recently made a pumpkin mole saison.  I wasn't brave enough to try it, but there is precedent for using saison yeast in a pumpkin beer.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: snowtiger87 on October 09, 2011, 09:51:31 AM
I make a Pumpkin Saison that has won many awards with a similar process that I described above. I make it bigger (1.070), use honey and maple syrup and give it more time.

If you want to make something faster and a more straight up pumpkin ale then a quick ale yeast would do just fine.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 10, 2011, 10:47:59 PM
Okay, I think I will attempt to make it more of a session strength (on the higher end) to get it kegged faster; and maybe use something like wyeast 1332.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 15, 2011, 02:24:44 AM
Here is what I put together for my recipe.  I think I will use canned pumpkin and add it to the boil so I don't have to worry about a stuck sparge.  Any suggestions on how many cans?  What do you all think of the recipe?  I am still very new to creating recipes so I am learning.  I also haven't decided how much in terms of pumpkin pie spice I am going to use.

5 Gallons
Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                         
3 lbs                 Pale Malt (2 Row)   
3 lbs                 Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
1 lbs                 Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)   
8.0 oz                Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (15.0 SRM)         
8.0 oz                Rye Malt (4.7 SRM)             
0.25 oz               Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min                             
0.75 oz               Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 30.0                 
1.00 oz               Fuggles [4.50 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min   
1.0 pkg               English Ale (White Labs #WLP002)           

Estimated OG:  1.052
Estimated Color:  12.2 SRM
IBU:  24     
           


Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: MDixon on October 15, 2011, 02:12:05 PM
Pumpkin is just about a near nothing in beer IMO (again, IMO) as can be. I suggest you show the can of pumpkin to the mash and boil and then put it in the cupboard for next years batch. Yes, I am serious.

My local brewery has a lovely pumpkin ale which everyone raves about and they cannot hardly keep up with demand. They do use pumpkin in the beer at the rate of 1-2lb per bbl, so at 2lb that is 2lb per 31 gallons or in our sense, about 5 ounces per 5 gallon batch or an ounce per gallon. The reason they use it is to be able to say the beer has pumpkin in it, the flavor really comes from the spice contributions.

If you are after a pumpkin with the flavor of the beer you had, I'd go back to your local brewpub and ask the brewer how much they used for the batch.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: snowtiger87 on October 16, 2011, 11:06:09 AM
In my experience pumpkin (when mashed) contributes, color, some gravity (I have it at 1.030 pppg in ProMash and a creamy mouthfeel to the beer. Also, there is the authenticity part that MDixon mentions, which is key to me.

Pumpkin added to the boil will give you chill haze and stability problems as you are just adding starch. Would you add non-mashed grain, oats, or wheat to the boil? If you don't intend to mash the pumpkin I say leave it out as well. I agree that a pumpkin spice beer can be made and no one would know there is no actual pumpkin in the beer except the brewer.

As for the recipe, why mix Pale Ale and Marris Otter malt? (I say use all Marris Otter). Why the crystal 20? The crystal 60 should be plenty. What is the Rye for? I like to add some Special B (maybe 4 oz for this recipe) to add some richness and color without being too sweet in the final product. Don't use late addition hops as they interfere with the spices.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 16, 2011, 04:20:49 PM
Those are some good points.  I did get rice hulls, so maybe I will add it to the mash.  As for the grains I am using, I was trying to use up some leftover grains I had and didn't want to buy more in bulk without knowing what my next batch after this pumpkin ale would be.    I thought the rye would add a little bit of spiciness that it can have.  If I just move the Fuggle addition to 30 minutes instead of 5 would that work (and adjust amount for IBUs)?
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: gmac on October 16, 2011, 04:32:21 PM
I made my pumpkin beer with an amber ale recipe and a couple roasted pumpkins added in.
But, instead of doing the spices in the boil, I went with the tincture method which worked very well.  1/2 tsp of fresh grated cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg and fresh ground all spice with a just a dash of ginger and a little shot of vanilla extract placed in 1/2 cup of vodka.  I let it sit for a day and then added it slowly to kegged beer and tasted until I got the spices I wanted.  I also put in 1 lb of brown sugar in the boil just to try to copy that pie sweetness and it seemed to work well.  Plus I used WLP002 which left some sweetness in the beer.

I also made 10 gals but only spiced 5 and after it has sat for a couple days, I'll have a few tasters give me their opinion and then if the spices need to be adjusted, I can either add more or blend in more beer to reduce the intensity.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: snowtiger87 on October 16, 2011, 04:55:59 PM
"As for the grains I am using, I was trying to use up some leftover grains I had and didn't want to buy more in bulk without knowing what my next batch after this pumpkin ale would be. I thought the rye would add a little bit of spiciness that it can have. "

That is fine. I was just looking for a reason. I am not a fan of adding something to the recipe just to add it.

