Pumpkins are in season, it’s time to do a pumpkin ale. All a pumpkin ale is, is a lighter beer that you will put pumpkin and spices in. With that said, you don’t typically want to make a beer that will take away from the pumpkin. We do have a pumpkin ale recipe that we posted up last year. This recipe listed below can substitute the one from last year also. In general this beer is a light amber beer with a little bit of orange color. Its got a white head and a light aroma. The hop aroma is limited but if you could call it anything it would be, “earthy”.
10 oz 80L Crystal Malt
6 oz Munich Malt
5.75 lbs DME Extra Light
.75 oz Columbus hops (60min)
1 oz Styrian Goldings (15min)
1 oz Styrian Goldings (2min)
WLP 001 or Safale 05
Heat 2.5 gallons of water up to 150 degrees
Steep grains for 30 minutes
Take grains out and add DME
Bring to boil
In begining of boil add, columbus hops
Boil for 45 min add 1 oz of styrian goldings
Boil for 13 min
Add 1/2 oz Styrian Goldings
Boil for 2 min
End boil, cool down, pitch yeast
I think that less is more when it comes to adding the spices to the pumpkin ale. If you buy a premade pumpkin ale recipe kit, you are the mercy of how the manufacturer put in the spices and in my humble opinion usually they over do it. When making your own pumpkin ale recipe, if you are going to go big with something, go big with the actual pumpkin not with the spices.
The last thing is, I heard this from a customer and thought it was a very clever idea. When you go and buy your pumpkin, go and buy two of them. Take the extra one, and freeze it. That way next year you can get your pumpkin ale recipe started early!
It’s time to make the pumpkin ale brew taste like a pumpkin pie. If your totally lost on what you need to do to get up to this point or what I’m talking about, it may be a good idea to refresh yourself and reread the blog that this corresponds to this one.
As a reminder, the reason why I add all of these spices to the secondary is that I find you don’t have to add as much to the beer to have the flavors of the spices come out, especially in the aroma department. Having the spices in the aroma is particularly what I like.
What you need:
2 vanilla beans
1.0 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1) Take the spices listed above and measure them out, put them in a bowl.
2) Take those vanilla beans out of there bottle then make a slice down the center of them. The real flavor of the vanilla bean is inside of the bean itself. With that said, you want to make sure that you cut them open the long ways.
Below is a picture of the beans cut in half.
Fill a pot with about a cup or so of water and bring to boil.
After the water starts to boil, add the vanilla beans to it and let it boil for about 30 seconds, your doing this to kill bacteria that might be on the beans so you don’t contaminate your brew that you worked so hard for.
After the vanilla beans have boiled add the measured spices that were in the bowl into the boiling water. Note: I have listed the spices to what I like in my beer. It is really subjective, if you like your brew to have lots of spices add more. If you would like your beer to be light on the spices don’t add as much. What I have listed is purely based off of what I like and I don’t expect everyone to enjoy what I like.
Turn off boil. Note: Even though it is not listed, at this point I added half a pound of maple syrup to it. I’ve actually never done it before to a pumpkin brew and thought it could be different. I did it because I wanted it to smell sweeter. I only added half of pound of maple syrup because that’s all I had in the pantry at the time. Never doing that to a pumpkin pie brew before, I don’t know what is going to happen actually or if I’ll be able to taste it. When I taste it I’ll let you know though.
While the mixture of spices are cooling down (which shouldn’t take long because it’s only a cup or so of water) take your beer which is in the primary and siphon it over to secondary to, presuming that you have cleaned and sanitized everything.
After this is done, add all of your spices and vanilla beans into your secondary fermentation and then your done for 2 weeks. You can leave it in longer if you would like, but 2 weeks usually is good enough for me.
Here is a picture of the vanilla bean seeds floating around.
I found that vanilla beans to be kinda of expensive this year when I went to Safeway to pick them up. They were about $6 for one bean. Which means that they come out to be $12 and some change for this recipe, and those where the cheapest ones (they had some for $20 a bean). I still believe that they are better then extract but never the less, you can always get them online for cheaper.
I think also the potency of the spices deals with how old your spices are, don’t quote me on that though. What I’ve heard is that the older the spice the, “duller” they are in flavor. So depending on what you want as well as the age of your spices, you might add more or less. If your not confident with the spices, or you think mine is too much or too little, act appropriately and just add slowly into your boiling water then smell. Stop adding the spices once you have reached the smell that you like. If you think that I’m adding a lot of spices, just keep in mind that some internet stores will literally give you 5 oz of spices in a pumpkin ale kit… what the hell? That’s more then a quarter pound of spices in a beer. REALLY?! I guess they live by the phrase, go big or go home. Either way, some may like that, not I, that’s to much for me. But to each is there own.
