So Sunday I brewed the yearly Thanksgiving Pumpkin Ale. I was shooting for something like Dogfish Punkin’ Ale, but scaled from 7% to 5.5% ABV so my guests don’t go unconscious.
Brew went without complications, except in cooling. My plate chiller requires ice water to work well (my hose water comes out at about 80, not good if I want to cool to 70!) and it takes about 20lbs of ice and 15-20 gallons of water to chill 5 gallons. There has to be a better way to conserve water. Only had 10 lbs of ice, so ended up chilling to 77. Still, within a day it was down to 67 for the ferment. Thank you Stopper Thermowell!
Also my two digital thermometers were off by 8 degrees. >:( One had the mash at 147, one at 155. Within 45 minutes they’d agreed on 151. It’s possible there were heat pockets, or that my probes are dying. Over all it’s ok, if it was somewhere in the middle of the range it should be fine. Will try them in some boiling and freezing water before the next batch.
This year’s recipe is notable in that it uses real, fresh pumpkin. I bought two pie pumpkins (about 4lbs), split and roasted them at 350 for an hour and a half. Added the mush into the mash, heated on the stove first with a little water so it didn’t crash the temp. I added some Melanoidin malt to give it an orangy-red color. It seems 4 oz may have been too much, it has a deep amber color. We’ll see how it looks in a pint glass.
You’ll note there are no spices listed. This year I’m trying something different. Usually I add some spices at the brew, and some in the secondary, and some at bottling. This year I’m going to make a tincture in some Licor 43 - Cuarenta y Tres, (a Spanish aperitif with a strong vanilla flavor) and some fresh ground pumpkin pie spice. I’ll let it sit a few weeks and add to taste at bottling.
Without further ado, the recipe:
|Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer|
Also moved the meads into tertiary. The Jackfruit is down around 0.998 and tastes like a dry Chardonnay, a bit hot though. Will add some honey to sweeten at bottling and run it through the wine filter. The Traditional mead is up around 1.040 and is very sweet, the Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast is still going after three months. It will be a while before it clears.
The Cream Ales are on tap. Both are good in their own ways. Some chill haze, I blame the cereal mash and the flaked wheat substitution. The higher efficiency is actually a bit troubling. I wanted lawnmower beers, and they go down like one, but there's a kick to them. I think I’ll take the hop profile of the Northwest Cream Ale and make an American Pale Ale out of it.