Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pumpkin Ales

Zymurgy had an article on pumpkin ales this issue and it reminded me that "tis the season" and now was the time to start brewing if I wanted my beer to be ready for the holidays.  No clever name this time sorry.

Recipe Specifications:
  • Batch Size: 10.00 gal
  • Boil Size: 13  gal
  • Predicted OG: 1.070 SG
  • Boil Time: 90 Minutes
  • 19.0 lb Pale Malt (6 Row) US
  • 1.00 lb Pilsner Malt
  • 1.00 lb Victory Malt
  • 1.00 lb Crystal-60 Malt 
  • 1.25 lb Melanoidin Malt
Total Grain Weight: 23.25 lb
  • 2.00 oz Cascade, US 9.5% Whole Leaf Hops 
  • 6.00 lb Canned Pumpkin
  • 2.0 lb Maple Syrup
  • 2.0 lb Wildflower Honey
  • 1.0 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • WLP565 Saison Ale
  • WLP008 East Coast Ale
Starter Procedure:
Thursday August 22, 2013 I went to Brew Brothers and bought my ingredients.  I was splitting this batch of beer so I needed to do two starters.  In order to do this I bought another 2000ml Erlenmeyer flask. I only have one stir plate so I did put the saison yeast on the stir-plate and the east coast ale I just left stationary since it is a more active yeast than the saison.  This way the saison will be a little more active when its time to pitch.

Brew Procedure:
      On Saturday August 25th, 2013 I got up early to brew. First I calculated how much mash water I needed. total grain weight was 19.4 lbs. So to calculate mash water I used the following calculation:

23.25 lbs grain x 1.75 qt/lb = 40.6875 qt. x 1/4 gallon/qt = 10.17 gal
Mash out

6 lbs of pure pumpkin
I used 1.75 since because the mash was going to be extremely thick with all of that pumpkin in it and I didn't want it getting stuck.
The recipe called for the pumpkin to be dissolved in about a gallon of water heated and then poured in the mash-tun.  It called for 6 lbs
which is really inconvenient since the cans of pumpkin came in 15 oz. cans, so I had to buy 7 and only use about 6.5 cans.  I
placed my old extract brew kettle on a burner and heated it up while I dumped the cans of pumpkin in.  After the pumpkin was all dissolved, I filled the mashtun with 10 gallons of water and began heating it to 169 °F.  After the water reached 169 °F I added the grain and began vigorously stirring. After the mash was thoroughly stirred I added the pumpkin on top and let the mash temperature stabilize. After a few minutes the temperature had dropped down to a 185°F and then stabilized at 154°F .  I placed the insulation jacket around the mashtun and let it sit for a full hour.
Pumpkin Mash
     After mashing I transferred to the kettle and completed the brew
Nice Orange Boil
 using the following schedule:

Hops/Ingredients Schedule:

QuantityIngredientBoiled For
1.0 oz.NuggetEntire 90 Min. boil
2.0 lb.Maple Syrup Last 5 min of boil 
2.0 lb.Wildflower HoneyLast 5 min of boil
1.0 tbs.Pumpkin Pie SpiceFlameout

Standard and Saison
I cooled the wort and pitched the yeast into two 6.5 gallon fermentation buckets and oxygenated for 30 seconds each bucket.  I also added a vial and a half of clarityferm to each fermenter  I had 3 vials left from my last brew but and there was no real reason for me to just have one laying around.
The final aroma was awesome you could definitely smell the pumpkin and the pie spice but it was not overwhelming just a pleasant note.


UPDATE: 8/26/13 Fermentation has really taken off and it has almost completed.  It was bubbling about ever second withing 4 hours of pitching the yeast.

UPDATE: 8/31/13 Fermentation has basically stopped and I am transferring to secondary before I leave for my honeymoon.  This will give it a couple weeks to clarify since I forgot to add the whirlfloc during the boil.  The standard pumpkin ale had a gravity reading of 1.016 and the saison came in at 1.010.

Saison: 131.25*(1.072-1.010)=8.1375% ABV
Standard: 131.25*(1.072-1.016)=7.35% ABV
Good Lord these are much stronger than I was anticipating I guess adding 4 lbs of extra fermentable sugars will do that.  They still taste kind of young so I am not going to pass judgement on them.  There was a HUGE yeast cake in the bottom of both of them and its still pretty yeasty flavored.  Hopefully a couple weeks in secondary will mellow that out and refine the taste a little more.

UPDATE: 9/19/13 Got back from my honeymoon and bottled the standard pumpkin with yellow caps unfortunately I didn't have enough bottles to do the Saison so I will have to wait until later.  I took a gravity reading and added 4.0 os. of priming sugar.
Standard: 131.25*(1.072-1.014)=7.6125% ABV
The taste was not what I was expecting but hopefully it will mellow out a little the spice flavor is a little intense.

UPDATE: 9/23/13 I sanitized enough bottles this time to bottle the saison with the red caps. I took a gravity reading and then added 4.0 oz. of priming sugar to the bucket.
Saison: 131.25*(1.072-1.006) =8.6625% ABV
This has a bit of a hot alcohol flavor but overall its pretty good It may taste better carbonated.