Author Topic: Pumpkin Lager Questions  (Read 2524 times)

Offline Aerofan81

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Pumpkin Lager Questions
« on: September 07, 2017, 08:52:24 PM »
Hey Everyone.

So I have decided that I wanted to make a pumpkin lager this year and I'm already late in making that as it is, but I wanted to know if anyone had any good tips for using actual pumpkin in their beers?  I plan on making a lager and I use a BIAB system.  I make 5 gallon batches.  I have all the equipment I need, just need ideas for adding the pumpkin in.  I was wondering if anyone has tried roasting their own malts?  and if so, would roasting the malts IN/ON the pumpkin in the oven work?  Or maybe even smoking the pumpkin with the malts on/in it?  If I'm using BIAB and wanted to add it to mash, any foreseeable issues?  Has anyone used it in the boil?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
James

Offline factory

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 01:53:42 PM »
I have used pumpkin in both the mash and the boil, however, neither produced much in the way of pumpkin flavor.  Most of the sensation/perception of "pumpkin" comes from the spices that I use, which mirror what one would normally use for pumpkin pie.

I normally buy "pie" pumpkins and then bake them with a generous portion of brown sugar to caramelize them and soften them up.  Then I take an old school potato masher and smash them up really well.  That mixture goes into the mash.  I tried boiling, but that was a bit of a mess, and IMHO, not worth the effort to try to strain out the pumpkin so it wouldn't clog my plate chiller at run-off.  I suppose you could boil and chill with an immersion chiller and then just transfer the whole wort into the fermenter, pumpkin and all.  I did that with my first batch (using LME) and the pumpkin settled nicely to the bottom of the fermenter.

Very long story, but I just mash the pumpkin.  It's easier, and you get a little flavor and color.  BTW I use about 6-8 lbs of pumpkin, pre-cooking weight.

Offline Andor

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 01:47:08 AM »
I stir one can of organic pumpkin into my strike water. I use the pumpkin because if I'm calling it a pumpkin beer I feel obligated to include pumpkin. (I don't care for pumpkin spice beers but its one of the few beers my wife asks for). You probably wont have issues with BIAB but I use rice hulls to help keep things from gumming up. I might reduce my pumpkin dose to 1 tsp this year and not tell anyone ;) its really all about the spices anyway

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 02:34:39 PM »
Adding smoked pumpkin might be one of the few ways to get noticeable flavor from the pumpkin into the beer.

I'm not would roast/smoke grain on the pumpkin. Pumpkin has a fair amount of moisture in it which will cook out and keep the grain from drying out during roasting. That might work to an advantage with smoking but I'm not sure if the pumpkin would add anything just by having the grain smoked on it.

Of the handful of beers I've had with pumpkin where I felt like I truly tasted pumpkin they have had a lot of pumpkin and it's really more that squash-like flavor than the pie spices people associate with pumpkin beers.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 02:12:56 PM »
I stir one can of organic pumpkin into my strike water. I use the pumpkin because if I'm calling it a pumpkin beer I feel obligated to include pumpkin. (I don't care for pumpkin spice beers but its one of the few beers my wife asks for). You probably wont have issues with BIAB but I use rice hulls to help keep things from gumming up. I might reduce my pumpkin dose to 1 tsp this year and not tell anyone ;) its really all about the spices anyway

+1;  I did them a bunch of ways and this is my take on it now.  Haven't made them in years but if I did one I'd use flavor extract instead of spices and dose at packaging. 
Sam
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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 03:01:27 PM »
I BIAB and add pumpkin to both the mash and the boil.  I use paint strainer bags for the pumpkin.  I haven't done any roassting, I put the pumpkin in the oven for 45 minutes to make the skin easier to remove.
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Offline gman23

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2017, 12:01:20 AM »
I did a pumpkin lager this year as well with a festbier base. I added baked mashed pumpkin in a paint strainer bag to the fermenter after the d rest. I normally do darker pumpkin ales and don't get any actual pumpkin. Doing a lighter more transparent base beer seems to have let the squash flavor come through. It's subtle but there. I use a pretty light hand with spices too which is a compromise with my better half who I brew it for to begin with.
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Offline jekeane

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 12:18:48 PM »
As others mentioned if you are looking for a pumpkin flavor and not a pumpkin pie flavor then consider smoking or heavily roasting the pumpkin.  I would add it at all 3 phases if I were trying to get actual pumpkin flavor, although I would consider amounts carefully if I were smoking the pumpkin. 

If you are looking for the pumpkin pie spice flavor route I would forgo the pumpkin all together.  I brewed the Oktoberfest from last years AHA big brew day in the spring and thought to myself it would make a good base for a pumpkin pie type beer which my wife requests every year.  I didn't have time to brew another lager so I used that recipe and fermented with US-05 at 64°  Side by side the malt complexity was very similar so I would recommend that recipe.  I add 3/4 tsp Cinnamon and Nutmeg 1/2 tsp ginger 1/4 tsp clove at flameout for a pronounced spice  I also add the same ratio to a mason jar with 4oz of vodka to make a tincture that I can adjust with.

Spices need to be fresh, if they don't smell strongly when you open the container they should be replaced.

Klang Freudenfest Oktoberfest Lager – https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrew-recipe/klang-freudenfest-oktoberfest-grain/  I added .25# of flaked barley to the pumpkin version to mimic some of the body thought to be given by pumpkin in the mash.

Offline SilverZero

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Re: Pumpkin Lager Questions
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 02:29:34 PM »
Maybe late to the game here, but I just kegged my pumpkin ale yesterday. It's quite gourdy. For 10 gallons, I used 6 pie pumpkins, 3 in the boil and 3 in secondary. The boiled batch was cubed up, roasted for an hour, and tossed in brown sugar and spices (Vietnamese cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves) then roasted a few minutes more. Boiled the full 60 minutes. I was supposed to add spices at flameout but I forgot, which may be why I didn't get as much spice as I wanted.

Fermented with US05 for 7 days, then I added the remaining pumpkins. These ones were roasted the same, but then tossed in maple syrup and molasses, plus more spices. Those got dropped in the fermenter for another week, then I cold crashed for a few days and kegged. Kettle to keg was 21 days. I also added spices to the kegs.

I expected more spice flavor but it's predominantly that pumpkin squash that comes through, the way a pumpkin smells. It's not like pumpkin pie, it's like drinking beer out of a pumpkin.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 02:31:51 PM by SilverZero »