hist-brewing: re: Pumpkin Pie Melomel

Wade Hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu
Wed Jan 6 13:59:18 PST 1999

You don't say what recipe you are using, so I have to guess at this, but...
'Pumpkin' is all starch, so just adding pumpkin to honey and allowing it
to ferment probably won't get you very far.  All that starch is a fertile
breeding ground for a whole variety of spoiling bacteria and, as you
found out, mold.  Using pumpkin for beer is easier, since (all-grain)
brewers routinely take a vat of starchy grain and convert it to sugars
for fermentation.  The key is the addition of enzymes that break down
all those starches into simpler, fermentable sugars.  If you want to make
a batch of your melomel with out any barley sugar contribution, you should
be able to get some amalase enzyme and use that to break down the pumpkin
starches.  I've never used the "naked" enzyme myself, since I use the 
naturally occuring enzymes in barley malt for most of my brewing.

To "mash" the pumpkin, I'd mix the pumkin mush with some ground, malted
barley in 
a mesh bag, drain it off, rinse once, and use the resulting wort as the 
brewing liquid along with your honey and spices.  How much malt, and what
kind?  Well, that depends.  6-row american pale ale malt has the highest
enzymatic power of any commonly available brewers malt.  I'd say you'd be 
safe with 1 pound of grain for every 2 pounds of pumpkin mush.  Have the 
grain ground at the brewing supply store (they should be able to do that 
for you), and get one of those nylon mesh bags for winemaking.  Mash the 
barley/pumpkin mixture at 145 to 150 degrees F for at least an hour in
1.25 qts of water per pound of grain/pumpkin mixture.  drain it throughly,
reserving the liquid (which should be fairly clear and sweet.  If it still
tastes 'starchy', mash it some more.  Don't let the temperature drop too 
much, and don't get it over 160 in the first hour.  Rinse the mess at least
once in an equal amount of fresh water, which can be as hot as 170F.

This should give you a starting quantity of pumpkin flavored sugar water
that you can mix with your honey.

Oh, if you did all this already, and it still didn't come out, the pumpkin
flavor is notoriously difficult to extract properly - Many homebrewers have
tried, and a lot of people report difficulties.

Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.
	-----wade hutchison
	whutchis at bucknell.edu
	Gille MacDhnouill

At 01:45 AM 1/6/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Greetings All -
>Does any one have a good recipe for pumpkin pie melomel?  I've combined two
>recipes that are not specific enough, twice and its still not working out how
>I want.  I've been using either baked fresh pumpkin or canned plus all the
>spices that normally go in pie (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and maybe ginger)
>plus a late fall honey that is unusually dark for Ohio.  I strain and rack
>strain and rack, so it doesn't matter if its messy.  OOP is okay, too.  The
>first batch molded in the secondary (my own stupid fault on several fronts)
>and the second is thus far very weak, too sweet, and still manages to be
>sharp after 6-8 weeks in the secondary.  Anyone have a tried recipe?


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