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Subject: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: MadBrewer
Oct 6th, 2010
3:15 am
All this talk about Pumpkin Beers got me wanting to brew one. I have the sudden urge to brew up a 1 Gal test batch tomorrow. I'm sure I have enough malt, grains, hops and yeast to kick out a batch to satisfy the urge without putting a damper on the next couple batches.

I ran to the store and bought a can of Pumpkin Puree and Nutmeg, I should have the other spices in the cabinet. Cinnamon, a clove...we'll see. Want to focus on the spices and mouthfeel and only a bittering additon for the hops. I'm not imagining the canned Pumpkin to add any flavor, nor would real pumpkin...it's all about those magical spices. But I'm sure the Pumpkin would add some starches and a certain character to the beer. I just don't know how to add it.

How do I add the Pumpkin to the wort? I've heard some steeping it...ok, how do you steep a mashed puree, lol. Should it be cooked/baked first for any flavor or sterilization or just let it pasturize in the boil? Or should it be just steeped like specialty grains? Should it go in a sac or be straind out?

Hmmm...suggestions please...I have looked through the forums here and elsewhere and I'm not seeing a whole lot of detail of "how" it was added to the boil or wort.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: kevinglin
Oct 6th, 2010
4:55 am
I always just add Libby's 100% (unspiced) pure canned pumpkin to my secondary fermenter. I add my spices the last 10 minutes of the boil. I've mashed real pumpkin in the past, as well as placing pumpkin in the primary, but have found that treating pumpkin like any other fruit beer and putting it in the secondary works out the best. The pumpkin will add some nice color and a hint of pumpkin flavor - go easy on the spices as they can overwhelm you pretty quickly if you use too much.

I'd recommend placing the canned pumpkin in a grain bag or something so that you can remove it from the fermenter when it's time to bottle/keg ... if you don't, you'll end up losing quite a bit of good beer that is mixed with a bunch of puree and unusable (unfortunately speaking from experience on this). Good luck.

Kevin
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: MMMBREW
Oct 6th, 2010
4:58 am
Personally... I would skip the pumpkin and add pumpkin spice that you can commonly buy at a lot of grocery stores or spice shops.

That being said... You could add the pumpkin in a lot of ways. Mashing it in would yield sugars only, not so much flavor. I would think you could boil it towards the end of the boil, but you would need a large amount to get any type of flavor at all.

Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: MadBrewer
Oct 6th, 2010
5:05 am
Thanks guys, the 2ndary route sounds good and that's 2 now for the sac so I'll do that as well.
Spices can defenately go a long way, I'll be using tiny amounts. And I do have the Libby's pure canned unspiced Pumpkin. I'll add a little Nutmeg and Cinnamon.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: BryansBrew
Oct 6th, 2010
11:34 am
The only way to safely add pumpkin to a beer is in the mash.

Anything else and you are adding starches to your beer. Yeast won't ferment starches, but certain bacteria will. Essentially, you are giving unwanted bacteria a free-for-all lunch orgy.

Now, some people- myself included- have gotten away with pumpkin in the kettle or even fermenter. If you've done it, my only advice is to drink that beer fresh and fast.

I don't add pumpkin to my beer anymore. It's a waste. A good combo of spices (I include a vanilla bean, too) is all I need to get a delicious "pumpkin" flavored beer.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: sagnew440
Oct 6th, 2010
1:48 pm
I made a pumpkin ale saturday and mashed the pumpkin. I'm not a big pumpkin pie fan but the beer version i get along with very well. I could defenitly tell there was pumpkin in there, it just doesn't have a very assertive flavor(sort of like sweet potato). If you mash the pumpkin go overkill on the rice hulls. I
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: JimRod
Oct 6th, 2010
2:57 pm
Don't let anyone tell you that using spices alone will be more authentic than actually using real pumpkins. If that were true than you could make a pumpkin pie with spices and tofu.

I have a pumpkin beer in the conditioning phase right now and the aroma is awesome. It doesn't just smell like spics.

There is a musky type pumpkin flavor that you get with real pumpkins and it is essential to the flavor. It may be only a small part of the recipe but how authentic do you want to make it? Hey that's just my 2 cents.

I agree with bryansbrew, use real vanilla beans cleaned and soaked with a little vodka to pull out the good stuff. Add it to your secondary or at conditioning. Also use allspice. This spice is not a combo of spices, its a papery dry berry from a plant. Essential.

And I also add it to a 3 step mash using a grain bag and half 6 row to help with enzyme conversion.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: BryansBrew
Oct 6th, 2010
3:56 pm
But in a pumpkin pie, you're eating pumpkin in majority. In a beer, it's left behind in the mash, boil, or when racking. Still, I mostly taste crust, sugar, and spices in a pumpkin pie.

If anything comes through from pumpkin in a beer, it's hardly noticable and definitely not required. Most commercial pumpkin beers don't use pumpkin.

