Monday, October 5, 2015

Pumpkin Weizenbock

I decided--fairly randomly, although triggered by the thoughts of fermenting in a pumpkin--to make a pumpkin beer.  While my first thought was a oatmeal stout, I quickly decided that a weizenbock would work nicely.  I fell in love with the style after trying the original, Avantius (absolutely delicious...and propagating the yeast should be possible).
While I decided to not ferment in a pumpkin--too much work/cost for not much in the way of results (beyond being able to say I did it)--I did use fresh pumpkin in the recipe.

The pumpkin was dealt with by cutting the flesh into slices, roasting until cooked through and dark, then cubing (and adding to both the mash and boil).

I plan to make this a fairly quick beer--no secondary, only the primary until it finishes fermenting, cold crash for a bit until I can bottle, then bottle--probably using dark brown sugar for priming.

5 lb Vienna malt
4 lb German Wheat
0.5 lb Crystal 75
0.5 lb Special B
4oz chocolate malt
4oz melanoiden malt
1 lb rolled oats (not crushed)

1lb pumpkin, roasted and chunks (mash)
1 lb pumpkin, roasted and chunks  (boil)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (5min)
1 tsp cinnamon (5min)
0.5 oz Brewer’s Gold hops (9.9% AA), pellet (60 min)
I may add a vanilla bean after fermentation is mostly complete--depends on the flavour

Safbrew Wheat yeast  (I know--I do have a starter from the Avantius, but am not 100% sure of how clean it is, and did not feel like bothering yet.  That starter will go into a cider).

Mashed in with 15 quarts water at 171 degrees.  Mash stayed at 155 degrees the entire time, give or take a couple degrees. 
Squeezed the bag and added enough water to bring it up to between 4-4.5 gallons.
Adjusted Preboil is 1.062, assuming a 150 temp.
Added the second addition of pumpkin as the wort was heating.
Single hop addition, 0.5 oz.  Dear gods this stuff is foamy.

10-3-15; OG is 1.070, and I added ¾ gallon of apple cider to bring the volume up.  Efficiency sucked, once again.  I am wondering if the cause of my chronically poor efficiency is due to water chemistry—I don’t check ph, so too high could be a major factor.  The other possibility is it seems to be common for BIAB to lose efficiency above 1.060—most, if not all of my recipes are above this level.

10-4-15; Fermenting nicely.  Started showing signs of activity within a couple of hours, and I am hopeful that it ferments out quickly.
Not quite as orange as the picture appears.  Although the photo does look decided pumpkiny.

Looking back, I see I should have probably gone with 5lb wheat (or more), and 4lb munich, rather than the opposite.  C'est la vi--I never cared about brewing to style anyways.

10-8-15; SG is 1.018.  Taste is odd, but at least there is no DMS.  I believe I shall add a vanilla bean shortly, as well as more spice.  I figure it’ll drop 5-10 more points in the next few days.  I added some nutrients, too.

10-18-15; SG is 1.013.  Added 1.25 vanilla beans, 18 years old and sanitized in rye whiskey (whiskey not added).  Flavour is interesting.  Not sure what to think, actually.

11-11-15; SG is 1.011.  Spices are coming out.

11-28-15; FG 1.010.  Bottling.  Added some champagne yeast, and 2.7 oz of dark brown sugar (boiled).  28 bottles, one is an imperial pint.

© John Frey, 2015. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material.  The recipes, photographs and other contents therein may not be used for any commercial purposes.

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