Pumpkin Ale

I wrote about frost on the pumpkin this morning for my gardening blog…..a little more philosophical than usual this morning but came on the heals of racking my Pumpkin Ale into the secondary yesterday evening. I should really call it “Cinderella Pumpkin Ale” as it was brewed with fresh pumpkin puree that I prepared from one of my wife’s fall decorative pumpkins. They are usually discarded once the season ends but I chose to make use of at least one of them. Two more are still firm and available for rescue.

Back to the ale, it started at about 1.056 original gravity and checked in at 1.015 when I racked it into the carboy(uncorrected gravities). It should be an easy beer to drink at around 5.6% ABV plus or minus a little. I had my oldest son and wife sample the ale from the graduated cylinder and both agree that it is pretty tasty. I want it to clean up pretty well before bottling. There was a good two inches of yeast and puree debris at the bottom of the primary and still a bit cloudy. May let it clean-up until after Christmas before bottling.

Last night I was treated to a great evening by my wife…….no, not like that! She bought some tickets for the US Women’s soccer match vs. China here in Houston last night. My daughter and three good friends joined us for some pre-match beers at the Flying Saucer downtown. It always a bit crowded and noisy and we almost could not find a place for the 6 of of us to sit together. The evening chill wasn’t too bad so we grabbed a table out side. Quieter, except when the Metro Train whizzed by on Main St. I added three new beers to my list, tossed the keys to my wife, the DD and off we went to the match.

USA, USA, USA was the common chant and we weren’t disappointed. We missed the first 15 or so minutes circling to find a parking spot but arrived just in time to see Abby Wambach put a signature header into the back of the net. She had another unassisted goal in the second half as the US side ran away with a 4-0 win. It was cold enough that the 24 oz. can of Tecate lasted almost the entire match and stayed cold!

The Cinderella Pumpkin was huge so I wound up with puree to spare….so , rather than brew 20 gallons of Pumpkin Ale I put some in the freezer and used some to make the Pumpkin bread shown below. Pretty danged good….especially on day two and beyond! It seems that the flavors mature as it site….hmmmmm, kinda like good beer, eh?

Yum, very nice. Made two loaves and have plenty to make more!

Yum, very nice. Made two loaves and have plenty to make more!

Drink local and responsibly!




Missed Beer Opportunity

It wasn’t quite the end of the world – it was a matter of electronic communications and proper behavior on my part. I rolled off to Bass Pro Shop Sunday afternoon for a manly man shopping day. When I arrived I looked at my iPhone and saw that I had an email from a Kingwood buddy and an awesome homebrewer and he was in need of some help.

My Mailbox indicated a 3:25 PM message that I did not get a chance to respond to until I was stopped in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot – Pearland, TX. Note for Mike….it said that you sent the message on Wednesday May 7th 2003 at 9:25 pm – I think something is amiss with your mail account. Message sent to me and good friend John.

“Sent: Wed 5/7/2003 9:25 PM

Just got thru putzin around the garage an figured itz time for a beer.  If you guys can get away, I need help finishing off the Bock so I can fridge my Pilz before the summer is over.Come on by for a brew or 2.”

I replied that I was in Pearland and would be happy to help with the inventory problem….I am good at reducing beer inventories!

I was able to swing by his house at 5:20 PM but alas….no answer to my thirsty knock.

Plan B – I saw a tweet that Flying Saucer had Southern Star’s ProAm 2012 in stock. This is a Double IPA that I sampled a few weeks ago at their brewery tour. It is an awesome beer. The local HEB typically has Southern Star offerings so I swung by…if I can’t get one of Mike’s homebrews I will seek out an acceptable alternative.

I struck out again but there was still an out left before retiring the side….I wandered the aisle and found – a six-pack of Alaskan Amber. Ok I am on base now, made my purchase and headed home where 3 thick T-bone steaks were seasoned and ready to throw on the grill. Photos via iPhone.

The Alaskan Amber fulfilling the role of grill-mate, a job well suited for this Alaskan offering.

Three Tbones – mine closest to the front with lots of coarse ground black pepper! Garlic French bread lingering in the far corner.

Salad with spicy ranch dressing joined the meal and finished off with a Lazy Magnolia Pecan Brown Ale. Shared the meal with my wife – she just cut the tender part out of the T-bone and told – no – asked me to keep my hands off of the remainder…she loves cold steak! I poured her a Bombshell Blonde from Southern Star – life really is good!

Mike – I am always willing to help reduce inventory….please invite me again…