All Grain Smashing Pumpkin

Last Monday I attempted my second all grain brew, which I was really excited for because I tried my first all grain, and while it needs a bit more time in bottle, it came out surprisingly well.  This was another kit from NorthernBrewer that I got at the same time as my wheat kit.  Knowing what I was doing this time really helped this brew.  I know I still made a few mistakes but nothing like last time, and my last brew turned out fine so how bad can it really be?

I heated my water for mash to a proper temp and accounted more for heat lose to my grain and heating the tun.  After around ten minutes in the tun I checked the water temp and it was at 148 so I added just a little more hot water to bring it back up to 152 degrees F.  It ended up being in mash for around 75 minutes because I tried to make myself a quick dinner before heating my sparge water.

After I got done sparging I headed out side to boil in the dark.  With band cancelled I figured I would have plenty of time to brew in the evening, but I didn’t think about how early it gets dark now so I spent most of my boil time standing in the dark.  I guess standing in the dark beats standing in the rain but I still think I will do my next brew in the morning.  I brought my brew to a boil and added my Cluster hops.  After an hour of boiling I added the pumpkin pie spice.

This time around I used a new set up to cool my brew and I don’t know what I was doing wrong but I had it down to 75 degrees F in somewhere between a half hour and an hour.  I used my new wine thief to take some of the wort out to test the original gravity and poured the rest into my fermentation bucket and added my California Ale Yeast WLP001 and let the yeast get to work.  The original gravity for my brew was 1.054 which is what the recipe said I should get, so that is really exciting.  My wine thief pulled out a lot of crude that was floating in my brew which I think means the filter in my mash tun let too much through.  I am not sure how much of a problem that will be after I move it to secondary and then move it to a bottling bucket, but I will have to check that for my next brew.  Yesterday I found my airlock had filled with gunk and over flowed but I think it still kept out anything that would have tried to get in so I think I am fine.  I sanitized another airlock I had, pulled out the old one, and replaced it with the new one so I should be fine.

Smashing Pumpkin Ale

Mash Ingredients

  • 7.5 lbs Rahr 2-row Pale
  • 2.5 lbs German Munich Malt
  • 0.5 lbs Briess Caramel 80
  • 0.25 lbs Briess Caramel 60


  • 1 oz Cluster (60 min)
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (0 min)

O. G. 1.054

IBU 25


Brew 5 Orange American Wheat 3

Yesterday was my fifth brew and my third in my series of tests to find the best way to add orange flavor to wheat beers.  It was my standard American Wheat brew but I am adding sweet orange peels in secondary.  I boiled for 30 minutes as usual and used my wort chiller to bring down my wort to 75 degrees F before adding the yeast.  Even with the wort chiller running ice water through the wort I still had time to go for an hour run before I was ready to add my yeast.  I took a specific gravity of 1.040 at 75 degrees so I should be able to get a 4% ABV which is a little lower than my last brew but still not something I am disappointed with.

This will be my last brew before the semester ends so I don’t have to worry about coming back down to bottle over the summer.  I plan on moving to a full grain set up over the summer to give me more control over my brews and to really get into brewing and the science behind it.

Orange American Wheat 3

Extract: 2 cans wheat extract

Yeast: WL300 hefewiezen

Hop: US Hallertau

Flavor: Sweet orange peel Secondary