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"Feed My Frankenstein"pumpkin braggot brewlog, take 2

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Chevette Girl

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So the first attempt died of neglect. Bad brewer, bad! <swats self with rolled up newspaper and orders self to sit in the corner to think it over>.

I took a jack-o-lantern pumpkin that had been frozen (surprise cold snap!) and thawed, I cut it into sections, scraped out the seeds, rubbed the open sides of the pumpkin meat with pumpkin spice mix and brown sugar, mashed them face to face in roasting pans, and slow-roasted them for a couple hours yesterday.

I scraped all the skin off just now, and am currently boiling my brew bag (it had some questionable contents, has been washed, now I'm just making sure). I will pour out the boiling water, pour the pumpkin into the bag, add a gallon of water and the pumpkin roasting juice and simmer it a bit just because the pumpkin sat around for a while before it was cooked and a while after it was cooked.

Then I shall remove the bag to my sanitized brew bucket, add another gallon of water and a full container of liquid malt extract, which I will bring to the boil along with spices to be determined, and I will add some Fuggles hops after I take it off the heat. Once it's cooled, I'll check the SG and the volume and adjust with honey and boiled water. I think I'm aiming for a 3 gallon batch. It might end up a 5. Who knows.

I'm going to try to keep it under 5% so I'm going to do my absolute best with the sanitation AND I'm going to make sure I don't leave the fruit bag in... for a year... More details to follow as the spirit moves me. I think I'm actually going to dig out the beer yeast I bought last year. And I've been addicted to this lovely chai pumpkin latte recipe a friend gave me so I'm going to add a little cardamom too.
 

Chevette Girl

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I admit it, I used http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/19153-Meadlog-The-Apple-of-My-Chai-(Cyser) as my staring point or spices.

So what I tossed into the brew bag with the pumpkin is this:

3 cinnamon sticks
1 thumb of ginger, sliced
30 crushed green cardamom pods
10 cloves
30 cracked allspice berries
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg


I reserve the right to add another cinnamon stick or two to the bottom of the bucket if this batch gets overgrown. Or if the cardamom takes over, I've been using these green cardamom pods in my chai latte and I don't find a long steep makes them all that strong so I used LOTS.

Looks like I've got about a gallon of pumpkin and 1.3 kg of Munton's liquid plain amber malt extract. Two gallons plus a kettleful of water should do it, and raise the level in the stock pot high enough that I can reach it with the candy thermometer so I know when messy boilover is imminent :)

 

Chevette Girl

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Brought the mess just to a boil, it's now sitting in a cold bath with 1/4 oz each of Cascades and Fuggles hops.

Once it's cooled off enough I can check the SG, I will adjust accordingly with honey and water and then pitch... uh, what's that in the fridge.... Munton's active brewing yeast. Expired two years ago... but it's been refrigerated the whole time I've had it and the brew store where I get it refrigerates their yeast too. I could have sworn I bought this last year? Well, we'll give it a go, and if it's not doing its thing within a day I'll grab some K1V.

The wort is warming up the sink full of water so much I think I'm going to let it equalize and then get some pots and pans soaking, why waste hot water... it's already steaming :)
 

Chevette Girl

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SG is 1.040, right about where I wanted it... so I've boiled some water and allowed it to cool, and will mix honey into it to a similar SG and then add that to the bucket when I pitch my yeast.

Oh, and nutrients and energizer. I should feed it some of those as well...
 

Chevette Girl

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Added about 2/3 kg honey to just over a gallon of boiled water and warm (sitting on the stovetop while the roast was in the oven), the SG was 1.030, but when I took my thief and stuck it (full) into the wort, it was 1.040 by the time it had cooled off so I'm guessing I'm around where I want to be.

Yeast was rehydrated and pitched about 5 minutes ago. The wort smells pretty darned good if you're up on pie spices :)

And now we wait!
 

Chevette Girl

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So there's some fluffy stuff floating at the top... every time I pop the stopper on it I give it a teaspoon or so of honey to encourage a bit more CO2 production... I'm going to go sanitize a strainer and get the fluff off it (honestly looks like grated ginger, which I'm pretty sure this batch does not contain!), maybe rack it to a carboy in preparation for bottling. I better go clean some bottles!
 

