Homebrew: Sasquash Slosh Pumpkin Ale

During spring and summer 2009, Jodie and I put a lot of work building raised beds and making a wee vegetable garden. Come fall we had a harvest that included a few pumpkins, and Jodie asked if her brewing husband would be so kind as to make her a pumpkin beer.

After evaluating a couple of different recipes, I settled on the Pumpkin Ale recipe, with slight modifications, on p. 159-160 of The Homebrewer's Garden, by Joe and Dennis Fisher.

The recipe as-brewed is below. The name, "Sasquash Slosh," came from my dear friend Kat Graf (thanks!).

Stats

  • Brew Date: Nov. 12, 2009
  • Target Original Gravity: 1.069-1.072
  • Initial Gravity Reading (O.G.): 1.066
  • Bottling Date: Dec. 2, 2009
  • Target Final Gravity: 1.012-1.018
  • Final Gravity Reading (F.G.): 1.012
  • Open Date: Dec. 19, 2009

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. Pale 6-Row Malt from Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR
  • 1 lb. Crystal Malt from Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR
  • 1/2 lb. Aromatic Malt from Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR
  • 9 lbs. Fresh pumpkin
  • 6-1/2 lbs. Malt extract syrup from Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR
  • 1/2 lb. honey
  • 1 oz. Perle hops (boiling hops)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 oz. Zeus hops (finishing hops)
  • 1/2 tsp. Irish moss
  • One packet Edme ale yeast (per Jim at Home Fermenter Center, Eugene, OR: “ale yeast with a unique spicy flavor and aroma, good in specialty and wheat beers”)
  • @ bottling: 1-1/4c. dried malt extract

Brewing & Fermentation

Either on brew day or day before brew day, halve or quarter pumpkins and remove seeds and stringy pulp. Bake cut side down on cookie sheets and bake at 350ºF for 1 hour 15 minutes. Add 1/4 c. water to each cookie sheet before putting oven. From the book, the baking step “will gelatinize the starches, allowing them to be broken down by malt enzymes into fermentable sugars and dextrins.”

Let pumpkin cool, then cut away rind. Goal is to wind up with 8-9 lbs. of pumpkin flesh. Mash in a large bowl. If doing this step on the day before brew day, cover bowl and refrigerate.

Add 2 gallons of water to brew pot and steep grains 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and heat to 160ºF. Turn off heat, cover pot and steep for 30 minutes. While grains steep, prepare remaining brewing ingredients. After 30 minutes, sparge grains with 2 quarts hot water.

Turn heat to high and add malt extract syrup and honey, stirring to combine. When heat hits 205 degrees F, stir regularly until 3-5 minutes after wort hits full boil, to prevent boil-over. Once wort is boiling, add boiling hops and stir.

Boil 30 minutes. Clean/sanitize carboy and other equipment during this time. Add 1 gallon cold water to sanitized carboy. After 30 minutes, add spices and Irish moss.

Boil 13 minutes. Add finishing hops.

Remove from heat and cool wort to 90-100ºF.

Strain wort into carboy, sparging through hops and pumpkin. Add wort in stages, as pulpy pumpkin will slow straining. Mash pumpkin with a sanitized spoon for full extraction, then remove pumpkin and hops. Add remaining wort in stages, smashing and spooning as necessary.

Add cold water until total amount of liquid in carboy is 5 gallons. Shake to aerate. Take a sample for initial gravity reading.

When wort temperature is between 68-76ºF, pitch yeast. Cap carboy and set in a warm, quiet place.

Ferment at approx. 72 degrees F for 3-7 days. Bottle with DME solution. (I love bottling with DME — the light effervescence it provides is unbeatable.)

Tasting

We debuted Sasquash Slosh at our holiday party on Dec. 19, 2009, and it was well received.

We've been really happy with the pumpkin and malt flavors, balanced with a bit of pumpkin pie spice and a tidge of hop bitterness. Smooth-drinking and a pretty orange-brown color — pours well in a weiss-style glass.

1 thought on “Homebrew: Sasquash Slosh Pumpkin Ale”

  1. Sounds good.
    It has to beat the pumpkin daiquiris that my wife once served to guests when she mistakenly substituted pumpkin for the peaches she had intended to use.

    Reply

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