Well, and I’ve finally arrived at the last batch of homebrew I’ll be making in November — a pumpkin ale. I couldn’t get my hands on a big old orange pumpkin — or, rather, I figured I’d have less mess and trouble, and better results, working with a smaller pumpkin.
Mind you, I haven’t seen too many “sugar pumpkins” in my neck of the woods, so I went with “단호박” which are the small greenish squash one sees often in Korean groceries. They’re sweet enough when you cook them, have a decent amount of flavour, and they’re available.
So anyway, it took me a while to figure out the best way to roast them. If you’re up for making such a thing, take my advice and first cut them into eighths, peel them with a peeler, and roast them in the oven for about an hour, until they’re caramelized a little.
Well, the whole sloppy mess — malt extract syrup , spray malt extract, and pumpkin — is bubbling away on the stovetop. I have nothing to add until late in the boil, when some flavoring hops go in. This beer is going to need to sit for quite some time before it can be bottled — I’m guessing a few weeks at least, which puts it later than I had hoped. But I guess good things come to those who wait.
While getting the pumpkins ready, I did as Charlie Papazian suggests and had a homebrew — the wheat beer I bottled a week ago, which I decided to try out. I’m not sure, since it hasn’t been quite a week yet, but besides being cloudy (though lots of wheat beers are) it is also a bit flat. I don’t know why — I always put the suggested amount of priming sugar, but every batch so far has come out a little bit flat. It’s weird. I think I shall have to do some research on that. Head retention is another problem, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just stray grease in the glasses.
The coffee stout is still fermenting a little bit — mostly from the slightly sugar-heavy yeast starter I added when racking it to secondary, I guess, though this is a good thing: I’m happy to have it fermenting out everythingthat is too sweet in the beer. I’m hoping the bubbling will level out to zilch in the next week or so, though, so I can bottle the stuff. It’d be nice to only have one bottling project left come mid-December (not including the batch I’ll be starting just before mid-December). That projected batch, which I’ll make before taking off for holidays, is a mint chocolate stout, made with real fresh mint if we can get it, and real chocolate. But that’s going to be a whole different game: I won’t be doing that one up alone, so I’ll try get some photos of the process and post them here.
Now I have some time to get to the ton of other stuff I need to get to today. (Not including a hike I had to call off because of rain.) There’s some freelance writing, some tidying, but no grading: I’m all caught up on that since Friday, and have only a couple of weeks of homework coming in left to grade, which is nice. Now, entering all the results into the spreadsheet I planned on makign weeks ago, well… that’s another story, but that’s something I’ll be doing during the week. So, that leaves me with much less busy work than before. Which is nice, as I have a lot of preparations to make for December!