Brew Day – Pumpkin Ale Part Duex


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….

My recipe:

**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.

Mistake Count:

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%


Keezer Build

I’m starting to get my keezer together. This weekend, while in the middle of the mash for my American Pale Ale, I decided to get a few coats of paint on the chest freezer.


The chest freezer has a glossy finish, which had me concerned. However, the paint I bought stated that it is fine on bare metal, you just need to double up the coats.


My first coat looked terrible, which means my concern was growing. The paint said to wait four hours before applying the second coat, but I had to get more coverage than this. I waited 5-10 minutes (pretty much made it back to where I started) and added another coat. This one covered completely and looked good.


I”ll update this post as I keep working on it.

Edit 8/13/2014 First I built the inside collar to add some strength

And then I screwed the full sized collar to the outside.


This now gives me 26.5″ clearance above the compressor hump.


Almost done. Need to mount the drip pan.

Drip tray installed and stained

Brew Day – American Pale Ale

My APA brew day was pretty uneventful. I moved my equipment under my shade tree, sat in the yard with a cigar and a beer, and painted the chest freezer for my keezer while mashing.

I did try out my new pH meter, which was fun. Now I get to check out Bru’n Water to see what changes I need to make in the future. Here are the numbers I recorded:

Water 7.13
Mash 5.5
Drain mashtun 5.3
First sparge 5.46
Second sparge 5.65

A little high for my liking, but not too bad apparently (according to reddit users).

As I mentioned above, other than playing with the new toy, the rest of my brew day was very uneventful. I hit all of my numbers, I chilled rather quickly, I started at 2 and was cleaned up by 7. All in all a great day. 


9lbs 2-Row
1lb Vienna
8oz Biscuit
8oz Flaked Barley
1.5oz Falconer’s Flight 7Cs (30M)
1oz Cascade (Whirlpool)
0.5oz Citra (Whirlpool)
Wyeast 1056 – American Ale
Ferment at 67 (19C)

My stats:

Pre-boil 1.044
OG 1.053 (13.4 brix)

Edit: made a mistake and didn’t “lock” the temp setting on my fermentation chamber. It’s been fermenting at 62F for the past 8 hours, but it is now set to 67F