Brewing pumpkin beers has become an annual right of passage for many homebrewers, myself included. It marks the beginning of the end of summer, and the transition to the bigger, darker, maltier beers many of us prefer to drink during the fall and winter months. There is a wide array of opinions when it comes to pumpkin beers, particularly if adding actual pumpkin is worth the extra effort (many argue that only the pumpkin spice is necessary) I have always been a fan of using pumpkin in my beers, as you may have noticed by now, I take my brewing very seriously and don’t like to cut any corners perceived or not.
I decided to stick with the porter as the base beer for my pumpkin beer this year, as I really like the combination. However, I decided to up the amount of pumpkin as well as fine tune the grain bill with a bit more speciality malts in an effort to hone in on that fresh, bready, pumpkin pie taste we have all come to love.
I have always added the Libby’s Pumpkin mixture directly to the mash water and grains but this year maybe the last time I go that route. I should have known that I was going to be in for it when I added the nearly 10 lbs of pumpkin to my mash water before adding a single ounce of grains. I didn’t account for the additional volume of the pumpkin (first mistake), and wound up pulling off some of the mash water prior to doughing in to a level I felt comfortable with. Upon adding the grains and rice hulls my pump ran great for about 10 minutes, before I had the dreaded stuck mash! The addition of so much pumpkin, and in turn starches, to an already thick mash was to much for my system. The result was one of the worst stuck mashes I have ever had.
To make a long story short and much less profane, lets just say that I am now a firm believer in adding the pumpkin directly to the boil instead of the mash. I’m hopeful that the additional pumpkin will be worth the trouble and come through in both mouthfeel and taste in the final beer, which should be a crowd favorite for my wedding.
Batch Size: 10.5 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.059
Est. Final Gravity: 1.019
Color: 25.9 SRM
Boil Time: 60Min
71.1% Maris Otter
8.9% Wheat Malt
6.1% Chocolate Malt
4.9% Munich II Malt
3.0% Carapils Malt
2.0% Amber Malt
.75 Oz Chinook (13.1% AA) at 60 min
1 Tbsp Irish Moss at 15 min
2 Oz Hallertaurer Mittelfrueh (4.0% AA) at 20 min
1.75 East Kent Goldings (4.06%AA) at 5 min
3 Cinnamon Sticks at 5 min
6 Whole Cloves at 5 min
1.75 tsp Nutmeg & Allspice
4 L Starter White Labs 011 European Ale
60 minutes at 154F (Saccharification Rest)
10 minutes at 165F (Mash Out)