Monday, September 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Ale

Pretty self explanatory I wanted to make a seasonal pumpkin ale for around Halloween and thanksgiving. Since pumpkin pie spice is the ingredient that elicits that response, guess what its called?

  • 9 lbs Light Malt Extract
  • 2.0 oz. Willamette hops (5% alpha-acid, whole leaf)
  • White Labs East Coast Ale Yeast
  • 1 lb. Caramunich (65°L, Crushed)
  • 4 oz. Belgian Aromatic Malt
  • 4 oz. German Melanoidin Malt (30°L, Crushed)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

On Sunday September 20th I purchased the all my ingredients through Main Street Homebrew Supply Co. and brewed that day.

Yada Yada Yada... If you are curious about what I did read my previous posts where I go into it in depth my method of brewing. I think I will mainly include deviations from standard brewing from now on. The ingredients and timing are also important so that will be included in all my write-ups as well as any thing different. As you can see to the left the standard generic boil photo.

One thing I did differently this time was to add Irish moss during the last 10 minutes of the boil. For you veteran brewers out there this seems like a rookie mistake, but my beer brewing teacher did not use it so therefore I never knew about it until I really started reading brewing literature.

For those not so veteran brewers Irish moss, or Chondus Crispus is a species of red algae that grow around the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The reason for using this seaweed is because it acts as a flocculation agent and clears your beer. Read my post about Irish moss for the science that describes why this happens.

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

QuantityIngredientBoiled for
1 oz.Willamette Hops Entire 60 min. Boil
1/2 oz.Willamette HopsLast 20 min. of boil
1/2 oz.Willamette HopsLast 10 min. of boil
1 tabIrish MossLast 10 min. of boil
1/2 tsp.Pumpkin Pie SpiceLast 10 min. of boil

For my Irish moss I used the Whirlfloc tabs, which some brewers scream about how it doesn't work and how the unmolested dried Irish moss is so much better and pure. I have never used the raw dried Irish moss so I cannot speak to its efficacy, but what I can tell you is that the Whirlfloc tabs definitely work. Withing 10 minutes of transferring my wort to the primary fermenter there was 2 inches of cloudy trub at the bottom of my fermenter. I have never seen this effect in my beers before. Within a day the suspended proteins had settled out completely. I used the tabs because they are a lot easier you just toss a tab in the last 10 minutes of the boil and forget about it. I don't know if i will eventually become a purist and switch to dried but for now I am amazed at how well the tabs worked so I will stay with that for now.

Pumpkin Pie Spice is very strong and you don't need very much this is a "less is more" situation where you can add more to your secondary but you don't want to add too much up front. In about 2 weeks I will taste the beer and determine if it tastes like Thanksgiving and determine if it needs more spice.


Ill bet at least one of you is wondering why there is not pumpkin in my Pumpkin Ale. This is because the pumpkin is the Tofu of Fruit. It has almost no flavor by itself and takes on whatever flavor it is spiced to. When you taste pumpkin pie almost none of the flavor is from the pumpkin. If you don't believe me when you're carving pumpkins this Halloween go ahead and take a bite out of the Jack-O-Lanterns eye and let me know how it tastes.


  1. The photo appears neither male nor female? really?

  2. I don't understand you comment am I missing something about the male female thing?

  3. Also it is a joyous day for Cooley he now has two people commenting on his blog. (A sign of the Apocalypse?)

  4. the comment doesn't carry weight now that Cooley changed the description of his photo... damn. used to say it was an androgynous picture.

    androgeny, defined: Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words άνδρας (andras, meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman) and refers to the mixing of masculine and feminine characteristics, as in fashion or hermaphroditism.

    Basically, David Bowie. Or Annie Lennox.

  5. also, yes, the end of days is nigh.

  6. Ah got it. I'm impressed that he had it changed within the hour after you comment because I didn't see it. Possibly to much free time at his work? (not that I'm one to be talking)


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