I absolutely love Halloween! To quote Mean Girls “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” I take after Cady in this sense and just love being scared. Haunted houses, horror movies, dressing up, candy, chili crock pots and pumpkin beer! So much to love.
Halloween has come a little early to BiteSize Brewery and my roommate, Jeffrey and I tried a new pumpkin beer recipe. You already know what you need to start home brewing. To celebrate here is how to have a homebrewed Halloween. Here are the details (we modified a recipe found on The Brew Site):
Yield: 5 gallons of beer with an (approximate) alcohol by volume of 6 to 8% (depending on mash efficiency, use of brown sugar/molasses, amount of pumpkin, etc.).
- ~10 pounds of pumpkin, roasted
- 1 pound of US Munich malt
- ½ pound crystal malt, 40L
- ½ pound German malted wheat
- 7 pounds light malt extract
- ½ cup molasses
Hops and Spices:
- 1 ounce Mt. Hood hops (boiling)
- ½ ounce Willamette hops (finishing)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices (1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice)
- 1 teaspoon of mulling spices
- Wyeast 1272, American Ale II
The first thing to say is do not use canned pumpkin! Real pumpkin is the only way to go here, otherwise you’ll be dealing with a huge mess. You’ve been warned. We ended up using two pie pumpkins that we got at the Farmers Market in town.
You’ll need to roast the pumpkin in the oven, similar to cooking squash. This softens the pumpkin and begins breaking it down. Cut the pumpkin into manageable pieces (should be cleaned, of course), place in a shallow baking pan and add a bit of water to the pan. Roast in a 325° oven for about an hour, or until soft.
Additional note: I took the left over pumpkin seeds and soaked them overnight in Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer and then roasted them with salt for 40 minutes at 350°. Yummy!
To incorporate the finished pumpkin we did a simple partial mash, add the pumpkin and grains to hot water (ideally you want this mash to settle at 155°) and let rest for an hour. We then filtered the pumpkin out using a wire strainer.
Add the malt extract (7 pounds of syrup) and molasses, Mt. Hood hops and boil for 1 hour. After 45 minutes, add the finishing Willamette hops. At the very end of the boil, add the vanilla and pumpkin pie spices—these are volatile and adding them to the boil any sooner will essentially nullify their flavor and aroma contributions.
Ferment for 1 week, or until primary fermentation settles down, and rack to a secondary for 2 more weeks. The secondary fermentation is not strictly necessary, but I like it for clarification and for letting the flavors mellow. You might also add the spices at this stage for a more pronounced presence.
Ever made a pumpkin beer before? What was your recipe?
(Just an FYI – this blog post was originally posted on Beer Is Sexy.