The tincture method could be a good way to go with the spices, I have just never tried it.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: a10t2 on October 16, 2011, 05:51:36 PM
I'd cut back on one or both crystal malts. IMHO 17% is too much for any beer.

As far as pumpkin, I'm getting ready to brew a pumpkin amber with 58 oz (two cans) of pumpkin in the mash. I used one can a couple years ago and didn't have any problems sparging, but also got little pumpkin flavor from it.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 18, 2011, 04:41:39 AM
"As for the grains I am using, I was trying to use up some leftover grains I had and didn't want to buy more in bulk without knowing what my next batch after this pumpkin ale would be. I thought the rye would add a little bit of spiciness that it can have. "

That is fine. I was just looking for a reason. I am not a fan of adding something to the recipe just to add it.

The tincture method could be a good way to go with the spices, I have just never tried it.

I'd cut back on one or both crystal malts. IMHO 17% is too much for any beer.

As far as pumpkin, I'm getting ready to brew a pumpkin amber with 58 oz (two cans) of pumpkin in the mash. I used one can a couple years ago and didn't have any problems sparging, but also got little pumpkin flavor from it.

I'm still learning about all the grains and how to best utilize them.  I think I will take your advice and cut out the Crystal 20 and just use 8 oz of the Crystal 60.  I also think I will attempt the pumpkin in the mash.  If anything it seems like it would at least add some color.  Some of the recipes I read people added the spices the last 5-10 minutes of the boil and then tasted when they kegged or put into secondary and and added more from a tincture they made as needed.  I was also told to try adding some vanilla extract when it was in the secondary for a week.  Forget how much (I was at a beer festival talking to one of the brewers), but I want to say a tablespoon...
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: MDixon on October 18, 2011, 06:25:10 AM
I seem to have to repeatedly pull out this info on pumpkin. I don't see any benefit to mashing.

From another forum
Quote
The nutritional information for Libby's canned "100% pumpkin says per serving it has 9 grams total carbs, 5g fiber, 4g sugars. This doesn't leave any room for starches. The USDA, however, for the same serving size lists 9.27g total carbs, of which 3.5g is fiber, and 4.03g sugars. This leaves about 1.74g other carbs per 122g serving, or about 1.43% of the total weight of the (canned) pumpkin.

Given that, and that most of the recipes for pumpkin ale I've seen call for at most 3 lbs. of pumpkin, that will give you about 19g of starch for the entire batch. Even assuming all of this is converted to pure sugar, I'd rather skip the trouble of mashing it and lose out on that insignificant amount. Adding it to the kettle will still get me the 45g of sugars, but really I'm using it for color and flavor. When I did the math earlier, I found that (raw) pumpkin had a potential gravity of something like 1.002."

The math for fresh pumpkin is a bit different, because of the processing, and because the data doesn't specify the type of pumpkin. (I suspect it's not the small "pie pumpkin".)

There are also lots of variables when you're dealing with fresh pumpkin. You don't know how long it's been since it's been picked, etc. I think I may end up using canned pumpkin, although it's generally against my principles to used canned over fresh, but we have an organic, preservative-free canned pumpkin here in NC. Canned pumpkin been shown to have a greater nutritional content than fresh, anyway, which is true for a lot of fruits and vegetables.
http://www.detnews.com/2004/eatsdrinks/ ... 324771.htm

Here's what the complex carb data boils down to, per
100 grams:
Raw- 4.64g starch (71.4% of total carbs)
Boiled- 2.78g starch (56.7% of total carbs)
Canned- 1.89g starch (23.4% of total carbs)

Now, even assuming you're using an average raw pumpkin (the highest starch content above), and you use 8lbs (the maximum I've seen in a batch), AND it all is converted to sugars, you're talking about 168 grams of sugars, or 0.37 lbs. By my math, this gives you a net increase in gravity of about 0.002. If you use 3 lbs canned pumpkin, as I've typically seen, this goes down to around 0.16 lbs of sugars. This gets me 0.001. I'm not sure I would go through the troubles of mashing for that.

Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: Jimmy K on October 18, 2011, 12:53:47 PM
I think a pumpkin saison sounds great - something a little different in the fall pumpkin lineup. I'd reduce the spicing to let the yeast spiciness come through, and maybe switch up the spices with some less conventional ones (less conventional for pumpkin anyway) or consider eliminating them altogether.  WLP566 or 568 might be good choices with their clove character.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: a10t2 on October 18, 2011, 02:23:19 PM
I seem to have to repeatedly pull out this info on pumpkin. I don't see any benefit to mashing.

