I only recently realized that I didn’t post details on the fermentation and bottling of my pumpkin ale.
In the continued quest to expand my brewing repertoire, while also focusing on styles that I like to drink (sorry, lambics and barleywines), today I took aim at a pumpkin ale. This was inspired by the efforts of my paleontological brewing colleague Penny Higgins, as well as by a recent issue of Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine.
|Grinding the Cinnamon|
- 10.75 lbs. 2-row malt
- 0.9 lbs. Carastan malt
- 0.25 lbs. 60°L crystal malt
- 12.5 oz. (0.78 lbs.) homemade pumpkin puree
- 0.5 lbs. rice hulls
- 1.25 oz. Cascade hops (whole; 75 minute boil)
- 0.25 oz. Liberty hops (4.5% alpha, 3.5% beta; pellets; 15 minute boil)
- 0.75 oz. Cascade hops (whole; 10 minute boil)
- 0.75 oz. Liberty hops (4.5% alpha, 3.5% beta; pellets; added at flame-out)
- 1 tsp. Irish moss (10 minute boil)
- 0.14 oz. ground cinnamon bark
- 0.14 oz. ground nutmeg
- 2 cloves, ground
- 1 vial California Ale yeast (White Labs #WLP001), in 1.5 L starter
- 1 tbs. of 5.2 pH stabilizer
- The day before brewing, I made up a yeast starter. See this post for details.
- I added the rice husks to the mash tun, and then added the milled grains. I mashed in with 3.75 gallons of water at 172°. After this, the temperature was a little high (~160°), so I added an extra 0.25 gallons of cold tap water to bring the mash temperature down a bit, to 158°. After 10 minutes, the mash had stabilized to 154°, and to 150° after 60 minutes. Note to self–next let the mash sit a bit longer before worrying about lowering the temperature with cold water. I probably would have been okay without futzing with it.
- I added 0.5 gallons of water at 195° and let it sit for 15 minutes. From this, I collected ~3.1 gallons of wort over 15 minutes. It had a delicious, sweet flavor–definitely pumpkin!
- Then, I added 3.25 gallons of water at 186°, and let it sit for 15 minutes. The temperature was around 165°. Then, I collected the second runnings.
- I collected a total of 6.5 gallons of wort, with a gravity of 1.051 at 60°. This works out to a mash efficiency of ~77%. I can live with that!
- Once the wort was at a boil, I added the first round of Cascade hops. Additions proceeded per the schedule above.
- Upon flame-out, I added the final addition of Liberty hops as well as the spices. I gave it a good stir, and let it sit for around 15 minutes.
- Next, I cooled the wort using my chiller. I had recently read that siphoning ice water through the copper coil can help drop the wort the last few degrees needed for fermentation. So, I tried this trick, and it worked quite well! I was able to knock another 10° off the wort temperature at the end, quite quickly, down to 74°.
- I pitched the yeast starter, which brought the volume in the fermenter up to 5 gallons exactly. Then, I placed the fermenter in my fermenting chamber, which is set at 68°.
- The starting gravity is 1.060 (at 60°). I brewed this batch on 13 October 2014.
- The wort is a gorgeous orangish color, with a distinct yet not overwhelming spice taste and aroma. I hope that this holds through fermentation!