Pumpkin Spiced Samhain Amber Ale
Samhain or Hallowe’en is one of my favourite times of year. It’s the long, dark nights, the warm fires, the abundance that autumn offers, root vegetables, berries and apples. The shorter evenings are a great excuse to get brewing and warm the house with the smell of biscuity wort and spicy, citrusy hops.
I have been brewing for a couple of years and have wanted to share recipes from the Scullery, but I didn’t really know where to start with getting people to try to brew! So, I decided not to… while this won’t serve as a “How To” for brewing beer, I can suggest for any new brewers to get your hands on Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Beer Making Book. It simplifies the core principles of brewing and details the equipment and ingredients you’ll need to get started so that you can try some of these secret scullery recipes!
The beers I brew are all brewed in 8-10L batches on my kitchen stove. These smaller batches mean I can play around with interesting ingredients without worrying too much about the volume needed for a recipe or the cost of the recipe. I try to incorporate flavours and ingredients I like into the recipes, sometimes with specific combinations of grain, hops and yeast but I’ll also try adding different ingredients that are seasonal and local if they’re available.
The inspiration for this brew comes from across the pond in the States. I have a lot of respect for the craft brewing industry in the US; where locals have embraced craft brewers and their creations over the last three decades, allowing their reach to grow every year enabling brewers to experiment with new styles for the more curious beer drinkers. Pumpkin as an ingredient in beer is not a new idea or style; but within the last decade pumpkin spiced ale has gained popularity in the states and is a seasonal beer synonymous with Hallowe’en. It tastes like pumpkin pie seasoned with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and zesty oranges. It’s the kind of beer that polarizes people, I love it; you might hate it!
This recipe uses an amber ale base, spicy zesty hops, a spicy continental style yeast, pumpkin and Belfast’s own suki spiced citrus tea. It produces a savoury spiced pumpkin ale with an ABV of 5.5%. In order to get the goodness from the pumpkin without adding bulky un-fermentable fibres to the wort, the pumpkin juices are extracted using coffee filter paper and boiled water. It’s a little messy, but necessary if you don’t want to lose half of your beer to fibres!
As always, the spent grains from the brew were included in our most recent batch of BlackBrew, SculleryMade Black Pudding!
As the first beer recipe shared from the Scullery, I really hope you give it a try and let me know your thoughts/suggestions! Sláinte!
Pumpkin Spiced Amber Ale
1.4Kg Maris Otter Pale, freshly milled
400g Cara Amber EBC 70, freshly milled
155g Crystal EBC 150, freshly milled
80g First Gold Hop cones, dried
1.275Kg Pumpkin Pulp (tinned)
250g Suki Spiced Citrus Tea
5.5L Boiled water, cooled to 70°C
11g Safbrew T-58 Dried Yeast
Coffee filter paper, jug & 2L boiled water to extract the pumpkin juices
Mash temperature: 65°C
Mash time: 90 minutes
Primary fermentation temperature: 20°C
Secondary fermentation temperature: 20°C
Target ABV: 5%
In a large pot (8-9L volume), add the milled grains to the 70°C water and mash for 90 minutes.
While the grains are mashing, extract the pumpkin juices from the tinned pumpkin. In a large jug, add 2L of boiled water to the pumpkin pulp and gradually pass the liquid through filter paper collecting the pumpkin juice.
Strain the wort into a large pot (10L volume) and wash the grains with 2L boiled water.
Add the pumpkin liquid to the wort pot and bring to a rolling boil for 60 minutes; adding half of the hops after 45 minutes and the remaining hops after 60 minutes.
While the wort boils, brew the Suki tea for 15 minutes in 750mL boiled water. Add the tea to the wort at the 60 minute boil mark and chill the wort rapidly.
Shake half of the dried yeast into 250mL of the chilled wort at 20°C and allow the yeast to grow for 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the wort into a fermentation vessel, adding the yeast (3% vol) and leave to ferment at 20°C for 7 days gently shaking the vessel daily to waken the yeast.
Transfer the primary ferment into bottles adding fresh yeast from the remaining 5.5g (final bottle volume of 1%) leaving to ferment for at least one more month at 20°C.
Serve on a dark autumn or winter evening in good company and you can’t go wrong!
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SculleryMade produces artisan goods using quality, local ingredients in Belfast. For recipe ideas using local ingredients check out our blog http://scullery-made.com
For local artisan ingredients that inspire our blog, visit the Farmer’s market at The Inns, Inns Market on the last Saturday of every month at BT8 7HN!
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3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Spiced Samhain Amber Ale”
While I can’t speak to the brewing process (I’ve yet to brew my own beer despite years of insistence that I will!), I love that you decided to include tea into this recipe. Tea is a criminally underutilized beer adjunct in my opinion. It can give such an earthy and herbal quality that can’t be beat. Did your final result have a lot of tea flavor or was it more about the spices in the tea blend?
Thanks for commenting @barleyandnops – I would really love to encourage you to give brewing a go! It’s a wonderful process and very rewarding! The final result has a bitter profile thanks in part to the tea I think; the spice blend in the tea has a wonderful citrus aroma that came through in the beer too; delighted with the result!
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