Author Topic: Pumpkin ale questions  (Read 823 times)

Offline Joe T

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Pumpkin ale questions
« on: September 21, 2014, 05:16:11 AM »
I would like some critique on a pumpkin ale recipe.
The plan is to use 16% vienna malt and the rest American 2 row, along with a healthy dose of roasted pumpkin in the mash and about 1 oz pumpkin pie spice at FO, maybe more to taste later. It will be ~20 ibu's, OG1.050. 11 gallons of wort will be split and fermented in 2 pumpkins, with the insides roasted. One will be fermented with Belle saison dry yeast, the other with US-05.
I've had many pumpkin beers and most seem to fit in the amber category, too sweet, with too much crystal malt. But I recently had a pumpkin beer I loved with an obviously simpler grain bill and a clean, crisp, dry finish I normally associate with an IPA with a high level of sulfates, but I'm not sure. Do you think it would be appropriate to use a high sulfate/ APAish water profile for a pumpkin/spice beer? Would it accentuate the spices like it does for hops?
Thanks for your time,
Joe T
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 10:36:52 AM by Joe T »

Offline goschman

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 03:13:53 PM »
1 oz of pumpkin pie spice seems like a lot even for 11 gallons. Do you know what volume that would be? I do my spices by volume and use about 2 tsp for 5 gallon batches in total between cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Maybe 1 oz is less than it seems to me.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 03:43:59 PM »
1 oz probably isn't outrageous… I use 40 g (~1.4 oz) of spices in 6 gal, but half of that is ginger. Most commercial spice blends are mostly cinnamon (well, cassia), so you might be overdoing it on that. Starting from scratch, I would make a tincture and add it to taste at packaging.

Edit: I probably get less extraction out of the coarsely crushed spices than if they're ground to powder. But they're also probably fresher/more potent, so that could very well cancel itself out.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 03:58:56 PM by a10t2 »
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Offline goschman

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 03:56:37 PM »
1 oz probably isn't outrageous… I use 40 g (~1.4 oz) of spices in 6 gal, but half of that is ginger. Most commercial spice blends are mostly cinnamon (well, cassia), so you might be overdoing it on that. Starting from scratch, I would make a tincture and add it to taste at packaging.

Yeah it just seemed like a lot to me. I am more conservative with my spices and am probably using less than 14 g for 5 gallons
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Offline Joe T

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 04:16:33 PM »
1 oz of pumpkin pie spice seems like a lot even for 11 gallons. Do you know what volume that would be? I do my spices by volume and use about 2 tsp for 5 gallon batches in total between cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Maybe 1 oz is less than it seems to me.
Last year I brewed the Pocahontas pumpkin ale from Zymurgy which calls for 1 tsp in 12 gallons and the spice was barely perceptible. Looking at the 5 pumpkin beer clone recipes in this month's BYO they call for ~.3-.6 oz(10.8-16.3 grams) per 5 gallons. So an ounce for 11 gallons seemed appropriate.
I weighed a level tsp of pumpkin pie spice and got 2.05 grams or. 07 ounces.

Offline goschman

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 04:23:57 PM »
1 oz of pumpkin pie spice seems like a lot even for 11 gallons. Do you know what volume that would be? I do my spices by volume and use about 2 tsp for 5 gallon batches in total between cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Maybe 1 oz is less than it seems to me.
Last year I brewed the Pocahontas pumpkin ale from Zymurgy which calls for 1 tsp in 12 gallons and the spice was barely perceptible. Looking at the 5 pumpkin beer clone recipes in this month's BYO they call for ~.3-.6 oz(10.8-16.3 grams) per 5 gallons. So an ounce for 11 gallons seemed appropriate.
I weighed a level tsp of pumpkin pie spice and got 2.05 grams or. 07 ounces.

Got ya. Yeah I guess I am probably using about 4 g (2 tsp) total for a 5 gallon batch but like I said I go pretty conservative with the spices so that they are just noticeable.

Out of curiosity, how big are the pumpkins you are using?
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Offline Joe T

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 04:45:54 PM »
1 oz of pumpkin pie spice seems like a lot even for 11 gallons. Do you know what volume that would be? I do my spices by volume and use about 2 tsp for 5 gallon batches in total between cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Maybe 1 oz is less than it seems to me.
Last year I brewed the Pocahontas pumpkin ale from Zymurgy which calls for 1 tsp in 12 gallons and the spice was barely perceptible. Looking at the 5 pumpkin beer clone recipes in this month's BYO they call for ~.3-.6 oz(10.8-16.3 grams) per 5 gallons. So an ounce for 11 gallons seemed appropriate.
I weighed a level tsp of pumpkin pie spice and got 2.05 grams or. 07 ounces.

Got ya. Yeah I guess I am probably using about 4 g (2 tsp) total for a 5 gallon batch but like I said I go pretty conservative with the spices so that they are just noticeable.

Out of curiosity, how big are the pumpkins you are using?

They weigh around 100#. Not sure on their potential volume yet. For perspective, assuming the flesh is 3" thick they look like they should easily fit a 6 gallon bucket inside.

Offline goschman

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 04:52:49 PM »
Awesome! Sounds great.
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Offline Joe T

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 05:05:57 PM »
Should be a fun brew day with friends. If it tastes good, that will be a bonus!

Offline Joe T

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Re: Pumpkin ale questions
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 05:11:55 PM »
Not much info out there on fermenting in a pumpkin. Here's about the best I've found: http://beerandwinejournal.com/pumpkin-fermenters/