Beer Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (21A)
Recipe Type: all-grain
Yield: 5 US gallons
Everybody seems to be clamoring for a pumpkin beer. (Obviously for the season.) Mike Uchima and I started messing with this near the end of summer and exchanged notes. Frankly, we both hated working with canned pumpkin in the mash. I did it in the boil once over a year ago and got VERY hazy beer with a pumpkin-concrete slab at the bottom of the primary. This time around, I cheated and used Lorann Oil. It's sold at many specialty shops. The local brewshop is also a specialty coffee, spice and cookware shop and the owner is also a brewer. (Mecca Coffee in Tulsa. If you're ever there, it's a fun store.) Anyway, be careful with that stuff. The guy at the store suggested just a couple drops for 5 gallons. He wasn't kidding. I put in a small dribble (4-5 drops?) and it tastes more pumpkiny in the boil than using the 3 cans of pumpkin I did before. I think one of the 1/2 oz bottles of oil would do 30 gallons easily. Maybe more.
My previous beers where I used clove have been overly clovy, so I've been trying to be careful. I don't think I'll really know the spice flavor until it's finished. Anyway, I'm tossing this out to the brewing community before I really know if it's any good.
If you are an extract brewer, I'll take a stab at some substitutions for you: Instead of 10# of grain, use 2-3 kg light malt extract (depending on how strong you want this). Use 1.5# Crystal 20L instead of the smoked, crystal 40L and honey malts. Take 1/4# of that 20L crystal and get it soggy and then put it over hickory smoke (I'll leave construction of that to your imagination since I just rig something with a colander, pie-pan and charcoal starter) then dry the grains at 150 in your oven or use a food dryer. Keep the chocolate malt to give some redness to the beer.
Mash 3 gallons water at 142F. Add grains and stabilize at 132F for 20 minutes. Add 2 gallons boiling water to raise temp and stabilize at 158 for 45 minutes. Mash-out to 170F and sparge with 3 gallons 170F water. Boil down to 5.75 gallons. (My brew setup requires a little extra for assorted losses.)
Source: Tim Robinson