It has been an unusually long and warm fall in Colorado. The leaves are slowly falling from the trees, the temperature is still in the high 70s, and it is the perfect time of the year to brew a pumpkin beer. If everything goes as planned I should have carbonated bottles by the time Thanksgiving is here to share with family and friends.
I have been using a similar recipe for several years now, about 90% pale malt and 10% 20L caramel malt. This gives the beer a nice orange color. I also add 3 pounds of pumpkin for a 5 pound batch to the mash. In the past I have always toasted the pumpkin in the oven before adding it to caramelize it. For spice I add 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice per gallon of wort 5 minutes before the end of boil. This level of spicing is slightly less than I would like so I add some vanilla and additional spices right before bottling.
This year I decided I wanted to mix things up a bit and deviated from past years. I happened to have some molasses on hand and wanted to experiment with adding some to the boil for both color and flavor. I also had some fresh cascade hops picked by a friend that I hope will make a nice addition to the beer.
The recipe that I settled on looked like this.
6 pounds Pale 2 Row
1/3 pound special "B"
1 pound molasses
2 pounds toasted pumpkin
1 oz Fuggles at 60 minutes
1 oz home grown Cascade at 15 minutes
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice at 5 minutes
1 vial of Inland Island Oregon IPA Yeast
I mashed the pumpkin with all of the grain at 148 F for an hour with a batch sparge for 20 minutes at 175 F. The molasses was added at the start of boil.
12 hours in fermentation is raging, yeast took right off.