Jack's Punkin' Ale 2011

>> Sunday, October 16, 2011

I brewed my pumpkin-inspired ale today.  There seems to be two schools of thought on pumpkin beers, and that is to use or not to use real pumpkin in the mash.  I've read a bit about it and also listened to a few podcasts on the subject, and from what I'm seeing/hearing you don't get much, if any, benefit from using real pumpkin in the brew.  To the contrary, it seems that it can make a bit of a mess, so it can make clean-up more of a chore.  So as you can probably tell, I lean towards not adding pumpkin.  The pumpkin character that I'm after actually comes from spices typically found in pumpkin pie recipes.

I never got around to making this recipe in 2010, but I made it back in 2009. It's based on an extract recipe I found on BasicBrewing.com...I'd give more credit if I could, but they're redesigning their site and the recipe database is currently unavailable.  I converted the recipe to all-grain, but I can't remember if I used a program to convert it, or if I approximated based on other all-grain recipes.  Anyway, I was hoping to get started on this beer a little earlier so that it was ready by Halloween but it'll still be ready for the holidays.  

The last time I made this beer I noted I thought it could use a bit more cinnamon, so I've increased the amount slightly.  Also, I've upped the grain bill a bit so this year's version will be a bit higher gravity.

13 lbs Crisp Pale Ale malt
1 lbs Crisp Crystal 45L
1 lbs Weyermann Cara Munich I
1/2 lbs Weyermann Cara Red
1 oz Hallertau 60 min
0.5 oz Cascade 5 min
1 t Allspice, ground 15 min
1 t Apple Pie Spice 15 min
1 t Cloves, ground 15 min
1 T Nutmeg, ground 15 min
5 Cinnamon sticks 15 min
Wyeast 2565 Kolsch Yeast
1-2 Cinnamon sticks in the secondary after primary is complete

Mashed at 152 for 60 min
Mash-out at 168 for 10 min

Pre-Boil Brix = 16.2
Post-Boil Brix = 18.4

I was a little worried that I didn't get my yeast starter going early enough.  I started it around 3pm on 10/15 and pitched around 1:30pm on 10/16.  Seeing signs of active fermentation as of 6pm 10/15, so I think I'm good.