In the pursuit of perfect homebrew, failure still makes beer.

New Homebrew – The Great Pumpkin Ale

After being swamped by bartending work for so long, I finally got back to my homebrew biz two weeks ago and created this awesome spiced ale concoction. I got the recipe and ingredients from thanks to a Twitter tip from @homebrewfinds. I always check that feed and a few others for sweet equipment deals if I have extra brewery cash lying around (which I seldom do) but when looking to brew a pumpkin beer this couldn’t have come at a better time!

Not to mention the warehouse sent me all the ingredients, with specialty grains pre-milled, in a vacuum-sealed package for freshness. My hop pellets were in good condition, my grains smelled amazing, and the spices were just as appetizing. My only concern was the yeast I ordered, WLP002 English Ale, was inactive after 2 days. I don’t know if it was expired, improperly shipped, or if it was my error in not waiting for the yeast to activate at a lower temperature than I usually brew at, but I supplemented the yeast with a vial of WLP051 California V.

One adjustment I made to the recipe, which I am quite proud of, is the addition of roasted pumpkin. Now, popular commercial pumpkin beers, in my humble opinion, gain a lot of popularity by being heavy on the Thanksgiving spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. This personally gives me the experience of a light spicy beer that tastes almost too sweet. I can have one Southern Tier Pumpking, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, or Harpoon Pumpkin UFO before I have to call it quits. It’s just my palate, I’m sure, because these were huge sellers across the bartop (albeit 75% of the time with cinnamon sugar rim… the most unmanly of all beer garnishes). But I’m a homebrewer goddamit, and I brew beers that I want to drink. So I did.

Adding real pumpkin versus pumpkin puree is a hotly debated topic for all those pumpkin purists out there. Brewers sit in both camps. I just wanted to supplement the spicy recipe I received in the ingredients kit with my own little sumpin’ supmin’. And I can assure you – it’s definitely one of the best beers I’ve made so far. I’m considering submitting it into a Sam Adams contest.

Here’s the recipe. Once I pull it off my new kegerator for the first time (what?! he got what?! To come in a in a later post…) I’ll post a little review of it.

On a different note, I like the fermentation quality on this beer so much that I’m thinking of using this blend of WLP002 and WLP051 as a house yeast for a while. I’m going to try my next brews with this yeast and see how it works. For now, I’m pulling the yeast cake and saving that shiz in the fridge.


One response

  1. Pingback: The Bono Brew House Yeast, V1.0 « RELEASE THE KRAEUSEN!

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