Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Tis the season for a nice harvest pumpkin ale! This weekend Nick and I are going to be brewing our first vegetable beer.

Nick is in charge of preparing the pumpkin. He is going to cook chunks of 15 lbs of pumpkin for a while, peel the skin off and make it all into a chunky, loosely held together pumpkin mash.

Saturday, we will break out the pumpkin and add it to the mash like an adjunct. I have added rice hulls to the mash to hopefully prevent a stuck mash because I guess the pumpkin is pretty thick. Nick said that he has heard that brewers loose a lot of volume in traub with these beers, but I am assuming that must be when it's added to the boil because if it's in the mash, it shouldn't change the traub volume dramatically (at least I think, any input would be greatly appreciated).

So here is the recipe as we have it now:

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 12.00 gal
Boil Size: 14.84 gal
Estimated OG: 1.041 SG
Estimated Color: 17.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 24.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 59.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

0.50 lb Rice Hulls
12.50 lb Pilsner
5.40 lb Wheat Malt, Ger
2.20 lb Munich Malt
0.75 lb Roasted Barley
0.40 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.25 lb Carafa III
2.00 oz Mt. Hood
1.00 oz Hallertauer
0.36 lb Brown Sugar, Dark
0.25 lb Maple Syrup (pure)
**1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) and London ESB

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 22.00 lb
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 6.88 gal of water at 170.5 F158.0 F 45 min
Mash Out Add 2.75 gal of water at 196.6 F168.0 F 10 min

The .36 lbs of brown sugar is 1cup. 1/2 cup of maple syrup. 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, mace)

**I have proposed that since we have two yeasts that we are considering reusing, one of us use the ESB and the other the American Ale. Then, since they are both from the same batch, we can observe the characteristics of the two yeasts head to head.

We are using a pretty basic single infusion so this should not be a big deal. Since Nick is preparing the pumpkin, we should be able to brew in our normal time.

Sounds like a fun one, cheers!


Adam said...

Good luck! Never did brew one a them there punkin' ales. (Not sure why I'm slipping into country bumpkin' speak.) Sounds interesting.

I like the idea of using two different yeasts. I've done that and I couldn't believe the difference between the California Ale yeast and a German Ale yeast. Worlds apart.

Brian said...

Really looking forward to hearing about how yours turns out.

I actually hit up the local homebrew shop yesterday and picked up my grain/hop bill for my first pumpkin beer as well, should be brewing this Sunday.

Ted Danyluk said...

Hi Travis,

I've been wanting to do a pumpkin ale for 2 years now. Still haven't gotten around to it. Perhaps next year. I did find a recipe and procedure that's pretty detailed that includes the pre-roasted pumpkin in the mash.

It is very important to use the right kind of pumpkin. I noticed in your photos some big carving pumpkins. Did you use those in your brew? My manager at TJ's confirmed that those aren't grown for cooking, and that they will simply turn to water if cooked. Not much flavor at all from those.

The small "pie pumpkins" are grown for culinary applications. They have lots of flavor and texture. Did you use these in the brew, and then carve some pumpkins on the side? Just curious?

Please let us know how this one turns out.

Adam said...

Mmmmm...pumpkin. I think most pumpkin ales are mostly spices and not much pumpkin. I'd love to taste one that was fermented pumpkin.

Does anybody really know what pumpkin tastes like or is it all nutmeg, cinnamon, et. ?