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dale hihn

pumpkin beers

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Looking for any advice on pumpkin beers. Gonna brew up one with BAA. Just wondering what has been everyone's experience for what has worked/timing of adding pumpkin/spices/amounts etc. I love pumpkin beers and would like to make a great one to enjoy this fall. Thanks!

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There's a plethora of posts dealing with pumpkin beers. Just do a search of pumpkin and you'll have a nice amount of reading ahead of you. I know, I have searched and posted a few times about pumpkin beers. 

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Awhile back I confused 2LBKs and ended up adding pumpkin to the Bewitched Amber recipe.  I'm pretty sure that I added it to the LBK during the final week of fermentation.  Definitely use a hop sack or else it is hell to bottle.  It was 1can of Libby's 100% pumpkin purée.  Also, a 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice at that same time.  

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not a fan of pumpkin beer. if you do get a kit from here and add the puree , two things to keep in mind. 

 

1) use the amount called for in the recipe. adding a whole can when a half is called for you will end up with a mess come bottling time.

2) bake your puree in the oven to bring the temp up to about 160f for maybe  10 mins, on a cookie sheet ,  then let it cool.  put in hop sack before adding.

 

I used the puree right from the can. I did not pasteurize it and trusted libby's to have done it for me. wrong.  it was canned in mexico according to the label (noticed long after the addition). the wort got a lacto infection that made it sour like yogurt... and the sludge was a horrible mess come bottling time because I added a whole can when 1/2 was called for.

 

ive used mulling spice once in a beer. the clove in it was overly strong.. go easy til you find the right measure. extracts are good for adding flavor but again don't over add.

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My note is that when people say they want a pumpkin beer, they mean they want a pumpkin pie beer, so don't neglect the spices. I've had good results with purpose-built pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice, but if you have a blend you like already, it should be easy to work in. I think I added a teaspoon when I added the extract to the hot water, but some people like to dry-hop with it.

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8 minutes ago, MRB Tim said:

My note is that when people say they want a pumpkin beer, they mean they want a pumpkin pie beer, so don't neglect the spices.

I second this!

And yes, I use the pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice, at the end of the boil though.  I use cinnamon, nutmeg and a little cloves (VERY little because it goes a looooooong way and I have seen people ruin pumpkin beers with too much)... all of these ground, sprinkled onto the pumpkin as I bake it (before I bag it and toss into the boil). Yes, I am one of those people that actually use pumpkin in my pumpkin beer... go figure.  Full Disclosure: it might be butternut squash too, just depend on what I can find when I brew it :) 

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15 minutes ago, kedogn said:

I second this!

And yes, I use the pre-mixed pumpkin pie spice, at the end of the boil though.  I use cinnamon, nutmeg and a little cloves (VERY little because it goes a looooooong way and I have seen people ruin pumpkin beers with too much)... all of these ground, sprinkled onto the pumpkin as I bake it (before I bag it and toss into the boil). Yes, I am one of those people that actually use pumpkin in my pumpkin beer... go figure.  Full Disclosure: it might be butternut squash too, just depend on what I can find when I brew it :) 

I'm 99% sure that is what I'm going to use -- butternut squash.  From what I have been reading it gives you more of that squash taste.  I kinda wonder what the beer would be like if you completely left out the squash and just used the spices.  My gut feeling is that it wouldn't make a big difference, but then I'd feel as though I'm not really making a pumpkin beer.  

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24 minutes ago, AnthonyC said:

I'm 99% sure that is what I'm going to use -- butternut squash.  From what I have been reading it gives you more of that squash taste.  I kinda wonder what the beer would be like if you completely left out the squash and just used the spices.  My gut feeling is that it wouldn't make a big difference, but then I'd feel as though I'm not really making a pumpkin beer.  

If you used enough spices, it probably wouldn't.  But using either pumpkin or bn squash, to me, it adds an "earthy" taste that I can notice for sure.... which is why I do it. :)

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4 minutes ago, kedogn said:

If you used enough spices, it probably wouldn't.  But using either pumpkin or bn squash, to me, it adds an "earthy" taste that I can notice for sure.... which is why I do it. :)

For me, it would feel like cheating if I didn't.  Besides, I love that fall feel of baking that squash.  Labor of love!  😀

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When you are talking the spice, are you using whole spices then cracking them before adding or are we using the pre ground stuff? Since that time of year is coming and I know the wife will soon be asking, I am taking notes.....

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1 hour ago, hotrod3539 said:

When you are talking the spice, are you using whole spices then cracking them before adding or are we using the pre ground stuff? Since that time of year is coming and I know the wife will soon be asking, I am taking notes.....

I use the pre-ground stuff.  The only thing I've ground on my own is coriander for the Belgian Blanc.  

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2 hours ago, hotrod3539 said:

When you are talking the spice, are you using whole spices then cracking them before adding or are we using the pre ground stuff? Since that time of year is coming and I know the wife will soon be asking, I am taking notes.....

Pre-Ground.  Just keep your lids on tight to keep them fresh :)

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1 hour ago, AnthonyC said:

I use the pre-ground stuff.  The only thing I've ground on my own is coriander for the Belgian Blanc.  

 

1 hour ago, kedogn said:

Pre-Ground.  Just keep your lids on tight to keep them fresh :)

 

Thanks guys! I will probably wait till I am ready to brew and pick up a fresh container.

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I messed up a few years back and added 1 can of caramelized Libby's Pure Pumpkin to an LBK full of Nilla Porter and to this day it is the best pumpkin home brew that I've made.  It was supposed to go into the LBK w/the Bewitched Amber in it.  Simple & delicious!

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The best "pumpkin" beer I've had is Epic's Imperial Pumpkin Porter aged in whiskey barrels.

 

Thinking maybe the Lock, Stock and Barrel with pumpkin spices.....

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37 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

The best "pumpkin" beer I've had is Epic's Imperial Pumpkin Porter aged in whiskey barrels.

 

Thinking maybe the Lock, Stock and Barrel with pumpkin spices.....

I do believe you're onto something there, Mr. Why.  I'm just not sure that I could wait another year for it to condition.  

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