Mesa please share pumpkin story...

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Mesa please share pumpkin story...

Postby bredmakr » Tue Sep 10, 2002 5:27 am

I am very interested in information about brewing with raw pumpking. I read the thread on Wit Beer additions and noticed that you offered this info to anyone that asked. Well, I'm askin'. Also, just for clarification on the Wit Bier were you saying that the corriander, orange peel, etc could be added to the mash or that it was best done for the last 10 minutes of the boil or both?

Thanks! This will be just in time for the pumpkin harvest. By the way is there any specific type of pumpkin that works best?

Many Thanks!
Mike
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Pumpkin Prep...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Sep 10, 2002 8:05 am

First: The Witbier... I suggest placing all of the peels in the mash with 90% of the corriander, then the remaining 10% of the corriander in the boil for the last 8~10 minutes. Remember to use about 30% more peels than you would use in the boil.

Now the pumpkin...

Any variety is fine, but smaller ones have more intense flavor and are easier to work with.

1. Gut the pumpkin.
2. Cut it into pieces about 2" thick X 6" long.
3. Place on a big cookie sheet.
4. Without pre-heating the oven and on the middle rack, roast the pumpkin at about 350 deg. f. until is just begins to turn darker. Make sure to turn the slices a couple of times while roasting.
5. Remove it from the oven while still hot and cover it on both sides with foil and allow to cool slowly.
6. Cut the cooled pumpkin into 2" X 2" cubes.
7. Place in the mash at dough-in. I do suggest that you use a step mash: starting at 122 deg. F./30 min., 143 deg. F./60 min., 160 deg. F./30 min. and a mashout at 168 deg. F./20 min. This is due to the need for multi-level enzymatic action to break down and convert the high starch and other bio-loads that pumpkins provide in the mash which othewise can set particularly nasty hazes and cause other beer stability problems. I also suggest a water to grist ratio of 1.4 ~ 1.6 qts/lb. to strike a balance between fermentability and dextrine formation. DO A STARCH CONVERSION TEST WITH IODINE !!!!! If it comes out positive, continue the mashout rest until it passes. This is NOT optional with this beer !
8. Sparge as usual and boil for a minimum of 70 minutes.
9. Be very light with the hop usage and stick to noble varieties for all additions. Spalt is particularly a good choice with Mittlefruh a close second. Malt emphasis is the point here which supports the pumpkin.
10. If using spices, be subtle or it will taste like you made liquid pumpkin pie rather than a pumpkin adjuncted beer. Only add the spices within 10 minutes of the end of the boil. If shooting more for a balanced, smooth spice flavor and enhanced aromatics, add 80% to the mash and 10% when whirlpooling.

Good luck !

Eric
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Great Pumpkins, Barley Brown!

Postby Gravity Thrills » Tue Sep 10, 2002 8:46 am

That sounds like a good autumn brew, Eric - even though what passes for autumn down here in Florida is pretty sad.

What percent of the grist is pumpkin? What is an estimate of SG yield from a pound of pumkin used the way you describe?

Cheers,
Jim
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Spalt and Mittlefruh, huh?

Postby bredmakr » Tue Sep 10, 2002 12:29 pm

could you provide some more common examples of noble varieties that are appropriate and what about yeast - American, German, London? does it matter?
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Pumpkin Percentage...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Sep 11, 2002 6:55 am

Jim;

The gravity contribution of the pumpkin can vary so much due to water content that I basically have always viewed them as a flavor additive rather than a sugar source. Yes... you will get fermentable sugars from them, but I would calculate your gravity based on your malts. Anything else derived is a bonus. If you do this, let me know what amount of gravity the pumpkin contributed. Maybe if I get enough data I could come up with an average somehow. Prior to writing this I poured through my brew library and could not find any statistics for this fruit.

As far as how much pumpkin... 3~4 pounds in batch yielding 5 gallons will provide significant flavor when treated as previously outlined.

I neglected to mention some of the spices that can be used: cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, corriander, ginger & mace.

Eric
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Hops/Yeast for Pumpkin Brews...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:32 am

I don't know where you are located, but Spalter is a commonly available hop to homebrewers in the US. Mittlefruh, however, is a bit more difficult to find year-round. I just ordered 44# of organic Hallertau Mittlefruh from Puterbaugh Farms, so I know they are stocking it as well as German Spalter. Homebrewers can order on line from them as well:

http://www.hopsdirect.com/hops/buyhops.html

I checked St. Pats...they also have both Spalter and Mittlefruh for sale: www.stpats.com

Other varieties among the nobles that work well include Hallertauer, Tettnanger, Hersbrucker & Perle with the latter two being my last choices. Saaz can be used, but I did not find the flavor that great of a match with that of the pumpkin. There are some hops that are of noble heritage that I believe might have potential: Santiam, Columbus and Crystal come to mind. (also available at Puterbaugh).

