Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Porter Brew Day

It has been a couple weeks since I posted.  I apologize for the delay but I took a wonderful vacation with my family.  Once I got back and settled, I started on the Pumpkin Porter that you all voted for and you can see the recipe here.  There were a couple of modifications, most notably I used 58oz of pumpkin as it came in 29oz cans.  I figured that this was close enough to the 60oz that I called for in the original recipe.  Also I was able to get some great local and organic cascade hops that I wanted to use so I substituted them in.  Here is how my bred day went.

Pumpkin Porter Brew Day
The first part of the process for me was to roast the pumpkin.  I spread the two cans of pumpkin out on a backing sheet and placed it in a 400 degree oven.  After 45 minutes of my house smelling deliciously of pumpkin I removed the pumpkin and took a look.  To be honest I was looking for more of a roast on top.  The sides and the bottom got a bit roasty but I would have liked some more.  If I was not a little pressed for time I would have put it back in on broil to increase the roasty character but I really had to get this brew done.

After the pumpkin was done I brought 2.5 gallons of water to 150 and began to steep my grains.  Thirty minutes later I had some nice dark and roasty wort that smelled fantastic.  I cranked up the heat and added my 7lbs of light malt extract slowly while stirring.  Next came the pumpkin.  This was my first time using pumpkin an I have to say it took a bit of work to get it to incorporate well.  It tended to stay all globed up.  The best method I found was to mush the globs with the back of the spoon on the side of the pot to break them up.

Once the boil started I added 1oz Kent Golding pellet hops and continued the boil for another 45 minutes.  At the 15 minute mark I added 1oz of the organic hole leaf Cascades and 1Tsp of pumpkin pie spice.  After some further reading I should have added the spice later possibly at flame out to get the most out of the spices but I can always add more in the secondary if it needs it.  The last hop addition was another 1oz of the leaf Cascades at the 5 minute mark.

The wort was chilled and transferred to the fermenter where the additional 2.5 gallons of water were waiting.  After a quick stir I pulled a sample for a gravity reading and taste.  The gravity reading came out a little higher than expected at 1.059 vs the expected value of 1.056.  I was expecting this as ibrewmaster did not adjust the gravity to account for the additional sugars in the pumpkin.  The wort tasted pretty darn good, obviously very sweet, but with a nice pumpkin and spice flavor.  I have good hopes that this will turn out pretty well and my become my annual fall beer.  I will update more on the as it progresses and let you know how it turns out.