German Altbier Beer Recipe (Partial Mash)

Altbier In GlassSimilar to Kölsch or steam beer, German altbier is something of a hybrid beer style. Though it’s generally considered to be an ale, it’s fermented on the cooler end of the temperature range and goes through a cold conditioning period, resulting in a smooth, clean brew with lager-like characteristics. If you’re looking for an easy-drinking, yet flavorful beer to add to your homebrew lineup, brewing a German altbier beer recipe is a great option!

 

History of the Style

In German, “alt” means old, referring to the habit of brewing with top-fermenting ale yeasts before bottom-fermenting lager yeasts came into practice. Most of the remaining authentic versions of altbier come from the German city of Düsseldorf.

 

Style Guidelines

  • Aroma – Clean with rich, bready malt character and spicy, German hop notes. Hop aromas range from low to moderate. Saaz hops are frequently encountered. Some mild esters may be present.
  • Appearance – A good German altbier beer recipe should produce a beer light amber to copper in color. Clear with a billowy, creamy, off-white head.
  • Flavor – Malt-forward with an assertive hop bitterness. Beer is relatively dry, but balanced by rich caramel malt flavors. Often has a complex, nutty finish with both hop bitterness and moderate noble hop flavor.
  • Mouthfeel – Smooth, medium-bodied, with moderate to moderate-high carbonation. Full of flavor yet easy drinking.

Due to the need for temperature-controlled fermentation, altbier can be a difficult style to brew. But it’s well worth the challenge and can be a delicious go-to option for your home brewery!

 

German Altbier Beer Recipe
(five-gallon batch, extract with grains)

Specs 
OG: 1.051
FG: 1.013
ABV: 5%
IBU: 38
SRM: 15 

Ingredients 
Shop Steam Freak Kits6.6 lbs. Munich LME
1 lb. Munich 20L malt
12 oz. Caramel 60° malt
2 oz. Chocolate malt
1.5 oz. Perle hops at :60
1 oz. Saaz hops at :15
1 tsp. Irish moss at :15
1 oz. Saaz hops at :5
2 packs Wyeast 1007: German Ale Yeast 

Directions 
Place crushed grains in a grain bag and steep in 3 gallons of water at 154˚F for 30 minutes. Remove grain bag and discard. Add liquid malt extract to brewing liquor and mix in thoroughly. Bring wort to a boil and add hops and Irish moss according to schedule above. At the end of the boil, chill wort and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch yeast and ferment at 58-60˚F for about two weeks. Optionally, transfer to a secondary fermenter. Cold condition at 32-40˚F for about 1 month, then bottle or keg for about 2.5-2.8 vols CO2. Cheers!

Sound tasty? Also consider brewing the German Altbier beer recipe kit from Brewer’s Best!

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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Big, Hoppy, American Barleywine Recipe (All-Grain & Extract)

BarleywineJust how much flavor can you pack into a homebrew? I’m not sure if there’s a limit, but this barelywine beer recipe really pushes the envelope!

Barleywines are big, malty beers, usually featuring a complex range of flavors, from sweet caramel and toffee, to raisins, dates, and molasses. To balance out the malty sweetness, they’re usually heavily hopped, but the level of hop flavor and aroma can range from subtle to quite aggressive. Alcohol content is high, so these beers are often aged for months or even years to round out the flavors.

At 96 IBUs, this barleywine beer recipe is for hop heads. Three of the “C” hops – Centennial, Cascade, and Chinook – are added throughout the boil and as dry hops to give this beer a piney, citrusy hop character – think of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot.

Since this is such a high gravity beer (OG = 1.112), we recommend a few things to ensure a healthy fermentation:

  • Pitch a yeast starter – Pitching enough healthy, viable yeast cells is critical. At the very least, pitch two packs of liquid beer yeast into a 2L starter. Use a yeast starter calculator to determine exactly what size starter you need.
  • Use yeast nutrientYeast nutrient can give yeast an added boost for high-gravity beers. Nutrient is added during the boil, but have some yeast energizer on hand in the event of a stuck fermentation.
  • Oxygenate – if you have the equipment to oxygenate your wort, by all means use it. Otherwise, be sure to aerate the wort very well. Splash it around more than usual when pouring into the fermenter. Maybe even pour it through a strainer to maximize aeration.

