Author Topic: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter  (Read 1845 times)

Offline wamille

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Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« on: August 26, 2011, 05:32:23 PM »
I'm thinking about a third attempt at a seasonal beer with pumpkin as an ingredient.  I've used pumpkin in the mash... I've used it in the boil.  So I figure this time I'll throw it in the primary fermenter or secondary since I haven't tried it there yet.  To those experience with pumpkin (and pumpkin pie spices), what's the best way to use pumpkin in the fermenter?  I was thinking about making a pumpkin bread-like loaf and let it harden.... and slicing or breaking the bread up into pieces and throwing it into the fermenter to impart some pumpkin pie flavor.  I'd appreciate any comments that might help me in my quest to make a pumpkin porter-type beer.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 04:58:22 AM »
Since no once else has responded I'll take a stab at it. Not sure about pumpkin in fermenter. I'd mash it just to be safe. Spices in fermenter is a good idea IMO, especially post fermentation. You will get more control of the aroma that way.
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Offline dublulovesbeer

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 01:39:37 PM »
I'm planning on making my first shot at a pumpkin ale in the mash, with rice hulls. Though I might also try adding spices to secondary.

Kind of a silly question to follow up on this, but does anyone knew when pumpkins are first available? I live in NY and I've got 3 brews I'm waiting to make but I want to do this pumpkin first in time for October.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 01:42:47 PM »
There ready year round if you buy the canned pumpkin. That's what a lot of people have used.
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Offline dublulovesbeer

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 01:48:37 PM »
Yeah it seems theres some debate on that, books like Joy of Homebrewing and other sources say do not under any circumstances used the canned pumpkin, though many on here have said it came out really well.

Offline denny

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 02:12:55 PM »
Yeah it seems theres some debate on that, books like Joy of Homebrewing and other sources say do not under any circumstances used the canned pumpkin, though many on here have said it came out really well.

I'd want to know why it says to never use canned pumpkin before I decided it was solid info.  FWIW, I've made 2 pumpkin beers, one with and one without pumpkin.  Based on that, I wouldn't say the pumpkin was even detectable in the beer.
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Offline dublulovesbeer

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 02:29:12 PM »
Yeah it seems theres some debate on that, books like Joy of Homebrewing and other sources say do not under any circumstances used the canned pumpkin, though many on here have said it came out really well.

I'd want to know why it says to never use canned pumpkin before I decided it was solid info.  FWIW, I've made 2 pumpkin beers, one with and one without pumpkin.  Based on that, I wouldn't say the pumpkin was even detectable in the beer.

From what I've read the pumpkin just gives the beer a creamier/thicker mouth feel, and doesn't impart any flavor per se. I think it's just the authenticity of having real pumpkin in it rather than just "pumpkin spices".

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 02:39:24 PM »
Are you sure they said never use canned pumpkin as opposed to canned pumpkin pie mix?  I wouldn't recommend the mix either, but canned pumpkin gets used in a lot of pumpkin beers.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dublulovesbeer

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2011, 03:29:18 PM »
Are you sure they said never use canned pumpkin as opposed to canned pumpkin pie mix?  I wouldn't recommend the mix either, but canned pumpkin gets used in a lot of pumpkin beers.

I took a look in Joy of Homebrewing, he says not to use it because of the preservatives. Maybe those are only present in the pumpkin pie canned mix and not the pureed pumpkin mix? In either case I've heard the canned (I think it's Libby's?) pumpkin is difficult to find as well.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2011, 04:00:19 PM »
I just saw some at the store the yesterday, I'm planning to make a pumpkin beer soon.  A lot of people use canned pumpkin without problems, but don't take my word for it.  Maybe someone who's used it can chime in.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 08:52:53 AM »
From what I've read the pumpkin just gives the beer a creamier/thicker mouth feel

Not in my experience.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 09:14:53 AM »
I typically make a pumpkin beer every year.

I've used whole pumpkins (cut up and roasted) but that was years ago.

I typically use canned pumpkin - Libby's solid pack pumpkin, or an organic brand depending on what I can find.

A couple years ago I did use the Libby's pumpkin pie mix due to a shopping error.  The beer came out great though I can't say it was specifically due to the mix.  The canned mix certainly didn't hurt though.

So, my experience is that you can make good beer with either approach.  Canned is less work.

I've found that I prefer the spices added in the kettle rather than in the keg.  The difference being cooked spices (kettle) to raw spices (vodka tincture).  I suppose you could make a spice tea and add it to the keg, which maybe I'll try if I brew a pumpkin ale this year.

FWIW - I had a heck of a time finding canned pumpkin last year.  Once Halloween hit it was widely available, but finding it around this time of year (August/September) was tough.  I even tried to special order it through the local health food store.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2011, 10:33:11 AM »
If you have a restaurant supply place near you like Cash and Carry, you should be able to find it in the giant cans any time of year.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2011, 12:30:28 PM »
The only ones I can think of are restaurant equipment.  Not familiar with Cash and Carry.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pumpkin/spices is the fermenter
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2011, 02:57:46 PM »
It's basically a grocery store for restaurants.  Anyone can shop there, but they are used to not charging sales tax if you present your business license.  Cash and Carry is a west coast brand, but there is likely to be something similar in your area.  If you want to buy a 25lb bag of rolled oats or say 20 lbs of pork shoulder, it's a less expensive option.

Google says Jetro and Midwestern are to examples in Chicago, there are bound to be more.
Tom Schmidlin