Back to Shopping at

Pumpkin in Secondary

Anybody have any experience with using pumpkin in the secondary like one would do with fruit?
I ask because i love pumpkin beer, but i dont want a whole batch of it. Im planning on doing a dunkelweizen and splitting it 1/2 pumpkin and the other 1/2 vanilla
My main concern, obviously is sanitation. would roasting it be enough to sanitize it? I’ve also heard of freezing things to sanitize them
any info is appreciated

I think that most people will tell you that pumpkin doesn’t contribute a whole lot of flavour, despite what you might think. A lot of the pumpkininess of a pumpkin beer comes from the spices that come along with it, and the choice of red/orange coloured malts.
I have made pumpkin AG mashed IN a pumpkin and with chunks of roasted pumpkin in the mash and I can tell you that it continued to settle out starches for weeks in secondary.
So for those reasons I would counsel against pumpkin in secondary. If that’s not enough, here’s a third, better reason:
I opened a ~2 year old bottle of pumpkin beer and it was great. The spices had really come together into something nice.
i.e., even if you don’t want a whole bunch of pumpkin beer, just do it, as long as you have the space. In my experience it keeps pretty well and people seem to appreciate it.


I’ve also heard of freezing things to sanitize them
any info is appreciated[/quote]

Inaccurate info you found.

I was going to ask the same question. I just ordered the NB Pumpkin Ale extract kit. While I got annoyed by all the craft pumpkin beers on tap in August I figured this would be good to have around during the fall to bring to parties and such. I know that pumpkin isn’t very necessary, but thought it would add some authenticity and make the beer more impressive to those who don’t know much about brewing.

From some of my research it seems that canned pumpkin is the way to go. I was thinking only one or two cans (assuming 1 pound cans). My questions are: Is that a good amount? When to add it to the process? Can I assume that the canned pumpkins are sanitary like fruit purees? and What kind of impact will that have on gravity and alcohol?

I have always used canned pumpkin pie mix for my pumpkin ale and have been very pleased with the results. Me and all my taste testers (friends) easily pick up the flavor of the pumpkin. It’s hard to say how much to use because everyone has different taste buds and perceptions.

The last two times I made it, I used 3 large cans of the pumpkin pie mix (87 ounces total) and I don’t plan to change it anytime soon. Leaves a nice pumpkin flavor without being too overbearing and I add it to my secondary vessel (a 6 gallon carboy) and rack the beer onto the pumpkin.

Two tips I would give:

#1 - Use a primary size carboy for secondary because the 87 ounces of mix was about 3/4 gallon of space and add 5 gallons of beer on top and that’ll fill a 6 gallon carboy pretty full.

#2 - Cold crash by any means available before bottling. The mix gets pretty fluid over time and last year I did not cold crash and got a ton of “goo” in the bottles. This year I cold crashed for a week before bottling and normal bottle sediment.


Please forgive if these are not correct or proper Beer terms. In my opinion the flavor comes primarily from the spices, what the pumkin adds is a fuller body and a creamy texture to the mouth feel. Please correct me if I’m wrong in my opinion.

Back to Shopping at