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Pumpkin Brown 2011

I finally got some brewing momentum going this past weekend and decided to brew a 10 gallon batch of beer befitting the season – a pumpkin brown ale. I made a similar recipe a few years ago that I seem to remember as really tasty, so repeating it with some small modifications seemed the way to go.

My day started early at 7am by slicing and roasting the victi… er… pumpkins. I baked them in the oven for two hours at 350°F, then peeled them and mashed the flesh with a potato masher. I then mixed in four pounds of crushed 2 row and 3 quarts of water to form a somewhat thick minimash. I held this on the stove  at around 127°F for about an hour, followed by another rest at 150°F for as long as it took me to mash and sparge the main grain bed.

One I had about 9 gallons of wort from the main mash (look at that gorgeous color! It is a deep brown with red highlights), I put a large steeping bag in the kettle and dumped in the pumpkin. I left the pumpkin mush to steep for about 30 minutes, removed the bag and let it drain out, then topped up the kettle to my desired volume.

Things went went reasonably well. I haven’t brewed much because of the heat and running out of starter wort, so I felt a little rusty… but I came close to my 10 gallon target and had a pretty fast fermentation. We will see if I truly did ok in a few weeks when this goes on tap in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

I’ve got another brew coming up this weekend, but in front of an all-grain class at How Do You Brew?. I believe we are making a saison, which always turns out nice. It’s a bit late in the season for a saison, but I don’t care – I’m just glad to be brewing again.

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Categories: Brew session
  1. May 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Just found your site from a reference in brewtroller at http://forum.brewtroller.com/showthread.php?p=16561#post16561

    Was wondering if you have an electrical engineering background as I’ve been tempted to play with some of that stuff but have yet to build a short wave radio kit I purchased years ago so am reluctant to jump in…your site seems awesome so I need to read more and catch up….any new things happening with your design or updates? Good stuff here….regards, Lee

  2. brewznet
    May 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Actually, no – I am a Chemical Engineering that dabbles in lots of different stuff. Electronics have always fascinated me, and I’ve been programming for a really really long time – so I figured why not combine some of the interests into a single project…

    As for updates, I haven’t made many recently. I have some fundamental design changes I plan on making over the next year to the grant switches & control box (making it wireless with XBee units and switching from PICAXE chips to the Netduino), but I have not devoted much time to it recently. I find more and more that too much technology becomes a burden and takes away from the joy of my brewing process – so keeping it simple but functional (and awesome) is a balance I’m still working on.

    Jump in with your radio project and have fun! And if you have any questions regarding the stuff I’ve fiddled with, don’t hesitate to ask.

    • May 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Actually you could pass me on some advise if you have ventured into this part of brewing automaton….I have been struggling with a pid and thermocouple for the past year actually in trying to find out why it doesn’t work….the mfg has been really helpful in working with me to figure out why it doesn’t read the correct temp….we have both finally given up so I’m looking for a solution to keeping the wort at the right temp as I ramp to different temps and hold for a set period…..the most I want to do involves 3 different temps with 3 different hold times….any suggestions as to what to use to make this work? Been waiting for brewtroller to come out with their new stuff but that could take a while and I need/want to make some beer asap….regards, Lee

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