Home > Brew session > Pumpkin Brown

Pumpkin Brown

Although it seems like I haven’t been brewing much recently, that’s not strictly the case… I just haven’t been posting much. For whatever reason, my blogging tendencies are waning and I just don’t care enough to do it with any frequency. Since my last post I have brewed 20 gallons of pale ale as well as taught an all-grain class, where we brewed up 10 gallons of Peated American Brown.

Yesterday was a somewhat impromptu pumpkin brown ale. I had been planning on brewing one for several weeks, but I didn’t even bother checking out what ingredients I had on hand until the brew was basically upon me, and at that point the homebrew store was closed so I had to make due with what I had…. Despite this, I think my “Iron Brewer” session will turn out really nice.

sm20091108 002I started out by mini-mashing the pumpkin seperately on the stove for quite a while. 2 lbs of pale malt went in the pot with the flesh from two pie pumpkins, and I held it in the 140-155 range for a couple hours.

As I was weighing out the grains for my prospective recipe, I realized I had no 120L crystal malt, so a quick substitution for Special B took care of that small problem. I was also lacking any chocolate malt, so next up was a substitution of Carafa and Pale Chocolate. The mash was textbook, and as it ran off into the kettle, I took a huge grain bag (left from my extract days), dumped in the pumpkin mash, and let it steep while the runoff finished up. The mesh bag did a fantastic job of keeping all the grain and pumpkin out of the wort, although it formed a weird type of concrete in the bag which was very difficult to drain. I essentially had to squeeze the extra wort out while continually scraping the inside of the bag to allow it somewhere to go. It was a strong affirmation of why I don’t put pumpkin in the mash tun anymore.

As the wort came to a boil, I realized that I didn’t have any of the intended Magnum bittering hops. Another quick substitution of Bravo for the bittering and Vanguard for Flavor/aroma and I leapt past that problem. As the end of the boil drew near – ACK! Almost no pie spices! So a quick pantry raid for powdered ginger, nutmeg and allspice cured that. Who knows if I got the proportions right – it smelled good, and I was somewhat restrained in my application, so it should turn out just fine.

sm20091108 006sm20091108 008

The original gravity came out at 1.057, right on target, and the fermentation is now chugging away at 66 degrees, so everything seems five by five. I swear that I must be cursed (or at least really shodiliy prepared) when it comes to pumpkin brews, but at least I feel it will turn out tasty.

Categories: Brew session
  1. November 10, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Sounds like you took a page out of my preparation book ;P

    Can’t wait to try another great beer – B

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