Author Topic: Pumpkin Pie Spice  (Read 873 times)

Offline a10t2

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Pumpkin Pie Spice
« on: October 12, 2011, 09:18:20 AM »
I'm getting ready to do a pumpkin ale tomorrow, but I'm going to have to change up the spices from what I usually would do (ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon). Apparently there's no grocery store around that has any whole spices. I did pick up a jar of organic, salt-free "pumpkin pie spice" (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg) from the hippy grocery store. So they're in the wrong order and it'll have too much cinnamon, but the bigger problem is that I'm not sure how to adjust quantities when using the ground spices. Do you use less because they're ground and extraction is better, or more because they aren't as fresh? I would have used a total of 22 g of the whole/crushed spices, but looking at other people's recipes using pumpkin pie spice, the quantities are all over the map - and they're all volumetric. Anyone have a good rule of thumb?
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Pumpkin Pie Spice
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 09:45:22 AM »
I always bet on needing more from ground spices because they have lost much of their flavor/aroma. I'd smell it and decide how pungent I thought it was, and add as much as double the old amount. OR--- Add your 22g as usual, then make an extract with 22g in 3/4 cups of vodka. At bottling, pour yourself some 4oz samples, leave one as is and add a 1/4 tsp to one, etc and decide how much extra spice to add (1/4 tsp in 4oz = 3/4 cup in 5 gallons).
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pumpkin Pie Spice
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 10:42:15 AM »
I would use less, because the ground spices have much greater surface area than when you just crush them.  The flavor may have faded, but you can always add more later.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Pumpkin Pie Spice
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 11:39:53 AM »
The spice is what makes or breaks a pumpkin ale, so don't compromise.

If the spice blend is not exactly what you're looking for, adjust with individual spices if you've got them. If not, go the extra mile to find the right spices that are fresh (think about it... you wouldnt use stale or improper-tasting hops for an IPA, right?).

Did a local brewery just put out a pumpkin beer? Maybe they have some spices left over!

Have a baker in your neighborhood, workplace, church group, Aunt Millie's book club? Maybe they have some spices to lend (or trade for the finished product!).
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Pumpkin Pie Spice
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2011, 09:04:31 PM »
The spice is what makes or breaks a pumpkin ale, so don't compromise.

Yeah, I ended up ordering from Penzey's online. Pushing back the brew date is only an issue because I'm trying to get five batches in before winter, so fingers crossed.

Living in a town of 400 people makes things difficult sometimes...
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: Pumpkin Pie Spice
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 02:00:16 AM »
The Savory Spice Shop in Denver does mail order. I have been very pleased with them.
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