I figured with fall upon us, it may make sense to have a ‘best practices’ pumpkin beer thread started. Add to boil, secondary, or tincture at packaging? Proportion of spices? Which spices? (clove, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, allspice)? Whole spices or ground? Fresh Ginger, candied, or powdered?
I know IME, as spiced beers age, everything fades except clove. I don’t drink a lot of pumpkin beer, but I’ve found I like Schlafly’s and have liked STBC Pumpking in the past (though it has deteriorated in recent years)
Some keys I’ve found:
-limit the clove (as above), or preferably, get it from the yeast (such as WLP Hefe IV)
-higher percentage of crystal malts for stable caramel flavor
-high mash temp for bigger body and lower fermentability
I have two base beers on tap right now, Weizenbock and a Brown Porter, that would be great with some pumpkin spice. Was thinking of making a tincture of the following and seeing how they played together. I have a separate thing of vanilla extract I am making, so I thought I would try adding to a pint then scaling up:
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of a tincture of ginger, cinnamon and a little allspice
to both my weizenbock (which has been cold aging for 6 months, so all it really has left is clove) and the porter.