Smashing Pumpkin... D'oh!

Brewed some up yesterday for a quick holiday beer for the family. Everything went well until I saw the unopened pumpkin spice packet on the counter after my carboy was already full. Whoops! So… I just tossed it in, and jostled the carboy.

What do you think this will do? I’m assuming the spices won’t be as forward as intended. I have a plan, but need some input:

When I rack to secondary, I’ll decide then if the taste is lacking. If so - is it crazy to boil up a couple cups of water, toss in the spices (a smaller portion this time), cool it all down and add to secondary?

Thoughts? Ya think that will even be needed?


I don’t think it’ll be needed. A little of those spices go a long way. If anything you’ll get a fresher less bitter outcome.

I’m hoping/thinking you’re right, but if not - is my secondary method sound or is that risking infection too much?

I actually roasted 10lbs of pumpkin for the mash by the way. The pre-boil was amazing tasty!

Making a spice tea with a little boiling water would seem to bring very little chance of infection.

I’m not big on spiced ales but I’ve had a couple of pumpkin ales that actually had a lot of pumpkin flavor and those were tasty. I think you really want to go easy on the spices to let the pumpkin show up, just enough to augment the sweetness.

I don’t know what happens to spice during fermentation, but I know that the yeast I harvested from this years batch smelled like cinnamon. From past failures I over spiced my Pumpkin last year and it tasted like red hots. This year I followed the directions( I know I must surrender my Man card), and grilled the pumpkin. Subtle smoke and spice flavor that doesn’t over power the beer. My suggestion would be to use a good cinnamon extract and add it to your taste prior to bottling so that you can control it. I’m pretty proud of this years batch, because I don’t like to start sweating when I drink my beer.

A spice tincture, made with whole spices and vodka, would be an easy way to doctor the batch at bottling time. But as others have said, an easy hand with the spices makes for a great pumpkin beer as opposed to a pumpkin pie beer.

Did a taste test yesterday. SG is at 1030 so it’s still got a while to go. Hard to tell at this point how effective the spice is as there is a lot still going on in there, and it’s still pretty yeasty. I think it may be alright as is, but I’ll check again when things cool down a bit more.

Thanks for the advice thus far. Gotta make this one a crowd-pleaser as it’s going in corked Belgians (yeah, I know) for Christmas gifts. I’ll post again when I taste again!

Pretty surprising you are only down to 1.030 after 7 days? That is pretty slow fermentation.

Is it? My OG was 1062. I used 1056 American Ale and the temp is around 67 all the time. I did have a very small blowout after 5 days which I thought was a little strange, but all and all it’s been a pretty steady fermentation…

EDIT: I should mention I added a pound of corn sugar at flame out to bump up that OG. Yeah I cheated, sowhatofit? :lol:

That’s not cheatin! Just a little extra booze for those receiving them as gifts. Let us know how they turn out.

D’oh AGAIN!! Fermentation got STUCK! Reading of 1030 only dropped to 1028 in four days! Added yeast energizer and shook up that carboy. Scheduled to do another reading tomorrow. Dang it!!


So… you want the good news or the bad news first? Bad? Ok…

The bad news (for my pride) is I made a rookie mistake and was attempting to use a refractometer during mid fermentation to get an accurate gravity reading. Ahhhh… leaning is fun.

The good news is this batch is just fine and got all the way down to 1012 putting me at 6.6%. I racked it into secondary and will do another taste in a couple days to determine if I want to add more spice, which I think I will. The roasted pumpkin really takes away from the spice (with tasty goodness of course) and I hope to find a nice balance. I plan to start small, add to secondary and taste after a couple days. When things seem right I’ll bottle.

Learning. It rules.