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[Help] Smashing Pumpkin Ale w. Real Pumpkin

Hello,

In the description of the ‘Smashing Pumpkin Ale Extract Kit,’ it reads:

“If you want to incorporate actual vegetables in this recipe, you’ll need to purchase an additional 2 or 3 pounds of Rahr 6-row (#G002) and provide your own 8 to 10 pound pumpkin (winter squash like butternut or acorn will work if pumpkin is out of season). Cut up the gourd, discard the innards, and roast or microwave the pieces until soft and cooked through, then peel. Mash the peeled, cooked pumpkin flesh with the 6-row and the included grains at 152°F for 1 hour before sparging and proceeding with the boil.”

I was wondering (since I’m currently only set up for extract brewing), do I need a MLT to do this extra step? If not, could someone kindly explain to me in further detail how to go about doing this with real pumpkin?

Thanks,

Matthew

You could do a “Brew In A Bag” with the grain/pumpkin.

Get a 5 gallon paint strainer bag from the hardware store. Heat your water to 160-165, add the grain and pumpkin and let it sit for 1hr. Pull the bag out and allow do drip dry. If you have the ability, pour some fresh hot (160) water over the grain to rinse more sugars out.

Wrap the pot with towels and/or place in a large cooler to help maintain the temp.

How much water should be used? The recipe calls for 2.5 gal for steeping the grains, would this be enough for the extra grain and pumpkin too? Or would it be better to start with 2 gal for that section and reserve a 1/2 gal for rinsing?

You’re doing an actual mash in this case, which is a bit more complicated than just steeping. You’ll want to keep the water ratio somewhere between 1-2 qt/lb. So whatever the combined weight of your 6 row, steeping grains, and pumpkin (after gutting roasting and peeling) is, use that to figure roughly how much water you need. Actually 2.5 gallons stands a pretty good chance of being just fine.

How do I figure out the amount of water once I know the weight of the grains and pumpkin? And why do I need to know the weight of the steeping grains? Wouldn’t I just steep the specialty grains in the pumpkin/6-row wort before I start the extract brewing portion?

Also, could I use my normal boil pot to mash the grains and pumpkin, then pour the grains and water through my double mesh strainer into a bucket and sparge with more hot water, and then when I’m done pour that back into the boil pot and continue the extract batch normally?

Thank you for the replies

No need to steep the specialty grains. Just add them in with the 2-row.

Looking at the recipe, there is .5lb of c-40, adding in 3lb of 2-row. The question will be how much pumpkin will you be using. A fair amount of that is liquid-ish also.

Let’s just go with the 3.5lbs of grain, using about 2qts/lb you should have 7qts of water. That may end up a little thick with the pumpkin, so have an extra gallon on hand and add it so you have a soupy porridge looking mess.

I might be inclined to add some water to the pumpkin and puree it. Making something like pumpkin soup. Then add it to the grain.

Your 2nd statement sounds like a good plan. Strain off the liquid from the grain/pumpkin. Add enough water to bring the water up to your boil amount, 2.5-3 gallons. If you are doing a full boil, don’t sparge to much more than 3 gallons.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]No need to steep the specialty grains. Just add them in with the 2-row.

Looking at the recipe, there is .5lb of c-40, adding in 3lb of 2-row. The question will be how much pumpkin will you be using. A fair amount of that is liquid-ish also.

Let’s just go with the 3.5lbs of grain, using about 2qts/lb you should have 7qts of water. That may end up a little thick with the pumpkin, so have an extra gallon on hand and add it so you have a soupy porridge looking mess.

I might be inclined to add some water to the pumpkin and puree it. Making something like pumpkin soup. Then add it to the grain.

Your 2nd statement sounds like a good plan. Strain off the liquid from the grain/pumpkin. Add enough water to bring the water up to your boil amount, 2.5-3 gallons. If you are doing a full boil, don’t sparge to much more than 3 gallons.[/quote]
I’m going to get somewhere around a 10lb pumpkin, so I’m not sure what that will end up being after it’s gutted and stuff.

During the mash do I just bring the grains and 7qts of water to 152 F and maintain that temp for an hour, or do I need to do the protein rest and all that?

So, once the grains/pumpkin are in my strainer, only sparge about 2.5 gallons of 170 F water over top of the grains/pumpkin in the strainer?

Also, the pumpkin puree sounds like a good idea, I will probably do that.

Thanks for the responses

[quote=“ILL810”]
I’m going to get somewhere around a 10lb pumpkin, so I’m not sure what that will end up being after it’s gutted and stuff.

During the mash do I just bring the grains and 7qts of water to 152 F and maintain that temp for an hour, or do I need to do the protein rest and all that?

