Brew Day Report: Shot o’ the Dark Pumpkin Stout

19 Sep

Hi all,

Great brew day on Saturday! We successfully made around 5 gallons of our Shot o’ the Dark Pumpkin Stout, which is fermenting away in the brewery as I write this.

We used the recipe pasted below, but scaled to aim for 6 gallons at the end of the boil (which usually gives us at least 5 gallons that make it into the carboy).

We started the day by setting up the new brew tent, to shelter us from the rain.

We added a can of pumpkin to our strike water (shown with head brewer/brewer's head) and another can to the boil.

We added roasted pumpkin seeds to the mash, too.

This was a pretty cool beer to design and brew. We started with a basic oatmeal stout recipe, in terms of proportions of grains and hop scheduled, and then adjusted the ingredients based on what Elysian posted on their website about their Dark o’ the Moon Pumpkin Stout. The hitch: 1) I’ve never had one of those beers and 2) I have no idea what proportions to use for that beer. So it was cool trying to guesstimate what we should use in the brew.

We ended up with the recipe below, and added pumpkin spice and vanilla at the end of the boil to try to give it a little (but not too much) pumpkin pie flavor.

Kylene also roasted the pumpkin seeds for us and carved our first CDBC pumpkin, which was pretty awesome to have it watching over the brew.

We finally pitched the beer over a yeast cake and trub from the Count’s Red Ale, and it was already fermenting within a couple of hours.

A few puzzles for us, though. Our our pre-boil gravity was around 1.046 (target was 1.059), so we got substantially less conversion than we’d expected. We mashed at around 156 or so, although some time was spent at >160ish waiting for the tun to cool down (our strike water was around 183, which was probably too hot). We ended up with around 8.50 gallons pre-boil, and had measurements of 7.75 gallons (and 1.055) at 30 minutes, 7.5 gallons (and 1.058 ish) at 45 minutes, so we increased our boil time to 75 minutes hoping to get the gravity up. But the hydrometer reading at the end was only 1.062 in the carboy, although the reading from the pot was more like 1.066. So we undershot our gravity, which was unexpected. It could be that the trub from the Count’s ale actually lowered our gravity reading, but it’s not entirely clear. At any rate, it was a good brew day! The checklist was super helpful; we had very few incidents due to the checklist.

The CDBC Pumpkin oversaw the boil, and an indoor/outdoor cornhole tournament.

Jack looks upon the mash with approval.We got a nice rolling boil going.

The CDBC Pumpkin oversees the mash

The great pumpkin got the fermentation going in no time!

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