It isn't that I want the sugars per se. I'm just concerned about dumping that much starch into the boil.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: snowtiger87 on October 18, 2011, 04:59:39 PM
MDixon,

Thanks for the data. I have never looked at it that way. How about this technique if people still don't want to put the pumpkin in the boil (I don't)?

Before sparging gently mix it into the top of the grain bed. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so and then start then sparge, or mash-out, then sparge.

This way it should not plug up the filter, but the process of sparging should still extract the color and sugar from the pumpkin, and the 10 minute rest may even convert what little starches are there.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on October 20, 2011, 02:34:58 AM
Wow, yeah, great information.  Seems like it isn't really worth the trouble of putting it in the mash.

MDixon,

Thanks for the data. I have never looked at it that way. How about this technique if people still don't want to put the pumpkin in the boil (I don't)?

Before sparging gently mix it into the top of the grain bed. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so and then start then sparge, or mash-out, then sparge.

This way it should not plug up the filter, but the process of sparging should still extract the color and sugar from the pumpkin, and the 10 minute rest may even convert what little starches are there.

That's an interesting idea.  I am brewing this weekend so I need to make up my mind on how to do this.
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: bwedemey on October 30, 2011, 06:12:04 AM
Just made one, we used three 15oz cans one can at the beginning of the boil another with 10 min left and the third in the second fermentation.  I think we over did it a bit and don't think the first can was necessary but it turned out great! be sure there are no preservatives in the pumpkin as they hinder fermentation.   
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: MDixon on October 31, 2011, 05:03:03 PM
Now you made an interesting point and may not know it. Why not, if you are gonna add the pumpkin anyway, just add it to the primary fermenter. If you sanitize (and perhaps clean) the exterior of the can the pumpkin in the can should already be sanitary.

It would be interesting to take a low hopped pale ale and add a can of pumpkin with no spices to one fermenter and do nothing to the other and then determine if one could perceive the pumpkin other than visually. I've always felt the spices drive the flavor in most pumpkin beers, but it might be worth a while. I may actually try this the next time I crank out a Saison to see what happens. Thanks for the idea...
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on November 17, 2011, 05:01:03 AM
I kegged my pumpkin ale on 11/16 using the following recipe.
3 lbs Two row
3 lbs Maris Otter
1 lbs Victory
8 oz Cystal 60L
8 oz Rye Malt
3.5 lbs canned pure pumpkin puree (in the mash)
Handful of rice hulls
.25 oz Magnum 60 min
.25 oz Fuggles 30 Min
.25 oz EKG 30 min
1 t. cinnamon (5 min)
1/2 t. allspice (5 min)
1/2 t. ground ginger (5 min)
1/4 t. nutmeg (5 min)
1/4 t. clove (5 min)
WLP002 (1L Starter)

Single infusion mash at 151 (Post-Boil OG:  1.046).  I fermented for 3 weeks at 68 F (FG:  1.011), crash cooled to 40 F for two nights and kegged it. 

I tasted it today (after 2 days of carbonating) and it is still a bit under carbonated as I would expect.  However, I am noticing so far it tastes watery.  Why would this be?
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: BrewinSB on November 18, 2011, 04:19:35 AM
I made my pumpkin beer with an amber ale recipe and a couple roasted pumpkins added in.
But, instead of doing the spices in the boil, I went with the tincture method which worked very well.  1/2 tsp of fresh grated cinnamon, fresh grated nutmeg and fresh ground all spice with a just a dash of ginger and a little shot of vanilla extract placed in 1/2 cup of vodka.  I let it sit for a day and then added it slowly to kegged beer and tasted until I got the spices I wanted.  I also put in 1 lb of brown sugar in the boil just to try to copy that pie sweetness and it seemed to work well.  Plus I used WLP002 which left some sweetness in the beer.

I also made 10 gals but only spiced 5 and after it has sat for a couple days, I'll have a few tasters give me their opinion and then if the spices need to be adjusted, I can either add more or blend in more beer to reduce the intensity.

When you added your tincture to your keg, was it carbed up already?  I tasted mine and feel it needs a bit more spice, but it has been carbing up for a few days now.  Would I still be able to add a spice tincture?
Title: Re: Pumpkin Ale
Post by: gmac on November 19, 2011, 04:24:08 AM
Yes, mine was carbed although at a low level since it was only on the gas for a couple days when I did it. 
One thing I've found since is that even though I strained the tincture, there was enough finely ground spice that got through the cloth to bump up the taste a bit more after it was in the carboy. 
I tried a coffee filter first but it was just too slow and not really working.

I can't see how it would hurt to add it after carbing.  Vent off the gas, open it up and add it.  May take a bit to get the tincture distributed unless you roll it around a bit which chould make it a bit gassy when you poured but that's about all I can think would happen (assuming you don't oxygenate the heck out of it).
Good luck.