Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale - Brew Day

Last Saturday was one week since brewing the 4C IPA and I was back at it. I strayed away from the kits again and went for a recipe I found online. So thanks to Yuri Rage of for the recipe:

Recipe Type:
Yeast: WLP002 English Ale
Yeast Starter: Yes - at least 1L
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.053
Final Gravity: 1.015
IBU: 32.1
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 14.3
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 - rack off of trub to clear


6.25 lbs light DME
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
8.0 oz Biscuit Malt
4.0 oz Wheat, Flaked
60.00 oz Pumpkin, Canned (Boil 60.0 min)
.75 oz Goldings (5.0% AA 60.0 min) 13 IBU
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min)
1 Pkgs English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) or Fermentis S-04

I made the mistake of incorrectly measuring the biscuit malt and accidentally added a full pound. I decided not to make a starter and substituted Wyeast 1318 London Ale. One introduction of a new element to the brewing process was enough. I didn't want to overly complicate things by attempting a starter and brewing with pumpkin and spices for the first time. This was a great brew day because I was also able to transfer the IPA to the secondary and also enjoyed a couple freshly brewed Robust Porters. More on that later...

Baking the Pumpkin in the oven @ 350F for 30 minutes. Wyeast pack just smacked!

Steeping an extra heavy bag due to some excess biscuit...

I'm not sure if it was the 7 lbs. of DME, but this was a very frothy boil. I was constantly adjusting the heat to avoid a boil over.

About 45 minutes into the boil and still very little room to spare.

I decided to keep the baked pumpkin in a muslin bag to avoid the all the pumpkin becoming part of the wort. It really didn't matter since 90% of it ended dissipating out of the bag making for some sticky, grainy wort in the end. I added a pinch of Pumpkin Pie Spice with 10 minutes to go in the boil. I'll add this as a spiced tea during secondary fermentation as the recipe suggests. I hit 1.056 with 0.001 correction @ 72F (So really 1.057). Since I had already added 3 gallons of water I stopped there. I need to remember to make a notch on the new glass carboy at the 5 gallon mark for future reference.

Here's a shot of the Robust Porter I finally got to taste. It was still a little young, but definitely enjoyable. I think it would have turned out better had I kept the fermentation temperatures lower, but it's got that smokey, malty taste I was looking for.

In addition to brewing, I was also transferring the 4C IPA for secondary fermentation. It appeared that primary fermentation had slowed since there seemed to be little activity coming from the air lock. The hydrometer reading of 1.016 indicated fermentation was close to completion too.

Close attention was give to fermentation temperatures. This is a shot of what remained in the primary fermenter after racking the beer. It's apparent the yeast was very active, which hopefully will result in some great tasting beer. The hydrometer samples are promising!

This shot was taken shortly after storing the beer on Saturday. The IPA is on the left and the freshly brewed pumpkin is on the right. To my surprise the IPA wasn't done fermenting and kept bubbling away for another 3 days! It would have been better if I left it in the primary for another day or two, but I don't think it'll affect the end result too much.

Finally, here's a shot I took last night. As you can see the IPA's active fermentation has stopped and pumpkin ale's has begun. I've found fermenting in glass carboys to be much more entertaining than plastic buckets since you get to see the bubbling and churning.

That's it for now since I'm headed to moe.down for the weekend. With some luck I'll be back with a bunch of recordings to share. Happy Labor Day!

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes...the bubbling and churning...aka..rude noises! It's always weird, when Ray's brewing or doing wine..and you alone in the family night...and the noises start!! Porter looks great! What no call to come taste? I'm wounded!