The Pumpkin Spice Ale, 2009

This is the first beer that I have made using an old recipe of my own.  You may remember that last year I made this recipe for the first time.  As a reminder, you can go here and here and here to read refresh your memory.  This blog was not operational at the time I cooked it up, so there are no pictures from the boil day.  I still have a 6-pack of bottles left over from my last batch in 2008.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to compare the two once this batch is ready.

The biggest difference between this recipe and the last is in the use of the pumpkins.  Last year, I didn’t know there were pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins for cooking.  Inadvertently, I used jack-o-lantern pumpkins last year.  This year, I bought pie pumpkins.  Last year, I used nine pounds of pumpkin meat.  I took three pounds and used it in the steep;  then removed it and used three fresh pounds in the boil; and then removed it and used three pounds in the fermentor.  This year I used four pounds of pumpkin meat and used it throughout the process.  So the same four pounds that went into the steep, stayed there for the boil and is currently in the fermentor.

I made some changes to the spice quantities as well.  I cut back the clove and ginger and bumped up the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

Lastly, I used more pumpkin seeds this year.  Using the four pie pumpkins, I collected nine ounces of seeds and roasted all of them.  They went into the boil in the last 15 minutes.  At the last minute I decided to leave them in the fermentor with the pumpkin.  We’ll see how that works out.

Here is the pumpkin after it came out of the oven.  You can see the seeds on the cookie tray in the background ready to go into the oven.  I had two trays of pumpkin, but only one is in the photo.

the cooked pumpkin

I then placed the grains and the pumpkin into four gallons of water at 170 degrees and let it steep for 45 minutes.  Here you see the grains being lowered into the steep and the cooked pumpkin bagged up and ready.

the grainsthe pumpkin bagged

After the 45 minute steep, I added the malt (in this case eight pounds of dry malt extract), the hops and left the pumpkin in the boil.  I maintained that boil for one hour.

During the last 15 minutes of the boil I added the final touches.  The spices and seeds.

Here is a photo of the seeds (on the left) and the whole cloves and cinnamon sticks in the smaller bag.  The sun was beginning to set by this time so the still photos have that orange glow about them, sorry about that.

the seedsthe seeds and spices

The next day, Monday afternoon, I went and checked out the primary to see how my creation was doing.  It was doing pretty well.  In fact, I have never had this much activity in my primary before.  My thought is that I had the wort aerated better this time than before.  I used a different technique now then I did before.  Before I used to just shake the bucket up to aerate it.  Now, with this new boil pot I have, I can set the pot on the counter top and let it drain out the bottom and into the primary.  This really increases the amount or aeration in the wort for the yeast to work with.  At least that is my theory.  I really have no idea.

I plan on leaving the beer in the primary till at least Saturday.  There’s a good chance I won’t move it to the secondary till Sunday.  Check back to see updates on how this latest brew is brewing.

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