Ready to brew this mammoth beer? Good luck!

 

Neural Rust Barleywine Beer Recipe (via AHA)
(5-gallon batch, all-grain)

Specs
OG: 1.112
FG: 1.023
ABV: 11.7%
IBUs: 96
SRM: 19Shop Dried Malt Extract

Ingredients 
17.4 lbs. Maris Otter malt
1.1 lb. Carapils malt
1 lb. Caramel 60L malt
0.6 lb. Caramel 90L malt
0.4 lb. Caramel 120L malt
1.25 tsp. gypsum (added to mash)
1.2 oz. Chinook hops at :60 (13.2 AAUs)
1 oz. Chinook hops at :45 (11AAUs)
0.85 oz. Centennial hops at :30 (7.4 AAUs)
0.6 oz. Cascade hops at :15 (3 AAUs)
0.6 oz. Centennial hops at :15 (5.2 AAUs)Shop Liquid Malt Extract
1 tsp. Irish moss at :15
2 tsp. yeast nutrient at: :15
2 packs Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast
1 oz. Chinook hops, dry-hopped for 14 days
1 oz. Centennial hops, dry-hopped for 14 days
1 oz. Cascade hops, dry-hopped for 14 days

 

Barleywine Beer Recipe Directions: 
Mash crushed grains at in 5.25 gallons water at 150˚F for 90 minutes. Lauter and sparge to collect seven gallons of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, adding hops, Irish moss, and, yeast nutrient according to schedule above. Chill wort, aerate well, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Ferment at 68˚F for one month. Transfer to secondary and dry hop for two weeks. Bottle or force carbonate to target 2.3 vols. CO2.

Partial Mash Option:
Replace the Maris Otter malt with 2.4 lbs. Maris Otter plus 10 lbs. light DME. If possible, do a 7-gallon boil. If not, add half of the DME before the boil, the other half at the end of the boil, and increase the first hop addition to 2.4 oz.

Any barleywine can be fun to brew, but this barleywine beer recipe is particularly fun to make. And if you are not into the all-grain scene, the partial mash option fills out the flavor quite well.

—–
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

3 Homebrews to Serve at Your Holiday Feast

Homebrew Holiday Beer In Front Of FireplaceHomebrewing is without a doubt a culinary activity. Chances are that if you’re a homebrewer, you also enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. One of my favorite things about homebrewing is translating seasonal flavors from the kitchen into seasonal beer recipes. In the winter, many spices from holiday cooking make it into the brew kettle: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom. Pumpkin and cranberry are classic elements of a holiday meal, and what would the season be without peppermint?

All of these holiday flavors can be incorporated into beer recipes. Below, find three of my favorite holiday beer recipes. Brew each one for a three-course homebrew tasting event!

 

Cranberry “Lambic”

This beer resembles the wild-fermented lambics of Belgium, often made with fruit. But instead of waiting for years for the wild microbes to develop the characteristic sourness, this recipe uses cranberry juice concentrate in the secondary fermenter! Serve this homebrew as an aperitif or see how it plays along with the cranberry relish! Cranberry Lambic Recipe >>

 

Pumpkin Porter

This heartier brew can easily accompany some of the heavier dishes at the holiday meal. Canned pumpkin, sweet roasted malts, and variety of holiday spices combine in a wonderfully sweet, roasty, and spicy brew. Be sure to save room for dessert! Pumpkin Porter Recipe >>

 

Peppermint Stout

And for a final holiday treat, consider this chocolaty-smooth stout recipe recipe featuring notes of peppermint. Feeling adventurous? Try adding a candy cane at the very end of the boil!

