Cats Meow 3
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Pumpkin Ale

Classification: pumpkin ale, all-grain

Source: Jim Starks (, r.c.b., 9/18/95

Yesterday, I brewed my first all-grain batch and I thought I'd post my impressions in case anyone is thinking about trying it. I'm brewing a Pumpkin Ale for a Halloween Party, so I wanted to brew something palatable for the budmilloors drinkers, although my tastes tend toward darker, richer beers.

My comments: Took a lot of effort to keep all that water heating (I used the amounts suggested in TNCJHB) for the six hours or so the whole process took. Next time, I'm going to keep another cooler handy with boiled water and may raise my water heater temperature so that it takes less time to boil. I'm also amazed at all the crud/trub whatever.

I wound up with five and a half gallons in primary, but I must have two and a half gallons of sediment and it hasn't even started fermenting yet! I'm hoping the trub compacts a little bit more before I rack to secondary. I never had this much trub before, even on partial mash batches. I'm planning on adding Pumpkin Pie Spice (don't know how much yet) and hops when I rack to secondary on Friday night. I'll leave it all in secondary another 10 days or so and bottle. This was certainly a fun experience, but very time consuming. Anybody have any comments? Anyone have any idea if I'll get anything approaching five gallons when I'm done? Does this seem pretty par for the course for the first time? Any comments on the recipe? I'm thinking 60L crystal was too dark...maybe 40L would have been better?



Through some lengthy discussions with the proprietor my my brew shop, I decided that I would use an infusion mash (a - because it was my first all-grain batch and b - he said the malt was highly modified and didn't need a step mash). I decided to reach a mash temperature of 155. Papazian said 16-18 degree temperature loss, so I got my water to 173 degrees and mixed it in a picnic cooler only to find that the temp came in at 145F! I spent the next 15 minutes or so, boiling more water and heating small amounts of the mash on the stove, so I could get starch conversion. After another 45 minutes I had full conversion, as per the iodine test and started sparging in a double bucket lauter tun system. I mixed the pumpkin in at this point, hoping the grain bed would filter out any pumpkin gook so I wouldnt wind up with a lot of pumpkin gook in the bottom of my fermenter. I sparged real slow, took me about 75 minutes. I went from there to boil, and I added all two ounces of cascade hops in the boil (advice from my brew shop owner). I kept the wort at a rapid boil for 60 minutes. I cooled using tubing submerged in iced water and siphoned into my fermenter. When the temp dropped to 80F, I pitched the yeast, hooked in my blow off tube and had a bottle of homebrew. My SG was 1.048 right about where I wanted it.