Pumpkin Beer

Pumpkin Beer

(5 gallons/19 L, partial mash)
OG = 1.048  FG = 1.012
IBU = 19  SRM = 6  ABV = 4.6%

1.25 lbs. (0.57 kg) extra ight dried malt extract
3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg) golden liquid malt extract
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) 2-row pale malt
1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) CaraPils malt
5–6 lbs. (2.3–2.7 kg) pumpkin (cubed)
5 AAU Cascade hops (60 mins) (1.0 oz./28 g of 5% alpha acids)
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dried ale yeast
0.75 cup corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
Boil pumpkin cubes in water for 15 minutes. Heat 0.75 gallons (2.8 L) of water to 163 °F (73 °C). Place crushed grains in steeping bag and steep grains at 152 °F (67 °C) for 45 minutes. When pumpkin is ready, add chunks to grain bag and add cool water (to maintain 152 °F (67 °C) temperature). Combine grain and pumpkin “tea,” dried malt extract and water to make 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops at the start of the boil. Add liquid malt extract and spices with 15 minutes left in the boil. Cool wort and transfer to fermenter. Top up to 5 gallons (19 L) with water. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 69 °F (21 °C).

All-grain option
Replace malt extract and 1 lb. (0.45 kg) 2-row malt with 8.0 lbs. (3.6 kg) 2-row pale malt. Boil pumpkin cubes in water for 15 minutes. Mah grains and pumpkin chunks at 153 °F (67 °C) for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops with 60 minutes left. Add spices with 15 minutes left in boil. Ferment at 69 °F (21 °C).

(Adapted from “In Search of the Great Pumpkin” by John Naleszkiewicz, November 1995, p. 32.)

Issue: March-April 2005

By modern standards, a pumpkin ale would hardly be considered that wild. But, it was the wildest recipe of 1995 (BYO’s first year). The biggest key to brewing this beer is getting the spice blend right. If you use “supermarket spices,” these amounts should yield a subtly spicy beer.
Decrease the amount if you grind your own whole spices.