I know I’m a little late in the season to be brewing a pumpkin ale, but Yama really has been enjoying Oakshire’s Big Black Jack this year and wanted me to take a crack at brewing it. Not able to find too much info online, I came up with a pretty basic porter recipe and went from there with the pumpkin and spices. This is the second pumpkin ale I’ve brewed so I had a few things I wanted to try differently from last time. And last batch was a full 5 gallons and about halfway through that batch I started to think 5 gallons of pumpkin ale was a little bit much. So for this one I did a small 2.5 gallon batch on the stove top. It really took me back to my brewing inside days! Ran into a few issues with scaling down this recipe but besides that pretty smooth sailing.
Mash: 152 (60 min)
Boil: 90 min.
Added: 1.1 g Gypsum, 0.9 g CaCl, 0.5 g Baking Soda & 1.1 g Chalk to Mash
Mash pH: 5.4
65.0% NW Pale Ale Malt
7.5% Munich 10l
6.2% Chocolate Malt
3.7% Black Patent
*Roasted pumpkin & Toasted pumpkin seeds added to mash
0.25 oz Perle (7.5%) 90 min.
0.5 oz Perle (7.5%) 15 min.
6 oz Brown Sugar 5 min.
10 oz Corn Sugar 5 min.
0.25 oz Fresh Ginger 5 min.
0.5 tsp Crushed Cloves 1 min.
0.5 tsp Grated Nutmeg 1 min.
1 tsp Allspice 1 min.
1.25 tsp Cinnamon 1 min.
3 oz Cocoa Powder 1 min.
Wyeast 1272 American Ale II
Decided to take a pre boil gravity and noticed I was WAY short of my target OG, so still wanting to keep this beer in the 7% range, I moved it to a 90 min. boil and added a bit more brown and corn sugar to the boil and ended up with the 1.070 OG. No other real issues and using just an ice bath to cool didn’t take too long with this half batch either. I noticed some nice fall spices coming out of the fermenter which is a good sign.
Bottled on 12.10.13 (24 bottles). Finished a little lower than I thought it would, but thats probably due to the sugar I added to make up some gravity points. ABV ended up being right in the range of the Oakshire beer Yama likes.
Tasting Notes – 3.8.14
Appearance: Black with thick tan head.
Aroma: Big notes of chocolate and cinnamon with a little ginger in there as well.
Taste: Rich, chocolate and cinnamon are up front with other spices to follow. No real pumpkin flavors, just chocolate and spices. Little bit of alcohol warming after the sip is consumed.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium mouthfeel.
Overall: There’s a lot going on with this one. Chocolate and cinnamon are the most up front flavors, but the other spices can be picked out. I think a little more age will do this beer good to mellow out all the flavors. Not a terrible spiced beer, but not something I can drink more than a glass of.
Update: The remaining bottles all were getting progressively over carbonated. I didn’t get any infected flavors or signs, but something went awry. Remaining 5 bottles were dumped. This beer is officially a fail, but learned a few things in the process so not for nothing. This beers needs a major overhaul if it were ever to be brewed again (which honestly is pretty unlikely).