1 Week hiatus

Thursday, October 11, 2007

1 Week hiatus

I know that I have not written anything about the pumpkin ale brew day, I am going to post pictures and details in the very near future. I was out of town for the last week in Jamaica enjoying the fine local lager Red Stripe. I have to admit, I was kind of a hater on this beer before going to Jamaica, but after having some both out of the tap and out of the bottle, it's a pretty damn fine brew.

Anyway, while I was out, Nick racked over both his and my Pumpkin Ale's into secondary. He said that there was quite a bit of traub (slurry?) at the bottom, so it was good that we brewed extra. We are going to rack it a second time Sunday to help clear it up before we bottle/keg it.

There were some good questions and comments on the original Pumpkin Ale recipe so here goes on answers:

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.

Adam - Unfortunately I was not real confident in the American Ale yeast I tried to get out of the secondary from my Brown Ale because I dry hopped with leaf hops. there was so much lost that I thought I would not get a good, usable yeast. They were both pitched with the London ESB. Another experiment for another day.

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

Brian -Yea it's nice when there are a bunch of brewers all working on the same thing. It's great to read about how people do things differently.

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

Ted - As always you have some good observations. The picture that is associated with the recipe is just something that came up when I Googled "Pumpkin Ale" on Google Images. I thought it was pretty funny.

Anyway, I will have to ask Nick, but I am assuming we used the regular carving pumpkins. I am not positive though. I am also going to ask him to detail how he treated the pumpkin before we brewed.

It actually made for a longer brew day than normal, but if Nick had not prepared the pumpkin ahead of time it would have been 12hrs (no exaggeration).

Nick is a food buff so he very well may have gotten cooking pumpkins, but I am not sure. One thing I can tell you is that once we started the runoff into the brew pot, there was not much to smell. It was not really much of anything. However, once we added the spices it was CRAZY how much it smelled.

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.

Adam - I would say it's 80/20 at least (80% spices, 20% pumpkin). Like I said in the previous response, the pumpkin didn't seem to lend much to the brew until we added the spices. With that said, you could smell it in the mash a lot and the smell became more pronounced as the boil went on. With that said, the spices really took over once added.

After making this brew, I totally understand how people can make a pumpkin ale using spices alone. As much as the pumpkin adds character and a good story, it's natural flavor is like any other gorde.

That's it for now, more to come once I get my self back on track!



Adam said...

Just had a Southern Tier Pumking. Whoa! It was very tastey. More on the malty sweet rouded out spice side. Again, keeps me wondering how much the malt, spice and pummpkin each contributed.

Travis said...

One interesting thing about ours is that it came out pretty dark. The first fun off was much darker and it lighten up over the next few batch sparges. I am assuming that means it's going to have a lot of malty character, but there was also a lot of spice punch in the smell, so we will see how it plays out.

I had an Imperial Pumpkin Ale by Weierbacher two nights ago and it was surprisingly smooth for a beer that should have been very strong. My guess is that they proportioned the spices differently with the imperial than they would with a regular to make sure it didn't feel like you were chewing on a cinnamon stick. The guy at the place said that they (Weierbach) actually add the pumpkin into the wort as opposed to mashing it in. Very interesting.


Adam said...

Hmmm...can't remember if I've had Weyerbacher's. I mean...I've had everything else of theirs! Poor memory...poor memory. I like their beer in general. Lotsa bourbon barrel stuff and they somewhat local.

They sell off their bourbon barrels for approx. $25 - $35 from time to time. There's one sittin' in my backyard right now.