At the end of the boil, I smelled the mixture and it wasn’t as sweet of a smell as I wanted or anticipated. I just ended up adding some maple syrup to it. I’ve added maple syrup to other beers before, one which I’ll put posting the recipe soon, but never to a pumpkin brew. I’ll see if it comes through when I taste it. After I added the maple syrup to the mixture I could smell it cutting threw the spices and it did smell sweeter, we’ll see how it goes.
So that’s it, we sit and let it do its thing in the secondary for about 2 weeks if you want more of the flavors lean on 3-4 weeks then bottle. If you were hoping to have this done by Halloween it may be cutting it close, I would just plan on having this with thanksgiving.
I’ll make sure to post when it comes to tasting and see if I’ll tweak this recipe when it comes to next year.
Pumpkins are now at stores, which means one thing, its Pumpkin Ale Time! I love my pumpkin ales. You can litterally do what ever you wish with a Pumpkin Ale. This recipe is one that I enjoy making, it really taste like a pumpkin pie in your mouth.
At the end of the recipe I have an analysis of why I chose to do it this way.
6.6 lbs golden light malt extract
.5 lbs 2 row – which will turn into toasted malt (makes sure it is bagged by its lonesome, away from all other specialty grains)
.5 lbs Vienna Malt
.25 lbs 60L Crystal Malt
.5 cup of Brown Sugar
1 oz Northern Brewer Hops (60min Boil)
1 Large Pumpkin
Safale 05 or WLP 001 California Ale Yeast
Secondary Fermenation Ingredients
2 vanilla beans
1.0 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
You might want to read over the directions first before starting. I’ve laid them out in a way so you can do as much as you can with your time so this doesn’t take half of your day. WARNING: YOU WILL BE MULTITASKING
Take your brew pot, fill with 2.5 gallons of water, put on the stove and turn on heat. At the same time turn on the oven to 350. Your going to have to keep an eye on your water and turn off the heat when water reaches 150 degrees. In the mean time you can work on a few things.
Take 2 row that is crushed and spread on backing pan and put in oven for 15-20min (until slightly brown) once the oven has reached 350.
While the 2 row is toasting, and water is heating up, take your pumpkin and start carving. To carve your pumpkin, cut the top off and take a spoon and scoop out the, “guts” of the pumpkin. Keep the seeds! At the end we’ll be using those.
Below are pictures of pumpkin carving
Around this point in time, your water should be close to being heated up to 150 and your grains should start smelling like grape nuts. If it’s been 15 min of toasting, take the 2 row out of the oven. The 2 row should be a bit darker.
Keep the oven on at 350, we’ll be using it again in just a bit.
Below is what the 2-Row should look like.
Now take all of your grains including the toasted 2 row, put in steeping bag and steep at 150 for 30 min.
While the grains are steeping, cut your pumpkin up in cubes and place on a baking pan.
They should look like something on the lines of what is below.
After you have your pumpkin cut up into cubes, put onto baking pans and set them in the oven for an hour. The objective is to make sure that pumpkin is cooked all the way until it is mushy. Don’t cover the pumpkin with tin foil.
The grains should steep for 30min and when the steeping is complete, take grains out, add malt extracts, bring to a boil. At the beginning of the boil add in 1 oz of Northern Brewer hops. If you want it to be a little less hoppy I would suggest that you do .5 oz of northern brewer hops. Regardless of how much you are boiling, boil hops for 1 hour.
Your pumpkin slices that you’ve put into the oven will be done before the boil is. When the pumpkin have been fully cooked, take them out of the oven and put into a steeping bag (nylon bags work the best for this)
Cooked pumpkins should look something on the lines of below.
You should be nearing the end of the boil by now. At the end of the boil take your pumpkin that you put into a nylon bag and put in wort. Turn off heat, and put on the lid. You’ll let the pumpkin steep in the wort for 1 hour.
You’ve got an hour to kill so that’s why we kept the pumpkin seeds. Take the pumpkin seeds that you kept, put salt on them or onion salt (a little goes a long way) and put in the oven at 350 for about 20 min or until brown.
They should end up looking some what on the lines of this.