If you haven’t started your pumpkin beer
brew by now, you won’t make it by Halloween. But, it doesn’t matter. Pumpkin beer
is good all year around. You can definitely have a batch of pumpkin beer
ready by Thanksgiving. So, let’s get started!
This set of steps is from my first batch of pumpkin ever. It’s a fairly new concept for me, so I had to really do some research to find the right stuff. It was a little difficult at first to decide on what types of extracts, malts and hops would go best with pumpkin flavor. Also, I have heard that some pumpkin ales have come out with a slight pumpkin taste while others come out syrupy oozing with pumpkin flavor. I prefer more toward the former.
So, the recipe I finally decided to use would combine cinnamon and nutmeg with an actual pumpkin. I had some other ideas, but I kept going back and forth. So, I decided to go strong with the pumpkin and play down everything else.
My other ingredients:
- 1 lbs. Wheat Dry Malt Extract
- 6 lbs. Crisp Amber Malt
- 1 ounce of Warrior Leaf Hops (I don’t know! It just hit me in the right spot.)
I started by cutting the pumpkin in half and gutting out both sides. Then, I cut pumpkin squares and everything I read about pumpkin ale told me that 4 lbs. would work. So, I baked them in the oven until they were soft. Then, I cut the pumpkin away from the shell and I was done with that.
I added the pumpkin during the mash. I’ve heard you can do it in the primary and the secondary as well. But, I added mine first while I soaked my malt in 2.5 gallons of water at 155 degrees for about 45 minutes.
I took the malt out and dunked it a few times while I let the mash cool. Then, I placed it on a strainer above the mash while I reheated the kettle to about 165 degrees. I slowly poured about 3 quarts of water over the malt. After the malt drained, I brought the mash to a boil.
Then, I removed it from the heat and added extract. I stirred until it was completely dissolved and then brought it back to a boil again. I added a .5 ounce of hops and then waited 45 minutes to add the rest. After 50 minutes, I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of nutmeg. Then, I let it go for an hour.
When I removed it from the heat, I used my coil cooler to bring the temperature down to 75 degrees as fast as possible. I poured my wort into a demijohn and added water to make 5 gallons. My gravity reading was 1.053, which is really good. Better than what I expected. I was thinking about my final gravity reading and hoping that it would be lower than expected. But, I can dream right?
Some people like to kick the fermentation off with a starter or by “Smacking” it with yeast fuel. But, I let mine start fermenting on its own. Once it began, it was pretty lively. My final gravity measured at 1.009, which made for a 5.76 ABV. That’s right, it had a kick!