Maple Pumpkin Ale (For Beginning Homebrewers) Recipe

Photograph: Sarah Postma

This recipe is designed for beginning homebrewers. It can be brewed by anyone with the basic equipment setup and a pot large enough to boil 6 gallons.

I've adjusted this recipe to produce 4.5 gallons instead of the usual 5 gallon batch. The fermentation of this beer tends to be more active than most, and the pumpkin makes it a little sticky. A 4.5 gallon batch will ensure that your fermentation vessel won't overflow during the first few days of fermentation. When you bottle, remember to reduce the amount of priming sugar to account for the smaller batch, or your beer may end up overcarbonated.

Recipe Facts

Active: 4 hrs
Total: 4 mins
Makes: 4 gallons

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  • 4.8 pounds light dry malt extract
  • 12 ounces crystal 20L malt, crushed
  • 3 ounces chocolate malt, crushed
  • 30 ounces 100% natural canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 ounces Northern Brewer Hops - 60 minutes
  • 14 fluid ounces grade B dark maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick's pumpkin spice
  • 1 package Safale US-05


  1. Spread the pumpkin into a shallow pan and bake at 350°F for 60 minutes.

  2. Tie the crystal 20L and chocolate malt in a small mesh hop bag. Place the bag in 5.5 gallons of water in a 7.5 gallon pot and immerse the grain.

  3. Begin to heat, making sure mesh bag isn’t sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. Remove the grain bag when the temperature reaches 170°F.

  4. Bring wort to a vigorous boil. As water is heating, slowly add 4.8 pounds of light dry malt extract and the baked pumpkin, stirring constantly until completely dissolved. When the boil begins, add 1/2 ounce Northern Brewer hops in a mesh bag.

  5. After a total of 55 minutes has passed, add the maple syrup and the pumpkin pie spice.

  6. After total of 60 minutes of boil, remove from heat. Warning: After wort cools below 180°F everything that touches it should be sanitary, and exposure to open air should be limited as much as possible.

  7. Cool wort by placing pot in ice bath or by using a wort chiller until it is at 65°F. Transfer to sanitized fermentor (either a carboy or a fermentation bucket).

  8. Use a sanitized auto-siphon racking cane to remove enough wort to take a gravity reading with your hydrometer. Make a note of this number, since you will be using it to calculate the actual alcohol content when it's done fermenting. The reading should be around 1.057. Cover fermentor with a sanitized stopper and airlock.

  9. Agitate vigorously for at least 5 minutes or aerate using pure oxygen for 1 minute. Add 1 package of Safale US-05

  10. Ferment for at least 14 days at 64-68°F

  11. Bottle after conditioning is complete, using enough priming sugar for a medium level of carbonation.

Special equipment

7.5 gallon kettle (or bigger), and the basic homebrewing equipment setup

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