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.


  1. If you make this again, take some of the boiling water and slowly mix a little at a time into the pumpkin in a separate pot (maybe a half a cup of water at a time). Once the mixture is more of a pumpkin slurry, pour it into the main kettle and you should have no problems incorporating it!

    1. thanks for the advice. I will try this on my next Pumpkin beer. I have everything I need to make a pumpkin wheat that I think I will be making tomorrow.