Imperial Brown Pumpkin

This is the big brown pumpkin ale that everyone loves to sip on as the cold weather rolls in. Our imperial pumpkin brew has a nice spice, rich caramelized brown sugar and traditional grains for an imperial brown. Earlier this month we published a recipe for a Smoked Pumpkin Saison with smooth Alder wood smoked pumpkins using a farmhouse style ale yeast, but this Imperial Brown Pumpkin would drink that pumpkin ale for breakfast. Yeah that's right... pumpkin cannibalism.

Imperial brown ales usually have a higher alcohol content than there traditional counterpart. It may also contain a lot more hops than normal. The normal gravity range for an Imperial Brown is 1.080 -1.100+ with an ABV range of 7-12%. Bitterness is high on this beer around 63 and can range anywhere from 40-70 IBUs with color 15-22L and attenuation dry to sweet.

The additions of organic canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) and dark muscovado brown sugar ( gives the yeast more sugars to convert to alcohol making this brew on the higher end of the ABV and Lovibond scale for the Brown style. The Nottingham Ale Yeast is highly flocculant and has relatively full attenuation. The pumpkin really comes through nice with the low fruity ester production of this yeast.

Using 5-20% pumpkin in your recipe is a nice rule of thumb when dealing in squashy fermentables. The addition of pumpkin in the mash, whether it be from a can or freshly cooked, may increase viscosity, causing runoffs in the grain bed. Adding rice hulls (~0.5 lb per 5 gallon batch) to the mash is recommended when lautering with pumpkin to provide bulk and help prevent the mash from settling and becoming stuck during the sparge.

The spicing mixtures vary for pumpkin beers, but normally are made up of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, anise or ginger. The spices can be added at the end of the boil or they can be added during secondary fermentation (dry hop).

Imperial Brown Pumpkin

Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
ABV: 8.8 %
OG: 1.084 SG
FG: 1.017 SG
IBU's: 63.9 IBUs
Cals: 151.6 kcal/12oz
Boil Size: 6.52 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
Efficiency: 72.00


Mash Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs 14.0 oz Organic Pumpkin - Canned (3.0 SRM) Adjunct 1 10.4 %
8.0 oz Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 2 2.8 %
13 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 72.0 %
1 lbs 10.7 oz Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 4 9.3 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.4 %
4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 6 1.4 %

Boil Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8.0 oz Dark Muscovado Sugar (25.0 SRM) Sugar 7 2.8 %
1.50 oz Warrior [16.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 68.7
1.00 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (Boil 10.0 mins) Spice 9 -
0.10 oz Cinnamon Stick (Boil 10.0 mins) Spice 10 -
0.50 oz Cluster [7.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 11 0.0

Fermentation Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.0 pkg Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml] Yeast 12 -

Mash Steps
Step Description Temp Time
Mash In Add 5.48 gal of water at 167 F 153 F 60 min
Mash Out Add 3.51 gal of water at 196 F 168 F 10 min

Mix grains, rice hulls and pumpkin with strike water and mash the appropriate time suggested in the mash schedule above and then mash out. Boil 6.52 gal for 60 minutes adding the hops and spices at times suggested in the ingredient list. Add clarifying agent, if wanted, when 15 minutes remain in the boil. After the boil is complete, chill the wort rapidly to 67 F and transfer to a sanitized fermentation vessel. Ferment at 67 F for 14 days. Transfer to secondary for an additional 14 days. Bottle or keg with priming sugar (skip the sugar addition if force carbonating in your keg) and age the beer for 30 days at 65 F.

Substitute 7 lbs. 11.3 oz. Pale liquid extract for 9 lbs. 13 oz. of the Pale Malt (2 Row). Mini-mash 3 lbs. 3.0 oz. Pale Malt (2 Row) with the remaining grains at 153 F for 60 minutes. After the mash, heat to 168 F for over 7 min. Strain, add remaining water and malt extract, bring to a boil, and proceed with the recipe as stated.

Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice

Recipe designed using BeerSmith

Related Recipes:
Smoked Pumpkin Saison - A smoky pumpkin beer recipe with a spicy selection of pumpkin pie flavors.
Pecan Doppelbock - A recipe for a strong Bavarian style Doppelbock with roasted pecans that will warm you up pre-winter.
Sunflower Wheat - A recipe for a nutty style Hefeweizen with toasted sunflower seeds that will ease you into Fall.