My first pumpkin ale came very early in my homebrewing career. It was my fourth overall batch. At the time, I had only brewed from kits I ordered from Midwest Supplies and that continued with this batch. The kit, though, did not come with pumpkin and reviews advised that the spices provided were not enough for a very distinct character, so it this was the first time I added any of my own twists to a kit.
I bought canned pumpkin and added extra cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. My notes were not good (okay, I wasn’t really taking notes…), so I’m not sure how much of each, I do remember the cloves came through the most, which I liked at the time. I added the spices and the pumpkin to the to the end of the boil.
There was a small issue with the pumpkin. I ordered it online. 100% pure organic canned pumpkin… for dogs. I didn’t notice that last part until it arrived. On brew day. It was pure pumpkin and it tasted fine. I’m not sure what is different to make it specifically for dogs, but knowing the way people treat their pets, my guess is that if anything, it was of a higher quality and more pure than pumpkin for people.
Other than that, I used the ingredients provided in the manner described in the instructions. This is your basic, standard amber pumpkin ale and it turned out pretty well. The cloves come through the strongest, as I mentioned. I think this gave it a bit of distinctness that was welcome. In 2010, I got the pumpkin beer bug and went through a ton of several different breweries’ offerings. I expected to do the same in 2011 with my homebrew, so I made another batch shortly after this first one with some key differences. I will post about Pumpkinstein tomorrow. For now, the recipe (minus key details about spice and pumpkin additions) is below.
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Brew Date: August, 2011
Serve Date: September, 2011
6 lb. Gold liquid malt extract
8 oz. Carapils
8 oz. Caramel 10L
1 oz. Mt. Hood @ 60 min
1 oz. Cascade @ 2 min
1 lb brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cloves and canned pumpkin all added to end of boil.
Munton’s and Fision Ale Dry Yeast