First Taste – Pumpkin Ale

Last night was a sad night for the Irish and confirmation that the SEC dominates college football here in the US.

In preparation for the evening I fired up the grill and cooked some chicken breasts. I tend to grill better when enjoying a good beer. My Pumpkin Ale has been conditioning in the bottle for about two weeks now. The temperatures here in Houston have finally dropped to well below room temperature. Since I/we prefer to keep the house cool, the inside temperature has been in the high 50’s….inside the house. We fire up the fireplace in the living area and keep the rest of the house cool.

The impact of the cooler temperatures inside the house are not so positive for my beer to condition properly and form carbonation. When I have beer in the fermenter it is an easy fix. I set a big plastic barrel in the room, set the fermenter inside the barrel and partially fill the barrel with water. I then add a fish tank heater set to 68 degrees F. I works very well. Just as I finished bottling the temperatures nose-dived. I hoped for the best but the low  temperatures lingered.  I didn’t want to chuck all of the bottles into the water barrel so  after a week I used a little space heater set on low in the proximity of the cased bottles. I removed one bottle last night before the game, chilled it and was very pleased with the results. Flavor had mellowed nicely from bottling day, carbonation was evident but just a little lacking. I did a little maracas shake with each bottle, placed them back in the cases and I should have dang near perfect beer in less than a week.

My friend, Bill shared some of his Helles Lager with me and now I feel comfortable sharing the Pumpkin Ale in return…Ah, life is so good when you have good friends, good beer and a good woman…..I might change that order depending on situation but you get my drift!

While my head was on the pillow last night I began to form some thoughts for this posting. I had some really cool thoughts that I planned on using but CRS overtook me. I remember just enough to know that I had the thoughts but they have escaped into lala land. I was tempted to go back into the bedroom and put my head back on the pillow in an attempt to recapture those salient and important thoughts! I thought the better of it, my mountain bike riding friends will remember my “den of the cave bear” comments and understand why I chose to not take the risk! I will always love you Hun!

These guys mashed and fermented in real pumpkins……I wasn’t so brave, I roasted the pumpkin, pureed the flesh and steeped it before boiling, adding the malts, hops, spices and irish moss to the wort…..Looks pretty interesting! I may not be brave enough to try it!

My pumpkin used for the process;

Cutting the pumpkin wedges prior to roasting.

Cutting the pumpkin wedges prior to roasting.

The roasted wedges prior to making purees pumpkin.

The roasted wedges prior to making puree pumpkin.

Drink local, drink responsibly,








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