Author Topic: Perfect Pumpkin Beer  (Read 4511 times)

Offline fmader

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Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« 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?
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 10:09:18 AM by fmader »
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #1 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.
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Offline duncan

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #2 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...

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #3 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.  :-\
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Offline fmader

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #5 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.
Frank

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #6 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.
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Online kramerog

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #7 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.
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Offline duncan

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #8 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.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #9 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.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #10 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.
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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #11 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.

Offline fmader

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #12 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
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Offline duncan

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2013, 08:00:50 AM »
Just curious what some other people do for spice additions.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Perfect Pumpkin Beer
« Reply #14 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.
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