Strong English Style Old Ale with Pumpkin

What do you do when you have left over yeast? Brew another batch of course! I have the day off tomorrow so I couldn't resist. My wife had some extra crooked neck pumpkin pulp and the yeast was just begging to be used. So I quickly searched forums, books and beer sites for a pumpkin extract recipe. I couldn't find just one that I liked, so I took the best advice from all sources.

Most people seem to use six or more pounds of pumpkin, but, I only had about a pound. Oh well 10 plus pounds of LME some briess caramel 120, a few ounces of molasses, 1 pound of crooked neck pumpkin, hallertauer hops and some spices. Well I'm not so sure about the spices yet. I have my mixture all set with cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg, but, I wonder if I should used them at all. If I don't, this would be a pumpkin beer that doesn't taste like pumpkin pie, but, I don't want to overdo it either. We'll see.


Travis said...

I would say use the spices, but in moderation. Also you may want to consider steeping the pumpkin in a grain sack as opposed to putting it in the kettle. The Pumpkin Ale that we did had a lot of traub and went through several rackings before it was ready. In ours though, as I am sure you have been reading about, we added the pumpkin to the mash.

As far as the spices go, I would use them. Pumpkin on it's own is a pretty bland vegetable. We could barley smell it while the kettle was boiling and we used 12lbs in a 13 gallon batch.

The spices give it a great flavor, like a Christmas spiced beer, and people seem to really enjoy it. A lot of "non-beer geeks" told me they liked it. In fact, in some commercial examples of the pumpkin ale, they don't use pumpkin at all, just spices.

Considering how little pumpkin you are adding, I would say do a normal spice addition. A little goes a log way with spices in beer.


Adam said...

Thanks for the advice. I steeped it in a saucepan with grains first. I guess I didn't get to read your advice in time. Oh well, we'll see how it goes when I rack it to the secondary.

I went light on the spices. If I need more I'll add it in the secondary.

Thanks again and I'll let you know how it turns out.