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Southern Tier Pumking Ale clone?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by TomTwanks, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. TomTwanks

    TomTwanks Initiate (0) Ohio Apr 5, 2011

    My buddy just started brewing using extract and wants to brew a pumpkin ale, so I said what the hell and asking if anyone out here has something similar to a pumking recipe. Just let me know and thanks in advance!
  2. According to the labels, Pumking uses the following ingredients:
    2-Row Pale Malt
    Caramel Malt
    Pureed Pumpkin
    Magnum Bittering Hops
    Sterling Aroma Hops

    Judging from the taste/aroma, its also undeniable that they use spices. The label also mentions that the beer has an original gravity of 19 plato, a color of 8.8L, and is 9.0% ABV.

    However, extract pumpkin recipes are tough because pumpkin is very starchy, so it really needs to be mashed or the finished beer will be very chewy in texture.
  3. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Savant (395) Maine Oct 28, 2011

    I can't believe we are going to start the pumpkin brewing discussions in April. Ive never done an extract pumpkin but done full grain ones. Many will say that you dont even need to use pumpkin, all the flavor comes from the spices. I still use fresh pumpkin.

    If you use fresh pumpkin, What I would do is bake your pumpkin with the spices in the oven in large chunks then make a mash of pumpkin in a sack like a partial extract. Ive done a mini mash in a bag of pumpkin but it was for a FG.
  4. I basically made pumpkin pie and baked it to caramelize the sugars, even the brown sugar I added, and tossed it all in the boil then strained into the fermenter. Came out great. In fact I drank one the other day and it tasted like a pumpkin barley wine.
    pisano likes this.
  5. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (425) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    make a caramel malt heavy base beer using maybe 2lbs + total of caramel malts (split between maybe 40, 80 & 120L) and enough extra light DME to get you to ~1.080,...as stated earlier skip the pumpkin imho. Use a yeast strain like us05 with a good attenuation and clean profile.
    Once the beer is finished fermenting, it's spicing time. Using dirt cheap vodka, nutmeg, cinnamon maybe vanilla and whatever else you may use in pumpkin pie spice start making different potions...like 1-2 oz each potion. Make the potions ahead of time by like 1-2weeks by soaking in vodka. Using an eyedropper, drop in one of the potions into a 1oz pulled portion of the beer. Keeping adding until overwhelmed by spice and figure exactly how many drops was the perfect spicing was for that potion. Move onto the next potion. Figure out which potion/spicing combo produced the beer that most resembles Pumpking and scale the spicing potion up to 5gallons or whatever batch size you made. For a more complete understanding of this process, pick up Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. That's what i'd do...
  6. ryanstack

    ryanstack Zealot (85) Pennsylvania Jan 27, 2009

    I have made a pumpkin ale two years in a row now that is very similar to Pumking in flavor and aroma. I do not have the recipe near by but, for the malt bill I am using the Pumpkin Ale recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. This is quite a bit darker and lower in alcohol than Pumking, but still quite tasty. For flavoring I use pumpkin extract made from pie spices soaked in vodka for 2 - 3 weeks. This is added after the beer has been kegged and carbonated. In addition to the extract I add graham cracker flavored extract. http://capellaflavordrops.com/grahamcracker.aspx All to taste of course. This gives me a very close flavor and aroma to Pumking. I would be surprise if South Tier using something similar. The graham cracker extract does seem to effect head retention a bit so this past year I added (or increased the amount of) carapils and it was spot on. A few weeks ago some friends and I cracked open a growler of it that I filled when I was emptying out the keg for another batch and it was fantastic.

    The graham cracker flavor and aroma is really the key to Pumking, in my opinion.
  7. ltjska04

    ltjska04 Savant (490) Kentucky Jun 1, 2005 Beer Trader

    I recently made a 50 oz starter with extra light DME and Wyeast Am Ale II that tasted very similar to the Pumking base with caramel and Graham cracker flavors. Take from that what you want.
  8. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    I can't remember the source (BYO maybe?), but Pumking supposedly utilizes vanilla beans and candied ginger at flameout or the end of the boil, to achieve that pie crust like flavor.
  9. ryanstack

    ryanstack Zealot (85) Pennsylvania Jan 27, 2009

    That makes sense to me. I am tempted to try that this year.

    Any idea how they get the very strong caramel flavor in Creme Brulee" I always figured that they took a small amount of the wort and carmalized it, then added back to the wort at flameout. I bought this, http://capellaflavordrops.com/caramel.aspx at the same time that I bought the graham cracker flavoring. I have put a drop or two into other commercial Imperial Stouts and have achieved a very similar aroma/flavor profile. I definitely feel like it is cheating however the results are good.
  10. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (480) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I wonder what toasted biscuit malt would give a crusty flavor?
  11. ryanstack

    ryanstack Zealot (85) Pennsylvania Jan 27, 2009

    It could not be anything too dark. If you look at Pumking you can see that the base beer without the pumpkin is very pale.
  12. Spider889

    Spider889 Advocate (730) Ohio Mar 24, 2010 Beer Trader

    I never felt that Pumking was as spiced as most commercial Pumpkin Ales out there (the beer in general seems to be all over the place depending who you ask though). The biggest thing that I definitely get from the beer in aroma and flavor is vanilla. Vanilla bean has to be a huge player in their spicing regimen. The beer is also characteristically Southern Tier in its sweetness. If you can manage to tackle those two elements in an extract brew you'll be doing fairly well imo.

    But tbh it's likely going to be a tough one to replicate without a real mash and choice of grain.
    ryankernsie likes this.