Pumpkin Problems

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by No Outlet Brewing, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    Last year I brewed an all grain pumpkin beer recipe using 3 lbs of pumpkin pie filling in the mash and while the sparge was a nightmare the end product was amazing. Needless to say, sparging took well over and hour and much stirring and multiple stops and starts to vorlauf and get it flowing. Fast forward to yesterday and I was brewing the same recipe but this time I added six large handfuls of rice hulls to the mash thinking this would speed up the sparging process. Boy was I wrong, this one would not flow to save my soul. After about a half hour, much cussing, and only about a half gallon of wort collected I decided to say eff it and just let the pumpkin puree infused liquid run right into the boil kettle without a vorlauf. Clarity is really not an issue in my mind on a pumpkin beer and I thought maybe I'll end up with some sort of a Frankenstein pumpkin slushy beer. Finished my process as normal and OG was just a tick above target so I'm hoping things will be alright. Pitched one packet of dry US-05 and put it away for the night. While it's only been about 18 hours, there is no activity yet and now I am beginning to wonder if this will actually work. Anyone ever try a beer with essentially a wort-puree in the primary and what were your results? Thanks as usual for any input.
     
  2. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    The vourlauf just sets the filter bed so you can drain the liquid and not the crushed grain particles. I am surprised that all those rice hulls didn't help. Do you have false bottom or a bazooka screen in your fermenter? Anyway, to your main question: Not voulaufing will have no impact on fermentation. I suspect one packet of yeast was not enough for a fast start and the yeast are still in the growth phase. What volume of wort are you fermenting? Give it another day before you even begin to worry. Also, if you are fermenting in a bucket, then really don't worry because buckets are notorious leakers.
     
  3. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    Collected 5 gallons of wort but it is much thicker than normal, probably due in part to the pumpkin solids that passed through. Just wasn't sure if a wort that viscous would prevent normal fermentation. I uses a poly Big Mouth Bubbler fermenter. Also, kind of curious if the solids will fall out after fermentation or if it will result in a thicker, slushy style in the end.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My favorite pumpkin beers include a moment's silence for the pumpkin.... All the problems you mentioned, little in the way of flavor or OG contribution, pumpkin is more trouble than it's worth, IMHO. That said, it's your thing. The rice hulls can help with the lauter but think about it: What are you putting in? Pumpkin pie filling. It's designed to set up. You're effectively putting a layer of clay in your mash tun. Try using canned pumpkin next time. You'll spend a lot less time on an ingredient that adds so little to beer....

    (It's the spices that make a pumpkin spice beer - your drinkers will never notice the absence of pumpkin)
     
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  5. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Pumpkin Pie Filling! I totally missed that @Nosybear! Definitely would explain the lautering problem that @No Outlet Brewing is experiencing.
     
  6. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    I'm sorry, correction, it was canned pumpkin but still the consistency of pie filling so probably the same effect when lautering. Funny thing is last year's was the same ingredients with a much different result.
     
  7. No Outlet Brewing

    No Outlet Brewing New Member

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    Do you guys think the solids will drop out or should I expect a thicker end product?
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Give it enough time and the gunk will fall out.
     
  9. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Cold crashing should help as well.
     

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