Author Topic: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin  (Read 710 times)

Offline Brewtweak

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Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« on: February 28, 2014, 07:50:54 AM »
Hi all. I want to brew a pumpkin ale but I'm looking for a way to get the most out of the process. I've read that just boiling the pumpkin can introduce unconverted starches into the beer which isn't good. I got an idea from Sam Calagione's extreme book where he steeps the pumpkin with some spec grains and 6 row. My idea is to steep or pre-boil just the pumpkin then use the boil water as my strike water for the mash and add the pumpkin to the mash as well. I'm also considering oven roasting the pumpkin a bit before boiling. Anyone have any ideas or tips?

Thanks!
Corripe Cervisiam

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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2014, 08:44:19 AM »
I would roast the pumkin, you'll get some browning, some caramelization and intensify any flavour that is there. you will also gelatenize some or all of the starch which will help with conversion in the mash. I wouldn't bother with boiling or steeping in the strike water as I don't see that it would really get you anything just putting the pumpkin in the mash wouldn't.
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Offline fmader

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 08:50:23 AM »
I would roast the pumkin, you'll get some browning, some caramelization and intensify any flavour that is there. you will also gelatenize some or all of the starch which will help with conversion in the mash. I wouldn't bother with boiling or steeping in the strike water as I don't see that it would really get you anything just putting the pumpkin in the mash wouldn't.

+1... Roast them and put in for the mash. Use a dump truck load of rice hulls.
Frank

Offline goschman

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 09:05:54 AM »
Gonna have to agree with the above posts. I usually roast 1 lb of pumpkin per gallon at 350 for 60 minutes until it softens and starts to darken a bit and that directly to the mash. Personally, I would go with an amber base or possibly lighter if you want the pumpkin flavor to be more apparent. The darker you go the more pumpkin flavor will be masked.
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Offline denny

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 09:07:41 AM »
AFAIAC, it's pretty much impossible to get flavor from the pumpkin into the beer.
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Offline Brewtweak

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 09:17:17 AM »
AFAIAC, it's pretty much impossible to get flavor from the pumpkin into the beer.
Yeah, that seems to be the consensus of opinion. I wonder if the roasting process may impart a unique melanoidin flavor from the pumpkin. Probably not enough to discern a distinct flavor. I am going to try acorn squash instead of pumpkin though. They reportedly have twice the sugar content. I think using pumpkin may be more of a symbolic notion as opposed to an actual flavor benefit.
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Offline denny

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 09:22:10 AM »
I think using pumpkin may be more of a symbolic notion as opposed to an actual flavor benefit.

I think this is the truth.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2014, 09:27:42 AM »
I had a butternut squash beer the other night that had some discernible squash flavor, that sweet-like nutty thing. but it's mild.
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Offline denny

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 09:37:57 AM »
I had a butternut squash beer the other night that had some discernible squash flavor, that sweet-like nutty thing. but it's mild.

And would you have noticed it if you weren't told?
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 09:41:15 AM »
I had a butternut squash beer the other night that had some discernible squash flavor, that sweet-like nutty thing. but it's mild.

And would you have noticed it if you weren't told?

who's to say. As you have learned in your research for the book with Drew, we will 'notice' flavours and aromas based on a number of non-flavor or aroma related queues. however knowing it was there, I did notice a distinct flavour that was not merely the spice. I eat a lot of butternut and know the flavour quite well.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 09:47:32 AM »
I feel that I can taste the pumpkin/squash in my yearly batch. Maybe I wouldn't notice it if I didn't know it was in there. Last batch I used a combination of pumpkin, butternut, and acorn squash. I had others tell me they could taste it but again they knew it was in there...there aren't many pumpkin/squash beers that aren't advertised as such. I try to minimize the spice addition and do a lighter base in attempt to emphasize the pumpkin but maybe I don't know what I am tasting...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 09:54:05 AM by goschman »
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Offline Brewtweak

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 11:32:24 AM »
Quote
Roast them and put in for the mash. Use a dump truck load of rice hulls.

I've never used rice hulls. After searching several opinions it seems amounts of usage vary depending on recipe. The consensus seems to be between a 1/2 and 1 pound for a 5 gallon batch but that isn't for a pumpkin ale. I'm doing a 2.5 gallon batch. Half pound about right? Also, some are pre-soaking the hulls, any added benefit to this other than reducing absorption?

Thanks
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 11:44:40 AM »
Quote
Roast them and put in for the mash. Use a dump truck load of rice hulls.

I've never used rice hulls. After searching several opinions it seems amounts of usage vary depending on recipe. The consensus seems to be between a 1/2 and 1 pound for a 5 gallon batch but that isn't for a pumpkin ale. I'm doing a 2.5 gallon batch. Half pound about right? Also, some are pre-soaking the hulls, any added benefit to this other than reducing absorption?

Thanks

Rice hulls aide in sparging and do not contribute to the beer as far as flavor and fermentables go. I do recommend pre-soaking for two reasons. 1 - Most importantly, rice hulls are dirty, real dirty. 2 - They will absorb a small amount of water, though a very small amount.

Offline fmader

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 12:31:29 PM »
Quote
Roast them and put in for the mash. Use a dump truck load of rice hulls.

I've never used rice hulls. After searching several opinions it seems amounts of usage vary depending on recipe. The consensus seems to be between a 1/2 and 1 pound for a 5 gallon batch but that isn't for a pumpkin ale. I'm doing a 2.5 gallon batch. Half pound about right? Also, some are pre-soaking the hulls, any added benefit to this other than reducing absorption?

Thanks

I'd go at least that. I might go a pound. Pumpkin can really gum up the mash. There's not much more frustrating on brew day than a stuck mash.
Frank

Offline guido

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Re: Looking for a way to get the most out of pumpkin
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 02:49:16 PM »
Hi all. I want to brew a pumpkin ale but I'm looking for a way to get the most out of the process. I've read that just boiling the pumpkin can introduce unconverted starches into the beer which isn't good. I got an idea from Sam Calagione's extreme book where he steeps the pumpkin with some spec grains and 6 row. My idea is to steep or pre-boil just the pumpkin then use the boil water as my strike water for the mash and add the pumpkin to the mash as well. I'm also considering oven roasting the pumpkin a bit before boiling. Anyone have any ideas or tips?

Thanks!

I boil pumpkin all the time.  The beer is crystal clear.  Combined with my spicing regime, I've yet to find anything even close to the quality. There is a catch.  Don't use jack o' lantern pumpkins.  I use neck pumpkins.  Slice them into manageable pieces, top with brown sugar, and roast for about two hours (until soft) at 350F.  Be sure to remove the skin and slice the pumpkin into cubes.  To eliminate the mess, put the pumpkin into a fine mesh bag, as you would with fruit, and boil.  You won't regret it.
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