pumpkin ale, all-grain
Source: Jim Starks (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Yesterday, I brewed my first all-grain batch and I thought I'd post my
impressions in case anyone is thinking about trying it. I'm brewing a Pumpkin
Ale for a Halloween Party, so I wanted to brew something palatable for the
budmilloors drinkers, although my tastes tend toward darker, richer beers.
My comments: Took a lot of effort to keep all that water heating (I used the
amounts suggested in TNCJHB) for the six hours or so the whole process took.
Next time, I'm going to keep another cooler handy with boiled water and may
raise my water heater temperature so that it takes less time to boil. I'm also
amazed at all the crud/trub whatever.
I wound up with five and a half
gallons in primary, but I must have two and a half gallons of sediment and it
hasn't even started fermenting yet! I'm hoping the trub compacts a little bit
more before I rack to secondary. I never had this much trub before, even on
partial mash batches. I'm planning on adding Pumpkin Pie Spice (don't know
how much yet) and hops when I rack to secondary on Friday night.
I'll leave it
all in secondary another 10 days or so and bottle. This was certainly a fun
experience, but very time consuming. Anybody have any comments? Anyone
have any idea if I'll get anything approaching five gallons when I'm done?
Does this seem pretty par for the course for the first time? Any comments on
the recipe? I'm thinking 60L crystal was too dark...maybe 40L would have been
- 8# 2-row English Pale Ale Malt
- 1# 60L Crystal Malt
- 2 cans (20 oz?) of Libbys Pumpkin (no preservatives, just Pumpkin)
- 2 oz Cascade hops (60 minute boil)
- 1 oz Hallertauer hops (dry hop in secondary)
- Wyeast Liquid American Ale yeast
Through some lengthy discussions with the proprietor my my brew shop, I
decided that I would use an infusion mash (a - because it was my first all-grain
batch and b - he said the malt was highly modified and didn't need a step
mash). I decided to reach a mash temperature of 155. Papazian said 16-18
degree temperature loss, so I got my water to 173 degrees and mixed it in a
picnic cooler only to find that the temp came in at 145F! I spent the next 15
minutes or so, boiling more water and heating small amounts of the mash on
the stove, so I could get starch conversion. After another 45 minutes I had full
conversion, as per the iodine test and started sparging in a double bucket lauter
tun system. I mixed the pumpkin in at this point, hoping the grain bed would
filter out any pumpkin gook so I wouldnt wind up with a lot of pumpkin gook
in the bottom of my fermenter. I sparged real slow, took me about 75 minutes.
I went from there to boil, and I added all two ounces of cascade hops in the boil
(advice from my brew shop owner). I kept the wort at a rapid boil for 60
minutes. I cooled using tubing submerged in iced water and siphoned into my
fermenter. When the temp dropped to 80F, I pitched the yeast, hooked in my
blow off tube and had a bottle of homebrew. My SG was 1.048 right about
where I wanted it.