Specs 
OG: 1.057
FG: 1.014
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 36
SRM: 34

Ingredients 
3 lbs. Dark DME
3 lbs. Dark DME (late addition)
Shop Steam Freak Kits1 lb. Munich malt
0.75 lb. Chocolate wheat malt
0.25 lb. Roasted barley
0.5 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :60
1 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :30
0.5 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :10
5 grams dried peppermint at flame out
1 packet Safale S-04 

Directions: Steep crushed grains in one gallon of water at 150˚F for 30 minutes. Strain wort into brew kettle. Add half the DME and enough water to make 3.5 gallons. Bring wort to a boil and boil for one hour, adding hops according to the schedule above. At the end of the boil, remove kettle from heat, mix in the DME and the peppermint, and chill wort. Transfer wort to a clean, sanitized fermenter and add enough clean, chlorine-free water to make 5.5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68˚F.

What are some of your favorite holiday beer recipes? 
—–
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Robust Porter Beer Recipe – with Coconut! (Extract w/ Grains)

Robust Porter BeerRobust porter is a subset of porter and as you may imagine, it tends to be stronger and more flavorful than a standard brown porter. Still, it embodies the key aspects of porter: brown to dark brown, showcasing balanced malt flavors and aromas reminiscent of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. Though robust porter beer recipe may have a little more roasted malt than a regular porter, it falls short of being as roasty as a stout.

Based on the just released 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines, one might reclassify a robust porter as an American porter. Unlike English porters, American porters tend to be stronger in alcohol and hop character than their English counterparts. Alcohol content may be as high as 7% ABV, while hop bitterness can range from 25-50 IBUs. In terms of hop flavor and aroma, the American versions tend to exhibit more of both, often using American-grown hops. The hop flavor and aroma can range from fairly subtle to fairly aggressive – the level of hoppiness you want is up to you, but if you intend to enter the beer into competition be sure not to go overboard.

If you want to go to the next level, you can try what Charlotte’s NoDa Brewing Company does to their robust porter beer recipe. Their “Coco Loco” porter, brewed with toasted coconut, won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Robust Porter category. Try putting 0.5 lb. toasted coconut in the secondary fermenter for a few days to a week. Use a straining bag and a sanitized shot glass or spoon to weigh the bag down.

Happy brewing!

 

Robust Porter Beer Recipe – with Coconut!
(5-gallon batch, extract with specialty grains)

Specs
OG: 1.055
FG: 1.017
ABV: 5%
IBUs: 40
SRM: 32

Ingredients
6.6 lbs. Briess dark liquid malt extract
0.75 lb. light dry malt extract
0.5 lb. caramel 60L malt
0.25 lb. chocolate malt
Shop Steam Freak Kits0.25 lb. black malt
1.5 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :60
1 oz. Fuggles hops at :20
1 packet Safebrew S-33
corn sugar for priming
.5 lb. Toasted Coconut (in secondary)
bottle caps

Directions
Heat 6 gallons of chlorine-free water to 150˚F. Place crushed specialty grains in a muslin grain bag and steep in the water for 30 minutes. Remove grains, allowing wort to drip back into the pot. Mix in malt extracts and bring wort to a boil. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to schedule above. At the end of the boil, chill wort to about 70˚F and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Pitch yeast and ferment at 68˚F for seven to ten days. Transfer to a secondary fermenter and add the coconut. After a few days to a week, bottle and age at room temperature for 3-4 weeks and enjoy!

Do you have a robust porter beer recipe you’d like to share? Just add it to the comments below…
—–
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

“German” IPA Beer Recipe (All-Grain & Partial Mash)

German Beer In GlassesOne of the fun things about homebrewing is mashing together different beer styles and creating something altogether new. After trying a “German IPA” at a brewpub in Atlanta, I knew I had to give it a shot. The beer had the wonderful, malty backbone and the in-your-face hop flavor of an IPA, but the hops themselves were not what you’d usually expect to find in that kind of beer. Instead of piney, citrusy American hops, this beer showcased the more spicy and floral character of noble hops.

 

Developing a German IPA Beer Recipe

A number of clues came from the beer menu:

Grain bill: Munich, Vienna
Hops: Magnum, Perle, Northern Brewer, Hallertau, Tettnang
Yeast: German ale yeast

These were my tasting notes: Balanced bitterness, medium to medium-full bodied, spicy notes in the flavor, but with assertive noble hop aroma.

