Pumpkin Ale

The Dubbel was a dud.

The Weizen was a waste.

But the pumpkin is looking sweet! My last two attempts at all-grain brewing were less than spectacular. The beers had flavor, they had aroma, but the mouth-feel was empty and dry; totally lacking substance. I blame it entirely on my mash set-up. The wort came out weak and watered down. I wasn’t pulling enough sugars out of the grains. But persevere I shall. Behold, the improved mash tun:

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At the bottom of this cooler just above the spigot is a false bottom I created out of a used food pail I picked up at the HEB bakery for free. I totally lucked out. When inverted, the 2.5 gallon bucket squeezed right in down to the correct depth. I cut the top section of the bucket off with the lid attached and evenly drilled many holes to create the adequate grain filter. Now all the wort drains evenly from the grain before exiting the tun.

Loaded with grains:

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From the mash tun to the kettle:

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The 2 lbs of cooked pumpkin flesh was totally overwhelmed by the grains. Oh well. I’m told that pumpkin really doesn’t add much flavor any way. What really counts is the spice:

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I used whole spices crushed and placed in the boil using a couple tea infusers. Worked like a champ.

Here we are, yeast is pitched and we’re ready to ferment.

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The original gravity is a whopping 1.058 which is further evidence that the mash tun is doing the job. The wort came out quite a bit darker than I expected, not that I’m complaining. I’m going to be total bummed if this is another dud but so far it looks quite promising.

Yes, that’s not very much beer in there. With extract brewing I could get a full 2.5 gallons into the small carboy. With all grain however I’m severely limited by the size of my kettle since I have to boil the entire wort and you lose quite a bit to evaporation. Me thinks it’s time for an upgrade…

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