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If something is worth doing, it's worth doing all the way. And that's exactly what we've done with this pumpkin beer. It was made with real pumpkins, then served through a tap attached to a pumpkin. We paired the beer with bread made from the spent grains used to brew the beer and soup made with pumpkins from the fermenter. That said, here's our pumpkin beer recipe:
This recipe is for a 5 gallon batch using our 10 Gallon 120 Volt Electric Brewing System. Watch us use it in the video below.
Pumpkin Beer Video
- Marris Otter - 7 lbs 8 oz
- Munich Malt - 2 lbs
- Caramunich Malt - 8 oz
- Nugget - 1 oz
- White Labs WLP002 English Ale Yeast
- Pumpkin - 4.25 lbs
Light Brown Sugar - 8 oz
- + an undetermined amount that will be added to the pumpkins (buy a standard 2 lb bag)
- Cinnamon - 6.5 grams
- Ginger - .5 grams
- Nutmeg - 1 gram
Brew Day Instructions
Prepare the pumpkins before the brew day so they are ready to add during the boil. Cut all 4.25 pounds of pumpkin in half and scrape all the guts and seeds out. Throw away the stems. Rub brown sugar all over the inside of each pumpkin half. Cook the pumpkins in an oven at 420F (215.5 C) for 60 minutes.
Fill your kettle with 7.46 gallons of water. Add .5 of a campden tablet to remove chlorine and chloramine. Start heating your water to 153F (67.2 C).
Finely crush your grain by double crushing or setting the gap on your mill to be very small. Once your water reaches 153F (67.2C) mash in. Stir the grains thoroughly to ensure there are no clumps. Mash for 60 minutes.
Adjusting pH is optional, but doing so will lead to a better beer. 5 - 10 minutes into your mash, check the pH. Use lactic acid to make the pH between 5.2 - 5.4. Be careful adding lactic acid, a little goes a long way.
Boil & Hops
After mashing for 60 minutes, pull and hook the grain basket above your kettle. Allow the grains to drain for at least 10 minutes. While the grains are draining, increase the temperature on your controller to start a boil. Once your grains are done draining, clean the grain basket and put it in the boiling wort. We’re going to use the grain basket like a hop silo.
Once a boil is reached, add the following ingredients at these times. This recipe calls for a 60-minute boil
- 4.25 lbs cooked pumpkin
- 8 oz of light brown sugar
- 6.5 grams cinnamon
- .5 gram ginger
- 1 gram nutmeg
- 1 oz nugget hops
With 10 minutes left in the boil, hook up your plate chiller and run boiling wort through it in order to sanitize it.
Yeast & Fermentation
After boiling for 60 minutes, chill the wort to room temperature. Chilling may take longer because of the pumpkin pieces. Prepare a sanitized fermentation bucket while the wort is chilling. Once the wort is chilled, transfer it into the fermentation bucket. Pitch 1 pack of WLP002 English Ale Yeast, aerate by shaking, and let it ferment for at least 10 days at 67F (19.4C). In our brew day video, we added the pumpkin to the fermenter as well. This was an unconventional and experimental step, we recommend you play it safe and keep the pumpkin out of the fermenter. However, if you want to try it, split your wort into 2 batches, one with the pumpkin and one without.
The beer had nice body, decent head retention, a beautiful orange color, and it tasted like pumpkin spice. It actually could have and maybe should have been a bit sweeter. The ABV clocked in at 5.25% and overall, the flavor was pleasant. It is good beer, but honestly it wasn't as good as our sour pumpkin ale recipe, which was awesome.
Pumpkin Beer Soup
- 1 quart of pumpkin (we used pumpkin from the fermenter)
- Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Add all these ingredients to a pot and heat to a simmer. Then, add to a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. For bonus points, serve this out of an actual pumpkin. This recipe is great and is perfect to combine with a larger meal as a savory side dish.
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