Based on this information, I took a couple of stabs at the beer recipe, and this is its current iteration. Feel free to use it as a starting point for your own German IPA, or modify it to suit your tastes.

Good luck!

 

German IPA Beer Recipe – All-Grain
(5-gallon batch)

Specs
OG: 1.064
FG: 1.016
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 64
SRM: 11

Ingredients
9 lbs. German Vienna malt
4 lbs. German Munich malt (dark)
0.5 oz. Magnum hops at :60
1 oz. Perle hops at :20
1 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :10
1 oz. Hallertau hops at :5
1 oz. Tettnang hops at :5
1 oz. Hallertau hops dry hopped for five days
1 oz. Tettnang hops dry hopped for five days
Wyeast 1007: German Ale Yeast

Directions
shop_barley_grainsThe day before brewing, prepare a 2L yeast starter. On brew day, mash grains at 154˚F for 60 minutes. Sparge and lauter to collect about 6.5 gallons of wort in the brew kettle. Boil for one hour, adding hops according to schedule above. Chill wort and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenting bucket. Ferment at 66˚F for about a week, then transfer to a secondary fermenter. Dry hop for five days, then bottle or keg.

 

German IPA Beer Recipe – Partial Mash
(5-gallon batch)

Specs
OG: 1.064
FG: 1.016
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 64
SRM: 11

Ingredients
2 lbs. German Vienna malt
2.5 lb. German Munich malt (dark)
6.6 lbs. Munich LME
1.65 oz. Magnum hops at :60
1 oz. Perle hops at :20
1 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :10
1 oz. Hallertau hops at :5
1 oz. Tettnang hops at :5
1 oz. Hallertau hops dry hopped for five days
1 oz. Tettnang hops dry hopped for five daysshop_hops
Wyeast 1007: German Ale Yeast

Directions
The day before brewing, prepare a 2L yeast starter. On brew day, do a “mini-mash” of the Vienna and Munich malts in 6.75 qts. of clean water. Hold at 154˚F for 60 minutes, then strain wort into the brew kettle. Add the malt extracts and enough water to make 3 gallons. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to schedule above. Chill wort and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenting bucket, adding enough clean, chlorine-free water to make 5.5 gallons. Ferment at 66˚F for about a week, then transfer to a secondary fermenter. Dry hop for five days, then bottle or keg.

Have you ever brewed a “German” IPA before? What was your beer recipe like?

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David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

Tips for Brewing with Rye

Sack Of Rye For Brewing BeerHave you ever wanted to brew a Rye IPA or a Rye Saison? Though rye beers are easy to brew, it just helps to know a few techniques before you get started. Here’s some tips for brewing with rye.

 

How is rye different from other brewing grains?

While most beer is made primarily from barley, other grains can be used to add complexity of flavor or to affect the mouthfeel of the beer. Rye, like wheat, is higher in protein than barley so it helps to give beer a smooth, chewy, filling mouthfeel. It does not have a husk, so sometimes rice hulls are used to help with lautering. Rye also has a unique flavor, one that some describe as spicy, tangy, or rustic. It seems to pair well with spicy hops and phenolic yeast strains.

 

How to Add Rye to Your Homebrew

Brewers have a few choices when adding rye to their brew. Rye malt is the standard ingredient for brewing with rye. It can be crushed just like other malted grains, though rye tends to have a smaller grain size, so it may be necessary to mill the rye separately on a smaller setting to get a good crush.

Flaked rye has been heated and pressed through rollers. Flaked grains don’t need to be milled, so they can be added directly to the mash or steeping bag.

Chocolate rye malt is a specialty grain that combines the roasty, chocolatey flavors of a darker specialty malt with the spicy notes of rye. It’s a fun way to add some complexity to darker beers! Use up to about a half-pound or so in a five-gallon batch.Shop Barley Crusher

Similar to chocolate rye malt, Cararye malt is a rye malt that’s been kilned just enough to develop some amber color and sweet caramel flavor. Recommended usage is up to 15% of the grain bill.

