Pumpkin Dubbel - September 2014

Two-gallon batch. All-grain. The recipe came from the Brooklyn Brew Shop book titled Beer Making Book. But instead of using pumpkin, we used butternut squash that we purchased at the Toledo farmers market.


We brewed this beer on Wed, Sep 24, 2014.

The ABV is suppose to be 7.5%.

The one-gallon recipe called one sugar pumpkin, weighing approximately one to two pounds. I used one butternut squash, which weighed over one pound.

I peeled, sliced, and diced the one butternut squash into approximately one-inch cubes. In a large bowl, I coated the squash with the brown sugar. I placed the squash into a Pyrex baking dish and warmed it for 60 minutes on the bottom rack of a 325-degree oven.

But since this was a two-gallon recipe, I should have added another butternut squash. So during the mash or boil process, Deb prepared another butternut squash for use. Between the two squashes, we wound up using four, heaping cups of cooked squash in the recipe.


For this two gallon recipe, we added two cups of squash right after we added the malts to the 160-degree water.


When the boil began, we added two thirds of the Hallertau hops, both cinnamon sticks, and the cloves. After 30 minutes, we added two more cups of the squash. After 45 minutes, the Saaz hops were added. After 59 minutes, the remaining Hallertau hops were added.

The one-gallon recipe called for 5 whole cloves, but Deb did not double this for the two-gallon recipe. I think that she used around 7 whole cloves. She wanted to tone down the flavor from cloves.

Wort to the Fermenter

We moved the wort to the plastic 'BetterBottle' three-gallon carboy.

We used a funnel with a mesh screen to prevent the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and other sludge from entering the carboy.

Tasting Wort

We tasted some leftover wort. Deb liked it, but I didn't. It tasted way to strong, spice-wise. Obviously, those flavors will subside over time.

I like those flavors in pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, and a little bit in pumpkin ice cream, but I don't know about having the pumpkin spices and squash/pumpkin flavor in beer. I've only tasted a few pumpkin beers, and I've disliked them all. After one taste, I cannot drink anymore.

Deb is a bigger fan of pumpkin beer, so she wanted to try this recipe. And maybe after several weeks, we'll both enjoy it. But as long as one of us is happy with it, then it will be a successful brew.

The grapefruit honey ale that we brewed back in May wound up tasting better to me than I expected, especially after tasting the beer on bottling day when I disliked it because I don't like grapefruit.

The flavors mellow with time. The flavors seem to move to the background, instead of remaining in the foreground.

For this beer, I'm interested in how the dubbel-part tastes, compared to the dubbel that we brewed back in July. That beer tasted fine to me, but it has room for improvement.

The use of chocolate malt in this recipe is interesting.


This yeast started fermenting during the overnight. It bubbled well at daybreak. It remained active during day after brewing, but after 24 hours, it was apparent that the activity had slowed.

The Safale yeasts act different, time-wise, than the Wyeast products. It seems that the Wyeast yeasts are slower to get started, and they remain active longer.


We finally bottled this beer on Sun, Nov 2, 2014. The two gallon batch produced 20 bottles.

For the bottling sugar, I used six tablespoons of maple syrup from the area.

We drank some leftover beer, and Deb liked it, but I did not. I thought that it smelled and tasted like plastic or a chemical. I did not notice the spices that annoyed me when I tasted the wort on brew day.

We had about a half bottle of leftover beer after bottling. I capped it and placed it in the fridge. We'll try this in a day or so after it has chilled in glass to see if it tastes better.

The plastic carboy is suppose to be fine for fermenting. The Blackberry Red Ale fermented in the same carboy, and that beer turned out wonderful.

Initial Tasting

On Sun evening, Nov 9, 2014, Deb and I tried a bottle, one week after bottling.

Deb liked the taste, but I didn't.

I still disliked the aroma, but Deb did not detect the same unpleasantness.

The flavor may improve for me over time, but the aroma smells like nasty plastic.

At least one of us likes it. I liked our first Dubbel and the Spencer Abbey clone better than Deb.

#Belgian - #dubbel - #2gal - #chocolate - #spice - #squash