Pumpkin Ale Recipe

Marked by the signature orange color of the season, try this warming fall ale rich with the sweetness of pumpkins and hints of ginger.

“The Homebrewer’s Garden"
February 2017

  • This homemade ale has everything — some sweetness, some spice, and creamy froth on top.
    Photo by Fotolia/fudio
  • “The Homebrewer’s Garden, 2nd Edition” by Joe Fisher and Dennis Fisher.
    Cover courtesy Storey Publishing

Yield: 5 gallons (19 L)

From those just getting started to small farmers looking to expand their repertoire, the pages of The Homebrewer’s Garden, 2nd Edition (Storey Publishing, 2016), by Joe and Dennis Fisher, contain no shortage of growing and brewing inspiration. For the garden, there are sections filled with advice about small-space hops cultivation, trellising, the latest grain-growing techniques, tips for successful hop, herb and grain cultivation, troubleshooting, and more. And for the beer, there’s a collection of delicious recipes for 32 specialty homebrews just like this one. Filled with wisdom from two men who have experienced it firsthand, this book is the essential guide for the gardener who loves beer.

Every autumn nowadays brings a plethora of pumpkin ales. Seemingly every microbrewery, brewpub, and malt beverage producer has a ver­sion of this favorite of Thomas Jefferson. Why not brew your own and beat the rush? Our version is clear copper orange with a creamy head, spicy nose, pumpkin sweetness, and gingery, warming bite.

Initial Gravity: 1.069 – 1.072
Final Gravity: 1.012 –1.018


• 10 pounds (4.5 kg) fresh whole pumpkin
• 2 pounds (908 g) 6-row pale malt
• 1 pound (454 g) homemade crystal malt
• 1/2 pound (227 g) toasted malt
• 6.6 pounds (2.7 kg) amber malt extract syrup
• 1/2 pound (227 g) honey
• 1 teaspoon (14 g) Irish moss
• 1 ounce (28 g) Northern Brewer hops, AA 9 percent, HBU 9
• 1/4 ounce (7 g) fresh gingerroot, grated
• 1 stick cinnamon
• 5 whole allspice berries
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
• 1 ounce (28 g) homegrown Fuggles hops
• Safbrew S-33 Edme ale yeast or Wyeast 1056 American ale yeast
• 1/2 ounce (14 g) homegrown Willamette (Dry hops)
• 3/4 cup (180 ml) corn sugar for priming


1. Clean and section the whole pumpkin. Small pie pumpkin varieties such as Young’s Beauty, New England Pie, or Long Pie work much better than larger jack-o’-lantern types, because the flesh is denser with a higher level of sugar. (In a pinch, substitute winter squash such as butternut.) After the seeds, pulp, and rind are removed, you should have 8 pounds (3.6 kg) usable flesh. Bake pumpkin flesh at 350 degrees F (178 C) for 1-1/4 hours. This will gelatinize the starches, allowing them to be broken down by malt enzymes into fermentable sugars and dextrins. Grind and mash baked pumpkin into pulp.

2. Crush the grains. Soak them in 1 gallon (3.8 L) cold water for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin. Slowly raise mash temperature to 150 degrees F (65 C) and hold 30 minutes. Strain and sparge with 1/2 gallon (2 L) 170 degrees F (77 C) water.

3. Add extracts, honey, Irish moss, and Northern Brewer bittering hops. Boil 30 minutes. Add spices and boil 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add Fuggles aroma hops.

4. Strain hot wort into fermenter containing 1-1/2 gallons (6 L) chilled water. Rinse hops with 1/2 gallon (2 L) boiled water. Top up to 5 gal­lons (19 L).

5. Pitch yeast when wort cools to 70 degrees F (21 C).

6. Ferment at ale temperatures (65 to 70 degrees F/18 to 21 C). After primary fermentation slows (1 to 3 days), add Willamette dry hops.

7. Bottle with priming sugar when fermentation is complete (2 to 4 weeks). Age 4 to 6 weeks before drinking.

All-Grain Version

• 10 pounds (4.5 kg) 2-row pale malt
• 1 pound (454 g) homemade crystal malt
• 1/2 pound (227 g) toasted malt

Mash-in grains at 152 degrees F (67 C). Add baked pumpkin and stabilize temperature at 152 degrees F (67 C). Hold 1 hour. Sparge at 170 degrees F (77 C) and collect 5-1/2 gallons (21 L) run­off. Proceed with recipe.

More from The Homebrewer's Garden:

Homemade Dandelion Stout Recipe
A Wild Herb for a Summer Beer Recipe

Excerpted from The Homebrewer’s Garden, 2nd Edition © by Joe Fisher & Dennis Fisher, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me