When brewing with rye it is important to understand that it has a higher protein content than other grains and no husk. Because of this rice hulls are recommended when brewing with more than about a pound of rye. This will improve filtering ability of the grain bed and will help reduce the likelihood of a stuck mash. Rice hulls will not affect flavor or color, but they will greatly improve the filtering ability of the grain bed. For an all-grain batch of homebrew with more than 10% rye, 0.5-1 pound of rice hulls are recommended. They do not need to be milled.

 

Rye Homebrew Recipes

Ready to make some rye beers of your own? Here’s some beer recipes to help you start brewing with rye…

 

Have you ever tried brewing with rye? What’s your favorite style of rye beer? 
———————————–
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

IPA Session Beer Recipe (All-Grain & Partial Mash)

Two men drinking a ipa session beer.“Session” beers are all the rage these days. Though super high-gravity beers have their place, beer drinkers seem to be trending back to beers that are easily drinkable – something you can enjoy a few pints of without necessarily getting a headache the next day. Such is the case with this IPA session beer recipe.

Homebrewing geeks may be familiar with the beer writer Ron Pattinson and his blog, Shut Up About Barclay Perkins. Ron dives deep into brewing history, going to great lengths to dig up old beer recipes and statistics on how beer was actually made many decades ago. Believe it or not, historical beer recipes didn’t always fit very snuggly into the BJCP Style Guidelines.

This was certainly the case when looking at beer recipes from during WWI and WWII. Such was a time when barley was rationed and brewing ingredients came at a premium. This certainly affected the brewing industry in the UK, where English barley malt was supplemented with imported malts and adjuncts like corn and sugar.

Today’s IPA session beer recipe is modeled after a beer from the Whitbread Brewery of London (Incidentally, Whitbread yeast is derived from that brewery. Safale S-04 is the dry yeast version). The beer has a much lower gravity than what we would normally consider for an IPA, with an ABV of just 4.7%. Still, it’s a bitter beer at 75 IBUs. The use of about 20% simple sugar should make this beer pretty dry on the finish.

Curious what kind of beer people were drinking nearly 100 years ago? Give this recipe a try!

Whitbread 1917 IPA Recipe
(5-gallon recipe, all-grain, via Shut Up About Barclay Perkins)

Specs 
OG: 1.047
FG: 1.010
ABV: 4.7%
IBUs: 75
SRM: 6.2

Ingredients 
Shop Steam Freak Kits4.8 lbs. English pale malt
2 lbs. American six-row malt
1.78 lbs. light brown sugar
2.5 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :90 (12.75 AAUs)
1.25 oz. Kent Goldings hops at :20 (6.375 AAUs)
Wyeast 1099: Whitbread Ale Yeast or Safale S-04

All-Grain Directions: 
Mash the crushed grains in about 1.5 gallons of clean, chlorine-free water for two hours. Lauter and sparge, collecting about 6.5 gallons of wort in the brew kettle. Bring to a boil and boil for 90 minutes, adding hops according to schedule. Mix in the brown sugar at the end of the boil. Chill wort to fermentation temperature and ferment at 70˚F until complete. Bottle or keg and enjoy!

Partial-Mash Directions: Replace the English pale malt with 3.1 lbs. light dry malt extract. Mash the crushed six-row malt in 2 qts. of water, then sparge. Add enough water to make a 3-gallon boil and mix in the malt extract. Bring to a boil. Increase the 90-minute hop addition to 3.5 oz. and the 20-minute hop addition to 1.5 oz. Continue with the recipe above.

Do you have a IPA session beer recipe you’d like to share? Just post it in the comments section below.

———————————–
David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.

“Copperhead” Hoppy Red Ale Beer Recipe

Hoppy Red Ale BeerThis beer started out as many good beers do: attempting to copy, or “clone”, someone else’s good beer. One of my favorite local nano-breweries produces a very hoppy red ale that I have fallen in love with. They list the grains and hops used on their menu, but neither the amounts nor the process.

It wasn’t very difficult to determine the grain bill amounts and the hops to use for the hoppy red ale beer recipe, but the hop schedule was pretty much a guess. I was able to match the IBUs they listed, but like I said, I wasn’t really sure of the hop schedule.

