Batch #11-11: Pumpkin Ale

Style Pumpkin Ale
Ingredients View Here
Brewing Date: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Primary Fermentation: Sunday, October 30, 2011
Original Gravity: 1.050
Secondary Fermentation: Saturday, November 5, 2011
Interim Gravity: 1.014
Bottling Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Final Gravity: 1.014
Release Date: Friday, December 16, 2011
Alcohol by volume: 4.73% (raw) / 5.2% (final)
Brand: Master Yeast Theater
Release Name: Just Another Carriage Return

Third year in a row for this recipe.


A very smooth brewing session.  Caramelizing the pumpkin was done by halving four pie pumpkins, and putting them meat-size down on a broiler tray covered in aluminum foil with holes punched in it, and the lower part of the tray filled almost completely with water.  The result: very soft pumpkin meat with no burned edges after 1 hr 15 min.

I added the first set of hops 15 minutes into the boil, instead of immediately after adding the malt extract. This shouldn’t have any real impact on the taste.  I’ve also saved a sample of the yeast, and about 1/3 gallon of the wort prior to pitching yeast, for use in bottling to start conditioning.  Fermentation is using the usual wicking cooling method. Because this recipe produces a lot of trum, I increased the amount of Irish Moss from 1 tsp to 2 tsp. The previous years’ batches have always been a bit cloudy, and I want to see if this will make a difference.

Nov 5 @ 9:00PM — The fermentation cycle appeared to be 3-5 seconds when I checked it over two days. While the bubbling in the S-airlock appeared light, the interim gravity was right where it should be (equates to 4.75% now, and at least 5.25% after conditioning). The wort was… CLEAR! The clearest I have ever seen a pumpkin ale. I recommend adding two teaspoons of Irish Moss for high trum-sediment batches. One thing I had forgotten, was that I used a 1 tsp of Ginger spice instead of fresh ginger for this batch. Last year I left out the ginger and it was noticably missing something. This year’s batch has a noticable ginger aroma, which complements the taste very well.

I really like the taste of the wort at this stage, and am very optimistic about how the final product. The flora aroma and bitterness of this batch is well balanced, so adding the first set of hops at 15 minutes into the boil worked out well.

Secondary fermentation is in my plastic water cooler bottle, and is using wick cooling again.

Nov 19 @ 2:00PM :: Bottling went well.  Yield: 43x 12oz, and 1x 22oz bottles.  The wort was very clear, and had a great flavor.  I like the ginger amount I used during the brewing session.