Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Demeter Automne: Recipe

Now that August has rolled around, it's time to start thinking about brewing -- not releasing -- fall beers.  I've only done one pumpkin beer in the past and that was a pumpkin stout for my wife, Amy, and not something that I particularly enjoyed.  This time I decided to do a pumpkin saison, keeping the spices quite light so that they'd give more of a "fall feel" rather than being all that noticeable by themselves, and not to the level that it'd be possible to really pick out much of the individual spices.

I brewed a 10-gallon batch, and plan to do something fun with the second 5-gallon portion as part of my Science & Art series.  Right now, I'm thinking that I'll age that half with red wine-soaked oak cubes, and then eventually blend a bit with some funky cider to be ready in time for next fall.  I picked up some store-bought apple cider to try out with some Brett and other dregs, but also hope that I'll be able to pick up, juice, and blend some real cider apples this fall.

Thankfully I had planned to do a pumpkin beer for Amy last year and never got around to it, so I had 5 pounds of frozen pumpkin that she had chopped up and roasted last fall.  I used this along with a mix-and-match set of base malt for the grain bill, using up all the remaining Maris Otter and Two Row that I had, then also using some Vienna, Munich, and Biscuit for some background bread and toast.  The brown malt should add a bit of nuttiness, with slight spice coming from the rye.  I also added the honey malt and Caramel 60 for some backing sweetness and additional character.  As a side note, honey malt itself is incredibly delicious.

Pumpkin and rice hulls at the top of the mash.

Here are the full details on the batch:

Batch Number: 92

Brew Date: August 10, 2014
Keg Date:
Batch Size: 10 Gallon
OG: 1.052 (est.)

FG: 1.005 (est.); 1.006 (measured)
Fermentation Temperature: ~70-75*F (fermented at "room" temperature in the garage, which doesn't have temperature control)
IBU: 24.0 (modified Tinseth from BrewCipher)
ABV: 6.2%
SRM: 13.0

Mash: Single infusion for 60 minutes at 154* F
Boil: 60 minute


7.00 lb Maris Otter
5.00 lb Two Row
2.50 lb Vienna Malt
1.00 lb Munich Malt
1.00 lb Caramel 60
1.00 lb Brown Malt
1.00 lb Biscuit Malt
1.00 lb Honey Malt
1.00 lb Rye Malt

I then also added 5 pounds of pumpkin puree and half a pound of rice hulls to the mash.

Salts & Water

All salts added to the kettle.  Also added 5mL of lactic acid to the mash to get the pH to around 5.4.

5.4g Calcium Chloride
4.5g Gypsum
6.4g Sodium Chloride

Resulting water profile is as follows:

Mash pH (est.): 5.4
Calcium: 78
Magnesium: 12
Sodium: 50
Chloride: 125
Sulfate: 70


0.75oz Columbus (17.7 AAU), whole leaf, at 60 minutes
3.00oz Willamette (5.1 AAU), whole leaf, at flameout


2.0 tsp. Wyeast Yeast Nutrient at 10 minutes
0.84g (.50 tsp.) nutmeg at flameout
0.66g (.50 tsp.) black cardamom at flameout
0.47g (.25 tsp.) dried ginger at flameout
0.39g (.25 tsp.) cinnamon at flameout
0.31g (.25 tsp.) allspice at flameout
0.16g (.125 tsp.) clove at flameout


Full batch used Ambrosia Blend 005 (now the fourth generation) from the cake of Wallonian Pale Ale. Each 5-gallon portion got 100mL of dense slurry from that cake.


09.01.2014: I thought about bottle conditioning this one with apple cider, but thought that the sugar that would be required would end up being a bit too much of the overall character.  Instead, I decided to take a portion of this batch, blend it with Citrine blonde wild, and then bottle condition with Montmorency tart cherry juice.  That blend turned into Science & Art #6.

For bottling Automne, I used 152g of table sugar, aiming for 3.0 volumes with about 4.75 gallons of beer.  The yield was 25 750mL bottles.

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