The day before Thanksgiving I cracked open my latest batch of homebrew, a pumpkin ale. This creation was my best yet. I have to say, I am quite a perfectionist and will be the first to be critical of what I make, but this beer really had nothing wrong with it that I could tell. Sure, there’s always room for improvement and this beer is far from perfect, but it really turned out well.
This was also the first recipe that I pieced together from multiple sources and my own experience. The key ingredients I used were real roasted pumpkin, a teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger. I also used Northern Brewer’s amber malt extract, as well as some vienna malt, crystal malt, and caramel wheat malt.
The flavor of the spices was definitely evident, but not overpowering. I was worried that using about 3 total teaspoons of spice in five gallons of liquid would leave the spices almost absent, but it actually provided a good balance. While the pumpkin itself wasn’t really noticeable, there were no off flavors that tended to plague my previous batches. The color was a nice rich amber (like a dark pumpkin pie) and the body was smooth and slightly creamy.
This is the first beer I’ve made that I can actually say I am truly pleased with. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I think for my next creation I’m going to try a stout. I wasn’t pleased with my first stout effort, so hopefully it will turn out better now that I seem to be on a hot streak!
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And it was highly and sincerely praised by the one guy at our Thanksgiving dinner who wasn’t part of the family. I don’t think he even realized it was homebrew at first. So yeah…’twas good.
Brian it was very GOOD stuff! We enjoyed every last drop on thanksgiving!! Thanks man!
This ale was a perfect malt/hop balance and a tease of spice – not too much, not too little. Here here to beer! The best yet…
thanks for the pumpkin ale taster. i waited less than 24 hours to crack that baby open. i LOVED it! i realized about 1/2 way through that i was more like guzzling it than savoring it. so then i slowed down and drank the rest with savor. great job!