I will be the first to admit that I'm not big on pumpkin beers. Scratch that. I hate pumpkin beers -- too sweet, too malty, too much allspice, whatever. Then, last fall, the wife and I dropped by one of our favorite bars in Madison, the Mason. They always have a great selection of craft beers on tap, many of which I've never tasted and seldom less than delicious. So, low and behold, on that particular visit, there was a pumpkin porter listed.
Now, given my tastes, I wasn't about to sample this particular brew. But Jenny, in keeping with the season, decided to give it a go. Afterwards, you'd think she never tasted anything so good in her life. And she rarely gushes about a beer. Obviously I had to try this... Disbelief. Here, at last, was a pumpkin seasonal that I could enjoy. Great balance from the roastiness and bitter coffee against the otherwise sweetness. A light touch on the spice additions. And a bit of hoppy bite to cut through it all.
Unfortunately, we no longer remember the name of beer we tried that night. (Obviously we suffered some sort of pumpkin-induced shell shock.) But, since then, I've been on the lookout for a promising recipe. I found it in the Extreme Brewing book I recently picked up. The recipe below is a fairly faithful reproduction.
- 15 oz canned pumpkin
- 1 t gypsum
- 10 oz Black Patent Malt (Briess)
- 16 oz Pale 6-row Malt
- 1.252 kg Golden Light LME
- 1.85 lb Amber DME
- 273 g Dark DME
- ⅔ oz Hallertau hops
- ½ oz Cascade hops
- 1.5 t Irish Moss
- ⅓ oz Hallertau hops
- ½ t Cinnamon
- ½ t Nutmeg
- ½ t Allspice
- Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast
Add black patent and pale 6-row malts, and pumpkin to 2.5 g cold water. Heat to 150-160 'F for 45 min. Strain. Add malt extracts and bring to boil for 5 min. Add ⅔ oz of hallertau hops. Boil 60 min. 20 min prior to end of boil, add Cascade hops and Irish Moss. 10 min before end of boil, add rest of Hallertau hops. 5 min before end of boil add spices. Chill wort to pitching temp. Transfer to carboy, top off to 3 gal. Pitch yeast.
Target Gravity: 1.078
Smell: Gingerbread cookies, roastiness, hint of pumpkin
Color: black, deep brown foamTaste: think, sweet, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight bitter spice
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