My clone beer tasted fairly similar, although not exactly the same; more copper than red, which is why I call it Copperhead. But it turns out that I started to like this beer better than the one I had been trying to copy. I assume that’s because there is a bit of pride in developing this beer, but also, it’s a fair bit lighter than the professional counterpart, and therefore I can drink more of it and not get as full.

This is the tweaked recipe from the third batch I brewed of this beer. This is absolutely the best beer I’ve ever brewed, and it’s a beer I love to drink. It can even be made into a session beer. This recipe makes a 5-gallon batch. Enjoy!

 

“Copperhead” Hoppy Red Ale Beer Recipe
(5 Gallons, All-Grains)

Specs 
OG: 1.069
FG: 1.017
ABV: 6.8%
IBUs: 80+
SRM: 12

Ingredients

Grain Bill:
11 LB     Pale Two Row
14 OZ    Crystal 20L
8 OZ      Special B Shop Barley Crusher
4 OZ      CaraRed 

Hops:
.5 OZ     Warrior (60 minutes)
1 OZ      Simcoe (20 minutes)
1 OZ      Columbus (10 minutes)
1 OZ      Citra (Flame Out)
2 OZ      Citra (Dry hop – 7 days)

Yeast:
Wyeast 1272 American Ale II (use two packs or make a starter)

Directions
The process is fairly straightforward. Mash all grains at 154°F for 60 minutes, using 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain. Sparge to about 5.5 gallons and then boil for 60 minutes using the hop schedule above, cool, and add to fermenter. Ferment at 68°F. After 4 to 7 days, when fermentation has slowed substantially, add the final Citra hops and let sit for a week. After two weeks total in the fermenter, I like to clear with gelatin, and then package and enjoy.

If your mash reaches a good efficiency, your starting gravity should be about 1.069. I generally come in a little less than that. If you have room in your fermenter, and want to make this a session beer, you can simply add enough water to bring the OG down to 1.050. This beer is flavorful enough that it can handle that much dilution. It does change the beer, but the result is still a VERY drinkable somewhat-red-to-copper hoppy ale.

Hope you enjoy this hoppy red ale beer recipe! Cheers!
———————————–
John Torrance is a database developer, gadget lover, and avid home brewer living in Lafayette, Colorado. When he’s not actively brewing, he’s generally daydreaming about what he’s going to brew for his next batch.

Fall Homebrew Recipe: Pumpkin Porter (Extract)

Pumpkin Porter RecipeWith fall approaching, it’s time to get to work on some seasonal brews! And no other beer screams fall like a good pumpkin porter! Below you will find a pumpkin port recipe that’s simple and delicious!

Pumpkin beers are popular this time of year, but brewing one involves figuring out the answers to several questions:

  • What kind of pumpkin, fresh or canned?
  • How to prepare the pumpkin?
  • Should I mash the pumpkin?
  • What kind of spices to use?

As the brewer, it’s up to you to figure out the method that works for you, and it may just come down to how much time you have available. Fresh pumpkin can be used, but it takes time to peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, chop it up, and bake. Some homebrewers recommend roasting the pumpkin for an hour at about 350˚F for flavor development. In terms of when to add the pumpkin, I suggest mashing it with the rest of the grains. Just be sure to use plenty of rice hulls to avoid a stuck mash.

As for spices, you’re certainly welcome to come up with your own spice blend, but a premixed pumpkin pie spice blend will already have a good balance between the different flavors. Whatever you do, use a light hand on the spices. Cinnamon is usually pretty safe, but it’s easy to go overboard with spices like cardamom, nutmeg, and clove. Start with just a pinch in a five-gallon batch, added at the very end of the boil. If using a pre-mixed spice blend, use half an ounce at the most.

For the pumpkin porter recipe below, I’ve gone with some of the easier methods. Canned pumpkin instead of fresh saves a lot of time and energy, and a premixed pumpkin pie spice blend takes some of the guesswork out of getting the balance right.

