In light of my post about having a second tap I figured I would brew something different (for me) this past week. I ended up taking a stab at a pumpkin ale.
There are many very good pumpkin ales out there: Grand River Highballer Pumpkin Ale, Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale and my favourite from Southern Tier, Pumking. I wasn’t trying to clone anything (although that does give me an idea for a separate blog post 😉 ) I was just trying to create a spiced beer for my “seasonal” tap.
In truth, part of the inspiration came from my daughter who wanted to make some pumpkin cupcakes last week. She needed a few extra ingredients like pureed pumpkin and some pumpkin spices. When we went to the grocery store I had suggested that we pick up a jar of pumpkin pie spice or mixed spice just to keep things simple but she insisted that we already had all the necessary spices at home. I picked up a jar of the mixed spice anyway knowing that I would use it for brewing. She also needed some of the pureed pumpkin but I knew she wasn’t using all of it. Guess what ended up in the mash?
I created the recipe the night before and came up with a pretty straight-up almost pale ale using a few grains I had around. My hops were based on wanting to keep the beer balanced but on the malty side and keep the hops sort of out of the way. The Super Galena (or Super G as I call it) fits that bill perfectly and the experience that I have had with Willamette seems to hold true for that hop as well.
Adding the pumpkin to the mash is debatable with regards to what it adds to the beer but I didn’t feel right calling it a pumpkin beer without the pumpkin. If it doesn’t add anything to the final product, that’s fine. If it does, okay. Either way I’m just using up some leftover pumpkin puree that would have otherwise gone bad in the fridge. Just trying to be practical.
I have posted the recipe here but I wasn’t able to add correctly in BeerSmith the types of spices I used. There was about half a can of pumpkin puree in the mash. I put about a teaspoon of the mixed spice in the last ten minutes of the boil along with 50g of freshly grated ginger and about a half cap of vanilla extract.