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Pumpkin Beer... Clove Ale

I set out to make a pumpkin beer. I just put it in secondary and gave it a taste… apparently I went way too far with some of the spices. It pretty much tastes like a clove cigarette. Obviously I have way to much clove in it, possibly not enough pumpkin or other flavors. It seems that when the clove-punch-in-the-face wears off, it’s a really good beer underneath.

What can I add if anything in the secondary to temper the clove, or otherwise balance the beer? I was thinking add pumpkin or something sweeter or creamier, but I’m not sure. Also, if the answer is adding pumpkin, do I use canned (I used 2 cans in the original brew), or do I use whole pumpkin chunks?

Personally, I don’t think actual pumpkin adds ANYTHING to a beer other than some starches and pectins. With limited exception, when people say they want a pumpkin-flavored anything (coffee, beer, ice cream), they want something somewhat sweet, where the spices that are typically found in a pumpkin pie are perceivable.

In any event, don’t beat yourself up, you are not alone in overspicing a pumpkin beer, it is very easy to do. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any options you have to dial the clove flavor back, other than brewing another batch of beer, keeping it ‘naked’, blending the two, and adding the other spices (I recommend cinnamon, LIGHT allspice, and vanilla) to taste prior to serving.

Next time, my best practice is to brew a maltier, amber ale with some residual sweetness (read: crystal malts), then spice to taste after fermentation. Oh and also, over time, everything else (cinnamon, allspice, vanilla) fades except clove. Ie it will become clovier.

The only option to make it sweeter is probably lactose at this point (which I believe Southern Tier does for their once great pumpkin beer, Pumpking). I’m not sure that will balance out the clove though. You could always pull out a cup’s worth with a sanitized turkey baster, mix a small amount of lactose in, and if it works, just scale it up.

Great, thanks!
I will try the suggestion with lactose maybe add vanilla, too.

[quote=“UncleD89”]I set out to make a pumpkin beer. I just put it in secondary and gave it a taste… apparently I went way too far with some of the spices. It pretty much tastes like a clove cigarette. Obviously I have way to much clove in it, possibly not enough pumpkin or other flavors. It seems that when the clove-punch-in-the-face wears off, it’s a really good beer underneath.

What can I add if anything in the secondary to temper the clove, or otherwise balance the beer? I was thinking add pumpkin or something sweeter or creamier, but I’m not sure. Also, if the answer is adding pumpkin, do I use canned (I used 2 cans in the original brew), or do I use whole pumpkin chunks?[/quote]

Just curious how much did you brew and how much spice?

Pretty much what Pietro said.

Add lactose before bottling or kegging and add some other spices like vanilla and the nutmeg for about 5 days before you bottle or keg.

Once it carbonates just drink it up before the flavors fade and the clove comes back or give it away and tell them best when drank very soon. Learn from this and remember this the next time.

On the other hand the carbonation might delightfully change the quality of the clove and other flavors.

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