Chevette Girl

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Don't need to, I'm pretty sure I do! There was a bit of green fuzz on the side of the bucket and a lot of little orange balls floating on the surface. I skimmed off as much as I could then racked to a 3-gal carboy. Wasted half a gallon or more, but there's very little of the floaties in the carboy, I hit it with four campden tablets which oughtta hold it till I can prime and bottle it (with a little K1V since I've probably killed the yeast now). Wondering if I should be filtering it before priming?

The green fuzz on the side was from the level when the fruit bag was in, maybe four fingers (my little fingers anyway) higher than the must level and I'm sure I didn't slosh it when lifting it to rack... but the fluffy stuff (little pinhead colonies that mostly get caught in a screen seive) was starting before I took out the fruit bag...

It smells and tastes great. I really need to start my beers when I have a good chunk of time a few weeks later, and get them bottled much faster than I seem to be able to... this should have been done in time for Christmas but got lost amid work and Christmas baking...

 

skunkboy

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Are you getting any funky tastes like :

vinegar?
earthy?
sour cream?
horse blanket (you would know better than me, but a classic brett taste)?

If it tastes good, bottle it carbonate it, and drink it, just don't age it for a long time... or it may go a wee bit odd...
 

Chevette Girl

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I even tasted some of the white lumps (spat 'em out again just in case), no taste other than the fantastic spiced pumpkin beer taste. So I hit it with campden tablets after skimming and racking it, and now there's only a tiny bit of the white flecks at the surface, so I'm going to try to siphon that out before I prime... if I can't get most of it out, I'll have to let it settle out for a few hours after priming but before bottling.

Now if it only weren't -30C and making me not want anything cold...

Silly question for those of you who brew, can you backsweeten with malt? I still have a little left of the LME I used for this batch.
 

Chevette Girl

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Wow, my fingers were totally not listening to my brain on that post, I *meant* can you prime with it, not backsweeten... And it seems the answer is yes, thank you!

I'm not sure I'd backsweeten with it even if I did a still braggot (or could force-carb), I'm pretty sure I'd want to use honey since I believe that malt has more unfermentable sugars than honey which would stick around in the tast after fermentation, I'd likely want to up the honey profile unless I went really easy on the malt...
 

Chevette Girl

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Must dig out brewing area and wash some bottles so I can get this primed and bottled! It doesn't seem to be growing more little white balla but the ones that are there aren't settling out either.
 

chrsevs

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Apart from the little white balls, this brew sounds absolutely fantastic! I'd be all about it. Might have to give it a go once the season comes back around.
 

Chevette Girl

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I'm starting to think my life might just be a little too erratic for beermaking right now :p

I'm going to go downstairs right now and see if I can find some clean beer bottles... maybe tomorrow won't go totally squirrelly on me like today and yesterday did.
 

Chevette Girl

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It's been racked off the settled out fluffy stuff, and primed with just shy of half a cup of honey. I AM getting it bottled tonight. Even if I have to ... run off and go wash bottles like a madwoman... like, right now...
 

Chevette Girl

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I got 32 bottles. Eventually. And only one bottle lost its top when I tried to cap it (from root beer I think) so only a little spilled beer and splintered glass all over the floor. I decanted that one into my sanitized measuring cup and then decanted again into a clear bottle whose cap I marked so I know to pour that one into a glass, we were heading out to work so I didn't have time to filter it through a coffee filter like I usually would.
 

Chevette Girl

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Well, I just cracked open the 1/4 bottle to see if any carbonation was going on... It hissed but that was about it. Aside from being barely petillant, it tastes pretty good. It doesn't taste oversweet or anything so I think it probably had something to do with the 250 ml headspace :p

Maybe next week it'll be warm enough that I'll want a whole beer and try one of the full bottles. If not I'll just put on another fire in the fireplace and sit in front of it till I'm ready for something cold to drink!

It's got a bit of the white fluffy thing going on on top but it doesn't taste funny or alter the texture. I will pay more attention to mouthfeel next time (this was only like three swallows), but the aroma's OK, the taste while it's in my mouth is really nice and I've got a pleasant aftertaste hint of the spicing I used.

So I guess I better do this recipe again only pay more attention to it!
 
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