MABC brewers are starting to think of the cooler weather and the Autumn season when planning specialty beers now and this week we will be brewing one that fits the bill perfectly……..”Punkunhead” Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This will be our third time brewing a spiced pumpkin ale and will definitely receive the benefits of some recipe tweaks.
Punkunhead is an imperial style ale and begins with a large gravity, meaning, it contains a high amount of sugar produced from barley, giving the beer a big body, lots of residual sweetness and a higher amount of alcohol. The beer is designed to emulate the flavor of pumpkin pie. Do we actually use pumpkin when brewing the beer? Yes, our recipe uses 12 #10 cans of cooked pumpkin and gets additions to the mash tun and to the kettle as well Hops take a backseat in this beer style as large amounts of bitterness detract from the intended flavor so the international bittering units of this beer fall somewhere in the 16-18 range.
We use the freshest spices for the beer which we procure from the Great American Spice company here in Fort Wayne. They have a special blend of pumpkin pie spice which we use to get a subtle to medium spice flavor, we also add a percentage of a beautiful sweet variety of cinnamon called “Saigon” which contains 3% oils. This year we will also add a percentage of a non fermentable sugar which should provide a little sweetness as well as a nice creamy character, next thing you know we will be serving the beer with a spoonful of Cool Whip on top (ok probably not)! The malt bill of Punkunhead is designed to add some complexity and contains percentages of pale ale malt, dextrin malt, aromatic, and special roast.
Definitely not your “normal” beer but an interesting, tasty, warming beer to drink with lots of character. Look for this one to be released in 3-4 weeks and stay tuned to facebook or twitter for the actual day of release.