Here we go again!


2010 Pumpkin Ale

Back in October I was looking for something to brew at an upcoming homebrew get together.  The two pumpkins in our kitchen were sitting their looking as if they needed a purpose so I decided to use them.

Most pumpkin ales that I've had just don't seem to be the right color to me.  I think a fall ale should be somewhere in the dark brown to black category.  This one definitely turned out dark.  I probably went a little bit overboard but it's my beer.  You can make yours lighter if you want to.

Here's the recipe:

10 lbs 2 Row Barley
1 lb 60 L Crystal
.5 lb Black Malt
.5 lb Chocolate Malt
2 Bowling ball sized pie pumpkins (I never bothered to weigh them)

4 Cinnamon sticks at 60
3 Nutmegs at 60
6 Allspice at 60
1 Oz Cascade Hops at 60
1 Tsp Gypsum at 60
1 Oz Cascade Hops at 20
1 Tsp Irish Moss at 10
1 Tsp Yeast Nutrient at 10
1 Oz Cascade Hops at flame out

White Labs California Ale Yeast

I batch sparge so I scaled the grains up by 1.15...a number I got from a book that seems to work.  =)

The beer spent about two weeks in primary and three in secondary before priming with 3/4 cup of corn sugar and bottling.  Two weeks later the carbonation was nice and I was serving it at a Christmas party.

Pumpkin Preparation:
I quartered the pumpkins, sprinkled them with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and then baked them until they were soft and the skins were easy to peel off.  I then cubed them up and set them aside for the mash.

Things I did wrong:
My mash temperature was a little too cool.  I have a copper manifold in my mash ton and I need to remember that it takes more warm water to preheat it than I think it should.  I did a conversion test though and things were fine.

Also, I'd probably half the black and chocolate malt next time.  This beer turned out dark.  I mean really dark.  It fools you though because the it's not a heavy beer.  It's just really...really dark.

All in all I'm happy with the beer.  You get just a little bit of pumpkin flavor and I think the little bit of roastiness is nice.  I think it's best to let it warm just a bit before drinking.

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Beer, Food, Homebrewing 1 Comment

American What?

I need to rant.

What is the deal with American Cheese anyway?  I don't understand how people can call it cheese at all?  What's sad is that it is the type of "cheese" that many people in the U.S. were brought up on so they continue to buy it not even knowing that something that doesn't taste like processed pond scum is readily available.

According to Wikipeda Kraft Singles contain:

"milk, whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, salt, calcium phosphate, sodium citrate, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid as a preservative, apocarotenal (color), annatto (color), enzymes, vitamin D3, cheese culture."

What is milk protein concentrate anyway and why does color need to be added?  What color would these things be if they didn't change it?

Velveeta is even better.  According to another Wikipeda article about Velveeta "In 2002, the FDA warned Kraft that Velveeta was being sold with packaging that described it as a 'pasteurized processed cheese food,' which the FDA claimed was false ('cheese food' must contain at least 51% cheese). Velveeta is now sold as a 'cheese product,' using a term for items that contain less than 51% cheese."

Cheese product?  Less than 51% cheese?  I sure am glad that the FDA has such standards as to ensure that something called cheese is more than half made of cheese.  It's no wonder that all you have to do to make a product sound substandard is to paste the word American on the front of it.  Are we that stupid?  What is the matter with real food anyway?

I'm done...for now.

Filed under: Cheese, Food 4 Comments