I would just do a single temp. I loose about 10* when adding my grain. So start with 165* water. It’s easier to stir the grain to drop the temp than is is to try to warm it up.

So, once the grains/pumpkin are in my strainer, only sparge about 2.5 gallons of 170 F water over top of the grains/pumpkin in the strainer?

How big is your pot? If you are only able to boil ~3-4 gallons, yes 2.5 gallons of sparge water will get you close to the amount you can fit in your pot. Just play this by ear depending how much wort drains out of the grain/pumpkin.

Also, the pumpkin puree sounds like a good idea, I will probably do that.

Thanks for the responses[/quote]

At the risk of further complicating this thread. Yesterday I roasted 2 sugar pie pumpkins on the grill for approx. 90 min. with a pinch of Penzey’s Pumpkin pie spice on each until fork tender. After they were cool I scraped the flesh off the skin and pulsed that in the food processor. The puree smells like Thankgiving morning with atouch of smoke. I did the same thing last year and it really made a nice pumpkin Ale.

I wouldn’t puree the pumpkin - just roast in chunks and cut into cubes, then add to the mash in a separate bag. No need to sparge it.

I have a 5 gallon pot… and no need to sparge?

Idk if I will have room to add the pumpkin to the grains in a bag… it’s all going into my strainer. that’s my only means.

Thanks for the replies guys. Do you think I should add like a stabilizer or anything to the mash?

EDIT: Also, I saw you posted about controlling fermentation temps. Is there a reason for that? My hallway closet maintains a steady 65F at all times (I just moved here, and I’ve been reading it for around 3-4wks now). Is that bad?

EDIT 2: I think I’m just going to put a bunch of holes in the bottom of a 5gal bucket to mash the grains and pumpkin in. That way I don’t have to worry about it not fitting. Does that sound acceptable?

Here is what I would do with the information you have given us.

Go to the hardware store and buy a package of 5 gallon paint strainer bags. 2 in a pack.

Roast the pumpkins. Puree and add some water to make a soup. Note how much water is added, probably 1-2qts. Bring this up to ~150*

Add your grain (3.5lbs) to 5.5qts of 160* water (just over 1.5qt/lb). Add the pumpkin soup.

This can all be done in your boil pot. If you need to add some heat, do so on low and stir. Don’t scorch it. If you wrap the pot in some towels you should be ok with the temp. Or you can add this all to your bottling bucket. Before putting it in the bucket, line the bucket with the 2 paint strainer bags. Both bags to trap more of the pumpkin pulp.

After soaking the grain/pumpkin for 60 minutes, add 1 gallon of 180-190* water. Stir a couple of times and then drain 1qt. Add the qt back in and repeat. Then drain to your boil pot. You should have about 2.5 gallon.

Add 2.5-3 gallon of water to the grain/pumpkin. Stir a couple time and repeat the draining process. Now you should have ~4 gallon in your pot. My guess your gravity will be ~1.02 @ 4 gallons. Add 1/2 of your extract and finish like normal.

65* room temp isn’t bad. Fermentation generates heat. So your beer will be closer to the low 70’s. I like to keep the beer temp closer to 65*

[quote=“ILL810”]I have a 5 gallon pot… and no need to sparge? Idk if I will have room to add the pumpkin to the grains in a bag… it’s all going into my strainer. that’s my only means…Do you think I should add like a stabilizer or anything to the mash?[/quote]I meant there’s no need to sparge the pumpkin if you add it in chunks in its own bag, you can just pull it and allow to drain. And as Nighthawk posted, use paint-strainer bags for mashing, much easier to handle than a colander. Do not add stabilizer, it doesn’t work - if you have soft water, add a teaspoon of calcium chloride or gypsum to boost the calcium and don’t worry about it too much this first time, especially if you don’t have a way to measure pH.

What you will be doing is called a partial mash/mini mash. For more info look that up.

This is exactly what you’ll be doing except you’ll have to roast your fresh pumpkin in oven first

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiczFSo7 ... re=related

So I should just follow that video… just like steeping a lot more specialty grains?

Sorry, I was reading “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” for a lot of this partial mash info, and it seems to be a bit dated on some fronts. I like Palmer’s book a lot more.

Thanks for all the help guys!

[quote=“ILL810”]So I should just follow that video… just like steeping a lot more specialty grains?

Sorry, I was reading “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” for a lot of this partial mash info, and it seems to be a bit dated on some fronts. I like Palmer’s book a lot more.

Thanks for all the help guys![/quote]

Doing a partial mash and steeping specialty grains are not the same thing at all. What he does is a partial mash. A partial mash contributes fermentable sugars to the wort. Steaping specialty grains only adds color/flavor.

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