Progress Report: Smashing Pumpkin Ale

About two weeks ago, my friends Bobak and Rileah came over to help me make the Smashing Pumpkin Ale from Northern Brewer. I’ve made it before, but this was their very first time homebrewing, so I got to talk them through the whole experience, teach them a little bit about brewing science, and spend an afternoon with two people I really like.

I’ll have an entirely separate post about that brewday soon, including tons of great pictures. Until then, here’s a progress report:

Smashing Pumpkin Hydrometer

Our target OG was 1.054, which we hit on the nose. I was hoping that we’d be able to get it down to around 1.012 or so, but while I was in Texas doing some shows, the yeast (US-05) went nuts, and as you can see here, it fermented all the way down to 1.010. Beersmith tells me that this will give us an ABV of about 5.8%, and an ADT of about 80%. I have to tell you, I’m more and more in love with dry yeast each time I use it. I’ve done starters with White Labs and Wyeast, and I’ve never gotten the kind of ADT I’ve been getting from Safale and Danstar.

There’s a bit of haze in this sample, but it tastes really great and has a wonderful orange colour that isn’t coming across in the photo. I roasted a 10 pound pumpkin and put its flesh into the mash this year, and it seems to have made quite a difference. Last year, I didn’t use any squash (and made the extract version), and it wasn’t very good. I ended up dumping most of it. This year, though, we went all-grain, and it’s looking like we’re going to have a really tasty pumpkin ale.


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