Last year a friend and I got together to brew a pumpkin ale. Both of our batches got infected. Wasn’t bad tasting as an accidental sour, but wasn’t what we were looking for. This year we are giving it another shot.
The brew day started off like every other. It then became a bit of a mess. Haul the equipment up from the basement, fill the HLT, heat the water, transfer to the mash tun, and then the comedy of errors started. Just as the mash tun was warming up (coolers steal about 10 degrees F), my dog decides to pee on our grain bag. Not the end of the world, my friend transferred the grain to a bucket plus it’s going to be boiled anyway
The sparge, boil, and transfer to carboys went flawlessly, and we hit our numbers. Even clean up was going fine, until I saw the unopened bag of brown sugar. I’m guessing beersmith didn’t calculate the pumpkin correctly, or the extra pound and a half we threw in bumped the numbers enough, but I’m shocked we hit 1.065 without it. It will be added when the krausen starts to fall.
Finally I set the beer in the fermentation chamber, plugged it in, and set it to 17F (pitch low, ferment at 19F). Ran some errands and came back…beer is at 50F and my sanitizer for the blow off is frozen. I look and see that I plugged the freezer directly into the power strip instead of the STC-1000.
Since I couldn’t pitch, I cleaned up my workspace down there while the reptile ropes heated my chamber. A few hours later, it was where I needed. I decanter my started, aerated, pitched, and few hours later the beer is bubbling along with a nice krausen.
Not the smoothest brew day, but not a disaster. I’d mark it in the win column (at least until we try the beer).
Edit 8/18 I check the beer this AM…I plugged freezer into the wrong STC outlet…luckily it only hit 21C, but now the freezer is on….
**Fermentables** (Mash at 156)
* 20lbs – 2-row
* .5lb Crystal 30
* 1lb Crystal 80
* 2lb 8oz Victory Malt
* 4.5lbs of canned pumpkin
* Ton of Rice Hulls
* 1.5lb Brown Sugar (end of boil)
* 1oz Nugget – 60m
* American Ale – Wyeast 1056
* pumpkin pie spice at kegging
They had no C30, so I did 1/4lb 20 and 1/4lb 40.
Edit 8/18 I checked the beer this AM…I plugged freezer into the wrong STC outlet…luckily it only hit 21C, but now the freezer is on.
1. Dog peed on grain bag
2. Forgot sugar addition
3. Chilled wort to 50F
4. Let temp rise to 70F
Edit 9/14: Gravity checked in at 1.008. It has an interesting mouthfeel, like there is something I can’t place. I am attributing that to the pumpkin. I think some light spice will tie it together. Finished at 7.4%