If you're getting a musky type flavor, that could be the bacterial infection I mentioned. If it IS from pumpkin- well, I can do without any type of musky flavor in any of my beers.

Just personal preference, I guess.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: MadBrewer
Oct 6th, 2010
6:03 pm
I appreciate all the info and this is why I asked, to get the feedback. I figured I woulnd't get much Pumpkin flavor out of using it, no matter what step..I. kind of new that would be the case. Pumpkin alone is like bland mashed potatoes, as everyone mentions it's all about the spices. But, the Pumpkin should add a certain character to the beer, whether thats a creamyness from the starches, a slight vegetable character of some sorts or what not, I do plan on using it. Vanilla beans sound great along with the spices.

I see it like this, if used in the mash you're extracting it's sugars, a little color, tiny amount of flavor and/or character and much more will be left behind, and that's not what I'm after. Every recipe I've seen calls to add the canned pumpkin to part of the boil, to the primary or even in the 2ndary. The canned pumpkin is pasturized when it was canned, so there's no nasties to introduce if it goes straight into the fermenter. Not sure which would be best but I think I have the ideas for what I have in mind. I'm thinking of adding late in the boil in a sac/bag which would kill anything that might want to come from it and add some of that to the fermenter keeping it in the bag/sac to contain most of the mess...I've read it can lead to a lot of waste if not, kinda like dry hopping only done in the primary and adding my spices at flameout. This is such a small "test" batch I'm only going to have a dozen bottles or less. It's just to satisfy my urge, and experiment. If it's not the best beer it's fine...since I won't be wasting galons of beer I dont' care for. Thanks, lots of great info here.

The Pumkin Ale Recipe at Midwest Supplies has great reviews and they say to add the canned pumpkin to the last 5 minutes of the boil. It's worth a try, next I can try the mash...fresh pumpkin etc.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: BryansBrew
Oct 6th, 2010
6:37 pm
Remember, most beer is always infected to a point. If it's open to the air even briefly after cooling, something will get in there. Plus you're sanitizing, not sterilizing your equipment. It just happens that the large amount of yeast we add will outcompete the wild yeast for sugars.

However, you're adding starch [if you don't mash it] (which isn't in a normal brew) and giving the bacteria a huge supply of food with no competition. So... good luck!
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: brewboy_BB
Oct 6th, 2010
6:44 pm
"Remember, most beer is always infected..."

You've obviously had some of J's beer.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: MadBrewer
Oct 6th, 2010
7:46 pm
I understand your points BryansBrew. But I also feel confident that 9 out of the 10 recipes I've seen call to add the Canned Pumpkin in ways I'm going to do with no ill effects. I think I would be more inclined to add it the mash if I was using fresh pumpkin. It will be a good experimental 1 Gal batch.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: Rhizome
Oct 6th, 2010
10:05 pm
I add about 29 ozs of canned pumpkin/5 gallon batch to the mash. I can taste the squash like flavor it brings. I'm not sure it would be the same without it. I use a pound of rice hulls and have never had a problem with a stuck mash. The spices do require a bit of aging to soften. I like the vanilla idea and may add a bean to my keg which is currently conditioning.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: ScrewyBrewer
Oct 6th, 2010
10:16 pm
MadBrewer, Take it from a Screwy Brewer try adding some 'Pumpkin Spice' to your recipe about 5 minutes before flameout, you'll get your pumpkin flavor without all the fuss.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: MadBrewer
Oct 6th, 2010
11:47 pm
I defenately plan to add some spices, but I don't want just a spiced beer..I've had many commercial examples that were just that and not what I expected. I want to have some of the characteristics of the Pumpkin in the beer. A creamyness, starchyness, haze, a little squash/vegetable flavor...that's what I plan on getting from it (in a good way hopefully). Test batch will be on it's way this weekend...we'll see how she goes.
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: WAbrewer
Oct 8th, 2010
6:47 am
Here watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG8dewjsG48
They use a giant pumpkin as a primary prettycool and inventive plus they roasts/toasted some pumpkin for the beer as well.... I thinbk its a interesting Idea and worht a shot no matter what RDWHAHB
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: Ohiobrewman
Oct 9th, 2010
4:17 pm
BB said:
"Remember, most beer is always infected..."

You've obviously had some of J's beer. "


Agreed 100%
Entitled : "I made a Brewing Mistake today, I brewed J?'s Beer"

LOL
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: brewboy_BB
Oct 9th, 2010
5:22 pm
Subject: Re: Pumpkin Ale-Adding Pumpkin...
Author: baumdrop
Oct 10th, 2010
12:32 pm
If you add it to the mash use rice hulls or put in a grain bag. I did neither or these and thought it would be a brilliant idea to "dissolve" canned pumpkin in the strike water. What I got was a stuck sparge. I was able to make some sort of fermantable liquid but still waiting to see if it tastes like beer.

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