The story dating back to 1966 brings joyous memories to many viewers, both young and old. I am sure we all have our favorite snippets of the show that we enjoyed in our youth and eventually shared with our kids. Who can forget a loveable, fictitious character in a pumpkin patch? To celebrate the story and the season, I bring to you a Brown Ale called “It’s the Great Pumpkin.” Plan ahead to brew this beauty and enjoy with friends and family… 6′ apart for Thanksgiving.
What makes a great pumpkin beer? Some say pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin flavoring, pumpkin spices, or even actual parts from the fruit. Did I say fruit? Show of hands ─ how many knew pumpkins are actually fruits? This particular beer showcases two of Briess’ newest malts; American Honey Malt and Synergy Select Pilsen MaltGems®. Interested in brewing this at home? Here is the recipe!
Recipe is for 5 U.S. gallons (19L)
- OG: 1.071
- FG: 1.018
- ABV: 7.05%
- IBU: 30
- (SRM): 34
- 4 lbs. Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt (pre-milled)
- 4 lbs. Briess Synergy Select Pilsen MaltGems® (pre-milled)
- 1 lb. Briess American Honey Malt (pre-milled)
- 1 lb. Briess Bonlander® Munich 10L Malt (pre-milled)
- 1 lb. Briess Dark Chocolate Malt (pre-milled)
- 4 oz. Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt (pre-milled)
- 4 oz. Briess Synergy Select Pilsen MaltGems® (pre-milled)
- 1 oz. Centennial Hops
- 1.5 oz. Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 0.5 oz. Bitter Orange Peel
- Wyeast: 1098 British Ale Yeast
Pour at least 6.5 gallons of water (I am using my all-in-one electric brewing system) into the brew vessel and heat to 165°F. While water is heating, add the grains slowly while stirring. Continue stirring for a few minutes after the grain has been added to make sure that the entire mash is a consistent temperature and that all dough balls have been eliminated. Letting the mash sit for 60 minutes at 150-152°F will result in the full enzymatic conversion of the starches to sugars. Add in 1.5 oz. pumpkin spice, 0.5 oz. bitter orange peel.
There’s a little step in between mashing and sparging that helps to clear up the runoff from the mash. Recirculate the wort by removing some from the spigot below the false bottom and add it back to the top of the grain bed. Do this until the runoff is nearly free of visible debris, then you can start to sparge.
Begin the process by opening the Hot Liquor tank valve and allowing the water to flow onto the grain bed. A stationary sparge arm is a time-saving addition for this process if you have one handy. Connect a piece of tubing onto the ball valve of the mash tun to drain into the boil kettle. Open the valve on the bottom of the mash tun to allow wort to flow out of the mash tun. Keep at least a two-inch layer of water on top of the grain bed to prevent incoming sparge water from channeling through the grain. We recommend a slow sparge, usually taking 45-60 minutes to ensure that there is plenty of time for the sugars to rinse out.
Add 1oz. Centennial hops at boil for 60 minutes. Add 1 can of pumpkin puree at boil for 60 minutes.
Cool the wort as quickly as possible by placing it in an ice bath. Temperature must be below 100°F before it is safe for yeast. Put a lid on the brew vessel while it cools to avoid contamination.
While the wort is cooling, sanitize the fermenting equipment (fermenter, lid, rubber stopper, thermometer, airlock, etc.), along with the yeast pack and a pair of scissors.
Once wort cools down to 80°F or lower, transfer to the fermenter. Leave residue in the bottom of the brew vessel. You may have to use a funnel at this point if your fermenter is a carboy.
Aerate the wort by sealing the fermenter and rocking back and forth for a few minutes. Use sanitized scissors to open the yeast pack and add yeast to the wort. Seal your fermenter. Add water to the airlock until it reaches the fill line and insert into the stopper.
Let your beer ferment for 2 weeks in a cool (72°F or lower) dark place.
Fermentation activity will last between 12-72 hours after adding the yeast. A krausen (kroy-ZEN) layer will develop on the top layer during fermentation. After 72 hours, fermentation will slow down, the krausen layer will subside, and activity will be minimal the remainder of these two weeks.
Bottling or Kegging:
- Sanitize siphoning and bottling/kegging equipment.
- Mix a priming solution (a measured amount of sugar dissolved in water to carbonate the bottled beer). Use the following amounts, depending on which type of sugar you use:
- Corn Sugar (dextrose) 2/3 cup in 10 oz. water
- Table Sugar (sucrose) 5/8 cup in 16 oz. water
- Pour solution into the bottling bucket
- Siphon beer into bottling bucket and mix with priming solution. Stir gently to mix — don’t splash.
- Fill and cap bottles.
- Kegging — fill beer from fermenter into keg — pressurize as you see fit and enjoy!