How to Brew Pumpkin Amber Ale

Pumpkn beers are one of the most polarizing beers out there. You either love them or you hate them. And while there are a lot of bad commercial options there’s nothing like making one yourself. Making your own pumpkin beer allows you to adjust the parts you like.

For more holiday flavored beers try out Gingerbread Cookie Saison with Vanilla.

A glass of pumpkin ale surrounded by orange pumpkins.
Credit: https://www.nat-dist.com/2019/09/23/the-first-day-of-fall-is-here-check-out-our-fall-pumpkin-and-oktoberfest-beer-selection/

The Recipe

For this recipe, we’re making a 5-gallon batch using the brew in a bag method. We start by heating up 6.75 gallons of water to 161 F. For this pumpkin beer were using 3 lbs of canned pumpkin. Make sure that you use organic and 100% pure pumpkin. We add the grain bag and the grains.

  • 66.7% Maris Otter
  • 7% Victory Malt
  • 3.5% Crystal Malt 60L
  • 21% Pumpkin
  • 1.8% Maple Syrup at the end of boil

We plan to mash at 153 F for 45 minutes. Mashing at this temperature will help accentuate the body and also leave a little bit of residual sweetness in the beer.

A glass of pumpkin ale with a Halloween pumpkin.
Credit: https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/209499/pumpkin-beer-how-its-made-and-who-invented-it/

Delicious pumpkin beer

After 45 minutes we pull the gain bag out and bring the wort to boil. We plan to boil for 30 minutes. Once the boil started we add 0.65 oz Magnum hops. At the 15 minutes mark, we add a wort chiller and a Whirlfloc tablet. The wort chiller will help cool down the beer when the boil is over.

At the end of the boil we prepare for some flameout additions:

  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 4 oz Maple Syrup

We chill the wort down to 65 F and then transfer it into a fermenter.

For yeast we’re going with SafAle S-04 English Ale. It has a fairly clean profile and won’t get in the way of the pumpkin and spices we have added. We set the fermenter in a cool dar space at 65 F for 7 days.

After 1 week we transfer the beer into a keeg. In another week it’s ready to drink. From mashin it a high temperature we go such a creamy and velvety mouthfeel. Pumpkins have a great earthy-sweet flavor similar to many types of winter squash. The pumpkin pie spices shine through at the end giving it a warming sensation. It’s very light and easy to drink. Cheers.

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