Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hobo Dan's Pumpkin Ale Attempt

The Finished Product
The Wife and I were having a discussion on what beer I should brew in August. At her suggestion, because she is obsessed with all things pumpkin, I put together a Pumpkin Ale recipe. I guess it wouldn't be fall if I didn't ram pumpkin into each and every orifice.

I brewed it on August 16, 2015. It took around 4 hours. A note for those of you who want to make your own beer: it doesn't have to take 4 hours. I have been brewing all grain my last few brews. For starters, you can use extract or partial mash, which only requires around 1.5 hours of brew time. In fact, if you go here, Northern Brewer has a 1 Gallon starter kit that is super easy and helps you learn the basics (comes with a DVD as well). Maybe I should write a beginners post.

The Pumpkin Ale was bottled on September 9, 2015 and clocked in at 5.5% ABV. It was a 5 gallon batch and I ended up with 34 12oz bottles and 8 15.2oz Grolsch bottles.

I cannot claim full responsibility for this recipe. I use all kinds of online resources to research style guidelines and see what others have done to put together a recipe. Much of this recipe can be attributed to BiabBrewing.com's YouTube video where he makes a Pumpkin Ale using the Northern Brewer Smashing Pumpkin kit as a base. I've made some adjustments to mine, including not using the kit at all. That brings me to an important point, if you are interested in brewing, get on YouTube! There is a ton of information out there.

So this was my first attempt at a 5 gallon batch and a Pumpkin Ale. For the most part, I didn't screw it up. Improvements can be made of course, my efficiency is terrible for instance (efficiency is a thing I really don't have the energy to explain right now). But overall, I am pleased.

Next post will be covering my Hard Cider/Beer hybrid (Graf).

Pumpkin Ale Recipe is as follows:

5 Gallon BIAB Pumpkin Ale:
Total water: 7.5 gallons
Strike water 163 F
Mash for 1 hour at 153 F
Mash out heat to 168 F for 7 minutes

58 oz of Pumpkin Puree (2 cans of Libby's canned pumpkin)
9 lbs 2-row pale malt
1.5 lbs munich malt 10L
1.5 lbs crystal 40L
.5 lbs biscuit malt
1 oz Northern Brewer hops
.5 oz East Kent Goldings hops
1/4 tsp Irish Moss
Safale US-05 yeast
1 tsp cinnamon
2 chunks crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 whole clove
1/4 tsp ground all spice

Warming up my strike water.

Two 29 oz cans of Libby's pumpkin, baked for an hour at 350 F. Added to the Mash for an hour.

Mashed in with a total of 12.5 lbs of crushed malt plus the pumpkin. Rest for 1 hour at 153 degrees F.

After mash, bag removed, bring to a rolling boil for 60 minutes. Hop additions at 60 (Northern Brewer) and 30 (EKG) minutes. Pumpkin spices at flame out.

Here is a sample I pulled to test the alcohol content and color after fermentation. 5.5% ABV

Here is the full batch in the secondary fermentor. After fermentation and transfer to this vessel, I am a few quarts shy of 5 gallons. You always lose volume when transferring and to trub (trub is the white stuff at the bottom of the carboy).

Rule number one of brewing, sanitation! Here you'll see the bottles have already been sanitized and I am transferring sanitizer into my bottling bucket.

Here I am siphoning the beer into the bottling bucket. It's hard to see, but the bucket has a spigot at the bottom to connect my bottling wand.

The final product. 34 12oz bottles and 8 15.2oz Grolsh swing top bottles. They need to sit and carbonate for two weeks in a dark cool place.

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