On our last double brew day I came to the conclusion that when you do a double batch the biggest question is do you want to see the sun rise or set as you are brewing. For this session we decided that sunrise was the preferred time of day. So at 6:30 I was out front getting this set and stuck water at 7:00 am.
The brews scheduled for the day were our “Pumpkin” Ale and a coffee porter. We made both of these beers last fall to great reception and so we decided to do them again this year. The pumpkin ale we left alone not changing the recipe at all, the coffee porter needed a couple tweaks including changing the coffee to 100% Kona Coffee and bringing down the amount a bit.
The Pumpkin Ale was first up and as I struck the water and mashed in, Eryn cut the butternut squash and got it roasting in the oven. Last year when we started crafting our pumpkin recipe we looked into whether pumpkin was really the squash we wanted to use for the beer. After doing quite a bit of reading we decided that our fall “pumpkin” beer would be made with butternut squash. We find butternut to lend a little bit creamier and smoother “pumpkin” flavor and when you mix in other pumpkin pie spices it becomes that flavor most people love. Eryn roasted the butternut for an hour at 350° and then scooped it into a bowl to add to the boil. We boil it along with the spices then toss it all into the fermenters to continue to pull the flavors. It’s one hell of a mess but the final product makes it so worth it.
Once we wrapped up the Pumpkin Ale it was on to the coffee porter. After measuring out the grain bill, milling it, and getting the mash started, we began talking about how much coffee we wanted to do this year. For last years beer we used medium roast low acidity coffee that worked well, but wasn’t quite what we were looking for. This year we bought some 100% Kona Coffee when we were over on the island specifically for brewing. We were just left with how much should we use. We ended up milling 8oz of Kona Coffee and cold soaked it in 1 gallon of water for the afternoon. Before adding it to the fermenter we poured a cup and it tasted great. It had a smooth flavor that was more understated than the previous coffee we used. I think it will be perfect for this beer. After we chilled the wort we added the coffee brew and pitched our yeast starters.
Both of the beers kicked into a high fermentation within 12 hours and are still going strong. When we rack the coffee porter to secondary we are going to toss in 1/3 of a vanilla bean into one of the carboys to see if that rounds out and finishes the beer a little smoother. The pumpkin won’t have anything else done to it. We are looking forward to serving both of these beers this fall so if you are local and want to come by for a pint just let us know!