Fall is here and so is pumpkin beer! Hundreds of homebrewers swear by the Northern Brewer Smashing Pumpkin Ale beer recipe kit, and many have even put their own spin on this beer kit by adding fresh or canned pumpkin to the recipe. While this fall brewing kit is great by itself, we wanted to show you a couple ways to customize it for your preferred level of pumpkin and spice. Here's a method one Northern Brewer customer swears by:
5 Stars | Excellent Fall Beer | "I added one 15 oz can of Pumpkin 30 minutes into the boil, added 2 additional TBSP pumpkin spice at the end of the boil. These additions resulted in a very light pumpkin flavor with a nice full spiciness. Not too sweet, and many compliments on a great fall beer!" - Tara S, December 2018.
Watch the video or read the instructions below to learn how to make pumpkin beer with real pumpkin.
How to Add Pumpkin to Your 5 Gallon Extract Beer Recipe Kit
1. Gather supplies.
- Northern Brewer Extract Beer Recipe Kit
- Straining bag large enough to fit in the opening of your boil kettle, such as the Brewmaster Filter Bag.
- 2 additional pounds of crushed Rahr 6-row malt to help convert the starches in the pumpkin into fermentable sugars
- 2-3 15 oz. cans of pumpkin with no added sugar or preservatives. You can also add fresh, roasted pumpkin to your extract kit if you prefer. (pumpkin roasting recipe can be found in Step 2 of the all-grain instructions below)
- Additional brewing equipment (see beer recipe instructions for full list)
2. Mix beer grains and canned pumpkin
- Heat 2.5 gallons of water to approx. 160 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line boil kettle with filter bag
- Add the 2 lbs of Rahr 6-row malt into the kettle and stir well
- Add the canned pumpkin to the grain. Be careful not to splash - the water is hot! Stir the pumpkin into the mash and break up any large clumps
3. Hold the temperature of this mash from 150-152 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour
- If your temp is too high, add a small amount of water
- If your temp is too low, just turn the heat on low and stir for a few minutes
4. Remove grains from kettle
- After the mash has sat for an hour, lift the bag of grains out of the kettle
- Drain as much liquid as possible, and discard the contents. Note, the bag can be reused in future mashes.
5. Follow Smashing Pumpkin Ale Recipe
- Bring pumpkin water to a boil
- Add extract, hops, and spices per the recipe
How to Add Pumpkin to Your 5 Gallon All-Grain Beer Recipe Kit
1. Gather brewing supplies.
- One 8-10lb pumpkin (or a few smaller pumpkins that equal this weight). Note: you can also use other squash, such as butternut or acorn squash.
- Northern Brewer Smashing Pumpkin Ale All-Grain Beer Recipe Kit
- Brewing Equipment (see recipe instructions for full list)
2. Prepare fresh pumpkin (note - you can skip this step if you would prefer to use canned pumpkin)
- Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the innards. Cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces.
- Place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet covered with tinfoil and oil or a glass casserole dish
- Roast the pumpkin at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1-2 hours, or until soft and cooked through
- Let cool. Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin into a small bucket or bowl. Stir/smash the pumpkin to break up any large clumps.
- Before adding the pumpkin to the mash, add some hot water to the pumpkin to help make it easier to pour into your mash tun.
3. Prepare your mash
- Follow all-grain recipe instructions. Pour your grains into mash tun and mix. Pro-tip: Some homebrewers add a few handfuls of rice hulls to help avoid a possible stuck sparge
- Scoop the moistened, cooked pumpkin flesh (or canned pumpkin, if you prefer) into the mash tun. Stir well to break up any clumps.
- Mash at 152 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour
- After mash rest, you have the option of raising to a mash-out temp of 170 degrees for 10 minutes
4. Continue to sparge by whatever method you choose. You'll notice the pumpkin's immediate impact on the color, feel and aroma to the wort.
5. Collect total boil volume, bring to a boil, and follow the recipe for hops and spice additions.