Roasting PumpkinThe bottles are pressurizing with CO2 getting closer to the tapping of the first pumpkin ale we’ve done here at Brew Beer And Drink It…

… and this week we brewed the second batch by adding pumpkin to the mash instead of the boil…

I’ve learned so much and I couldn’t wait until this beer is done to start sharing some insights…

First off here’s the video for the last Pumpkin Ale I brewed… I had promised to re-do my video on re-using yeast, and well this video shows how I re-used the yeast from my first pumpkin ale as well…

Second… since I’ve received so many emails about how the beer turned out and tips from brewers wanting to use my recipe, here are my comments so far…

I grabbed a sample of the beer during bottling, and it was a good beer… it was actually surprisingly tasty… my mouth is watering as I type this… in fact, I just popped one into the fridge even though it’s nowhere near being done carbonating… however, I crafted this recipe to do an experiment more than anything else and I think there is room for improvement…

If I were to brew this beer again, I would change two things… one, the amount of bittering hops would be cut at least by half and maybe even more… this beer isn’t too bitter and even though I’m a hop head, I think the current amount of hops fights the flavor of the pumpkin and spices… try using only .5 oz or maybe even just .3 oz of bittering hops…

Two…. I kept the spices pretty standard, and I would mess around with the amounts a bit… some say I used too much, others that I should’ve added an extra 1/2 teaspoon… some recommended ginger, but my taste buds probably wouldn’t like that… keep in mind this is personal preference… I would probably cut back on the ground allspice (.5 tsp) and cinnamon (.5 oz) and perhaps up the pumpkin pie spice (1.5 oz)…

Again, the beer is actually pretty good as-is so feel free to use it… I was extremely satisfied with the grain bill, and would probably keep that the same…

So what have I learned so far?

Let’s start with choosing your pumpkins… harder pumpkins are sweeter and better for brewing than soft pumpkins… when you pick up a pumpkin press into the pumpkin and see if your finger sinks the least into the pumpkin… the pumpkin should be almost rock hard…

Second… on baking the pumpkin… I baked more pumpkin on the side to compare the effects of temperature and the flavor of the pulp and found that baking at 350 F brings out more flavor and aroma out of the pumpkin… I almost want to brew a third batch to use pumpkin baked at 350 F instead of 300 F.

Last… those who say that adding pumpkin to the mash is a recipe for a stuck sparge, I gotta say that I had no problem lautering my beer (getting it out of the mash tun)…

I don’t know if those that reported stuck sparges were using canned pumpkin, but I can at least say that I added pumpkin to the mash and did not get a stuck sparge…

I tasted the wort prior to pitching my yeast and I can tell there is going to be very minimum difference in flavor in the finished product… the wort tasted very similar to my first batch… the spices dominated the flavor… it was a pretty tasty wort! tasted like pumpkin pie…

Cheers!

***UPDATE***
Brewing With Pumpkin Results


    1 Response to "Mashing vs Boiling Pumpkin"

    • Walter Benoit

      regarding Pumpkin Ale's: I mash the pumpkin after baking and scooping out the pumpkin I add the spices to the pumpkin and blend with a potato masher and spoon in a large bowl allow these ingredeints to combine overnight in the fridge then add to my grains at mash time.

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