Yeast... well, I prefer to use fruitier strains with this beer, but there is nothing to say you couldn't use a nice malt emphasizing strain such as a Munich Lager. I believe that yeast choice should be to your preferences. Strains I would recommend include:

White Labs:

WLP009 Austrailian Ale, WLP011 European Ale, WLP005 British Ale, WLP500 Trappist Ale, WLP530 Abbey Ale.

Wyeast:

1084 Irish Ale, 1098 British Ale, 1187 Ringwood Ale, 1214 Belgian Ale, 1272 American II Ale, 1318 London III Ale, 1338 European Ale.

Hope this helps !


PS: I got an idea... why doesn't everyone on the forum brew a pumpkin beer ? You could mail me the a six or so for "evaluation".... yea... that's the ticket !
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ALTernately...?

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Sep 11, 2002 10:39 am

What about using an Alt yeast like Wyeast's German Ale strain (1007 I think)? Exceptfor the lower hopping called for here, when I mentally taste the various possibilities I keep thinking I'd go Alt and get a clean, almost lagar-like malt character but certainly also have some fruitiness too. Any comments? Has my mental taster crapped out, forcing be to actually brew this up? Life is hard.

NUNC EST BIBENDUM
(Now it's time to drink)
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The Great BeerTools.com Pumpkin Brew Fest

Postby stumpwater » Wed Sep 11, 2002 3:47 pm

You are all nuts crazy brewer'S. I LOVE IT!!!
Now for a pumpkin brew. Should it be my Porter or should it be my Kolsh?
Let the Great BeerTools.com Pumpkin Brew Fest Begin!!!
Na Zdahroveh!

Stefan
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Altkin Ale ?

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Sep 11, 2002 5:05 pm

Yes... I had considered mentioning an Alt strain, but deleted it before I posted. The reason I did this is because I guessed if I made this suggestion, the 1007 would come up. I have a personal bias against this strain as I do not think it produces the characteristic flavor of an Altbier. In fact, I think that is why Wyeast simply calls it "German Ale" rather than name them like the other lab's "Altbier" or "Kolsch" yeast. I have used this yeast both commercially and as a homebrewer and have found it difficult to deal with because it is not very flocculant. To boot, it does not seem to produce the slight sulfur character very well that is required to give that "lager like" flavor at an ale temperature fermentation. It does at below 60 though, leading to my recommendation that you might as well use a more flocculant lager strain. If you want to use an Alt strain, use the White Labs, it is better than the Wyeast in my opinion.

Eric the Opinionated
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Skys' the Limit....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Sep 11, 2002 5:11 pm

How about:

A Pumpkbarley Wine?
A Pumpkweisse ?
An Imperial Russian Pumpkstout ?
A Jack-O-Lambic ?
A Belgian Abbey Pumpbbel ?

Alright... I'll quit !

Eric
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Thanks.

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Sep 11, 2002 7:08 pm

Opinionated but informed - thanks for the head's up on 1007. If I use it I'll probably ferment at the lower limit of that yeast's range (56F or so) - mostly since the double duty fermenting/serving beer fridge will also have some finished, kegged beer in it at the time and that's a way to sneak in another batch of brew.
I think the wife will flip when I tell her we need another other fridge out in the garage, but she doesn't understand it's the price you gotta pay for progress.
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Morton, Illinois...the Great Pumpkin Festival

Postby stumpwater » Thu Sep 12, 2002 1:50 pm

Surely Mesa, you are aware of this event. I think that people consuming your pumpkin ale while catapulting pumpkins will go hand in hand. You get the ok to dispense the suds and I will some and run the taps!
Na Zdahroveh!
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Musical Morton!

Postby Gravity Thrills » Thu Sep 12, 2002 4:59 pm

Morton, Illinois!! A couple buddies of mine grew up and still live in the greater Morton/Peoria area. They have not told me of this Pumpkin Festival, but they were in a couple of great bands based out of the area -- Dollface and the Heatersons. Sadly, one of the guys decided to go back to school, so the music has been put on hold. I used to try to time my visits to my old Chicago haunts for when these guys were coming through and playing. Now all I go in for is to see the Sox and throw back a couple at Goose Island.

Cheers,
Jim
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