I thought that may have caught a few peoples attention. Well as we all know, blumpkins are a year-round favorite, fall is for everything pumpkin. And with that, my second brew in Florida is my annual running of Blumpkin Pumpkin Ale. And with this mid-November day sitting at a beautiful sunny 75 degrees, who can argue that this day was meant for making homebrew.
I missed an entry with my last batch of Concussion Red. But with the move, figuring out my new location, and how things were going to be setup, I didn’t want to get too involved with things outside of the actual brew process. So with that, I have one brew day under my belt at the new house in Florida, and things went very well and actually turned out to be a little easier than the old house.
As I mentioned before, it’s around mid-November and well within limits of being called shorts weather. The days of the brew-a-geddon in 20 degree weather may very well be behind me and I’m looking forward to almost all-year round brewing. The next summer may prove to be too-much, but we’ll see how that goes when we get there.
Now on to the topic for today, my (yes, another version) version of a Pumpkin Ale. So, for all intents and purposes, I really could care less for the pumpkin aspect of the beer. Yes, there is pumpkin in it, and yes it does contribute to the flavor, but I am more interested in the pumpkin pie spice associated with the smells and tastes of Fall. My reason for trying my hand at a pumpkin ale was to reduce the overbearing hops and pumpkin pie spice flavors and smells associated with commercial varieties of this style of beer. I wanted a good ale with subtle qualities that come through as the beer warms from 50-ish degrees to the end of the glass around room temperature. My last iteration almost nailed this profile on the mark, and I have increased the spice just a little to accomplish my goal. I found, for my taste, 4tsp of pumpkin pie spice is the perfect balance to a nice malty stronger ale.
With this 10 gallon recipe, I decided to take a chance with two types of yeast. This was mostly influenced by the lack of selection at my local homebrew store. But I figured it would be a nice experiment that won’t affect the overall outcome too much. Instead of using my usual English Ale (WLP002), I have chosen to ferment the first 5 gallons with European Ale (WLP011). The attenuation is similar to the english ale strain, but will produce a minimal amount of esters comparatively. The second experiment will just deviate companies using the London Ale (1028) string from Wyeast.
I guess I can’t go on and on about everything in the beer without mentioning the base of a Pumpkin Ale. As I mentioned, using pumpkin is just simply a technicality for calling it a pumpkin ale. But, with the addition of 2 pounds of pumpkin puree, it needs to be mentioned. With this much puree, there will be a considerable taste associated, and more importantly, more fermentation to add to the already rising alcohol percentage. I decided to use puree for two reasons. First, it’s ways easier than digging several pounds of pumpkin guts out of it’s host. And second, I think it blends into the flavor profile without being too overbearing. Make sure you get a puree that does not have any spice or added sugar as this could lead to off flavors and higher than normal alcohol production.
All in all, this looks to be a great fall season with a nice warming ale that will leave all happy and a little redder in the cheeks.
Until next brew day,