 

Pumpkin Porter Recipe (Extract)

Specs 
OG: 1.061
FG: 1.013
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 21
SRM: 22

Ingredients
2 lbs. canned organic pumpkin
0.25 lb rice hulls
6.6 lbs. Munich malt extract
1 lb. Caramel 40L malt
Shop Steam Freak Kits0.5 lb. Victory malt
0.5 lb. Chocolate malt
1 oz. Willamette hops at :60
1 oz. Willamette hops at :30
1 tsp. Irish moss at :10
0.25 oz. pumpkin pie spice (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) at :0
Wyeast 1056: American ale yeast

 

Directions
Put the canned pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake at 350˚F for 60 minutes, then mash with the specialty grains and about 1.5 gallons water at 152˚F for one hour. Use a strainer to strain wort into the brew kettle, rinsing the grains and pumpkin with about 1/2 gallon of water at 170˚F. Add the liquid malt extract and enough water to make 3.5 gallons. Bring wort to a boil, then add hops, Irish moss, and spices according to schedule above. Whirlpool, chill, and transfer to a clean, sanitized fermenter. Top off with enough clean, chlorine-free water to make 5.5 gallons. Pitch yeast at 70˚F.

Ferment at 68-70˚F for one week, then transfer to secondary for two. Prime with corn sugar, then bottle.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin porter recipe? What’s your secret?
———————————–
David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.

10 Beer Recipes for Fall Brewing

Beer For FallSomething about the change of weather has a big impact on our taste buds. The pro brewers know this – seasonal beers are beginning to outpace IPAs as the most popular craft beer option. To brew your own fall seasonal beer, consider one (or more!) of these ten beer recipes for fall brewing.

Keep in mind some of these homebrew recipes take time – if you want them ready in time for a special occasion be sure to give yourself at least a month or two head start. Among the ten beers are some fall classics, some winter warmers, and of course, no such list would be complete without at least one IPA.

 

Classic Fall Beer Styles

  • Oktoberfest –Oktoberfest is traditionally brewed in the spring, but frankly it’s a tasty beer any time of year. This amber lager is malty, smooth, and refreshing. If time is an issue, you can always brew it as an ale to have it ready faster.
  • Amber Ale – Maybe it’s the color, but amber ale always strikes me as a good fall beer. This one features caramel malt flavors, medium hop bitterness, and 5% ABV.
  • Brown Ale – Brown ales showcase darker malt flavors, and are often describes as nutty with notes of chocolate. They’re smooth, easy drinking, and work great with grilled meat!
  • Pumpkin Ale – The quintessential beer recipe for fall, a good pumpkin ale tastes just like pumpkin pie! Be sure to brew it by mid-October to have it ready in time for Thanksgiving!

 

Fall Brewing for Winter Drinking

Fall’s a great time to get started on some of the higher gravity beers for the winter. Each of these tasty brews can be aged for several months or longer. Just for fun, save some for next winter to see how the flavor develops over time.

  • BarleywineBarleywine is like the port of the beer world, high alcohol with a complex range of rich caramel malt flavors. At about 10% ABV, this one’s a sipper!
  • Russian Imperial StoutSimilar to barleywine with a higher alcohol content, Russian Imperial Stout features darker malts, giving the beer deep flavors of dark fruity, chocolate, and coffee. This kit comes in at around 8% ABV.Shop Steam Freak Kits
  • Maple Scotch AleA good Scotch ale is rich, malty, and smooth. This one uses 1 lb. of maple syrup for an extra layer of deliciousness! What could be better in the fall.
  • Bock – German bock is a malt-forward lager with a somewhat higher than average alcohol content. Traditional bock is typically 6-7.5% ABV whereas dopplebock may get as high as 12%. This beer recipe kit makes a brown lager at around 7% ABV.
  • Winter Spiced Beer – Spiced beers offer a great opportunity to exercise some creativity, but sometimes it’s best to start with an established homebrew recipe to develop a sense of different spices and their flavor contribution. This recipe is an award winner, brewed with honey, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and orange peel.

 

IPAs Are Always in Season

One of the few IPAs made specifically for the winter also happens to be one of my favorites:


What are some of your favorite beer recipes for fall brewing?

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David Ackley is a writer, brewer, and craft beer marketing consultant. He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.