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Whacko Wife Pumpkin Witbier

Brewed: 12/09/2012   Kegged: 12/18/2012

pumpwit.JPGMy last few batches have been things that the Beer Model will not like, and it is about time to make something for her to have on tap. Since about September, I have been thinking about brewing a pumpkin ale, and that is something she seemed somewhat interested in. Recently, I finally converted my Whisky Wife Wit recipe to all-grain, and in a moment of insane genius, I thought that a pumpkin witbier would be an awesome combination.

I had never heard of a pumpkin wit, so I thought I was being pretty original. Google says other people have had this idea, but it certainly is not a common beer style.

Coincidentally, I recently heard an interview with Gordon Strong on Beer Smith's podcasts (see Oktoberfest and Marzen Beers with Gordon Strong – BeerSmith Podcast 48). One of the things Gordon talked about in the interview was brewing a pumpkin beer. He said that he likes to use canned pumpkin in the boil rather than real pumpkins in the mash. I had planned on mashing a real pumpkin, but if canned pumpkins in the boil work for the great Gordon Strong, it is sure to be good enough for me.

We will see how it turns out.

For more about Whisky Wife Wit (the base beer), see

For more about Whacko Wife, see


Whacko Wife Pumpkin Wit --- Batch 1

Batch Size
5.50 gal
All Grain
Boil Size
7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency
Boil Time
90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.052 SG
Estimated FG
1.012 SG
Recipe Bitterness
15.6 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
5.2 %

Recipe Color
4.7 SRM

Measured OG:

Measured FG:

Measured ABV:


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 41.7 %
3 lbs 8.0 oz Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 29.2 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM) Grain 3 12.5 %
0.250 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [17.00 %] - Boil 50.0 min Hop 4 15.6 IBUs
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 5 -
0.25 tsp Cinnamon (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 6 -
0.25 tsp Ginger (Boil 0.0 mins) Spice 7 -
0.25 tsp Nutmeg (Boil 0.0 mins) Spice 8 -
1.0 pkg Belgian Witbier (Wyeast Labs #3944) [124.21 ml] Yeast 9 -
2 lbs Canned Pumpkin (5.0 SRM) Adjunct 10 16.7 %

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 12.50 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.95gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water
Recipe Notes

Canned pumpkin in a grain bag added to the boil with about 5 minutes left. Spices added about the same time.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:

Strike Temp:
Mash Temps:
154 down to 148
Pre-boil OG
1.042 (1.041 SG)
Pre-boil Vol
7.75 (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency

Pitch Temp

Day 1: quick start 64ish
Day 2: 64 active
Day 4: 68ish still going pretty strong

Brewing Notes:
12/06/2012 esheppy
Bought ingredients. Will brew this weekend. Need to remember to do starter tonight.
12/09/2012 esheppy
Ginger nutmeg and cinnamon. .25 tsp each.
12/10/2012 esheppy
Fermentation took off fast and is real active. 64ish on the temperature.
12/11/2012 esheppy
Fermentation still going strong. Still 64ish. Last night, I noticed that I had over-cooled the Mr. Beer keg. I took out the ice jug, and this morning it has recovered.
12/12/2012 esheppy
Really big orange kraussen. Still might need a blow-off tube. Temp up to 68ish.
12/19/2012 esheppy
Kegged it up last night. Lots of that Belgium phenolic funk on it right now. Not sure I could taste the pumpkin at all. The pumpkin pie spices were subtle at best.
12/22/2012 esheppy
Well, I tried one last night and another tonight. Tastes good, but there is no head. There is also no carbonation. Hopefully more carb will fix the head.
12/29/2012 tracyshep
The BrewMaster accidentally took this off CO2, so carbonation is still low. This has been corrected, so hopefully, we will have this carved soon.
01/04/2013 esheppy
For some reason the carbonation is still not there. Not sure what is up with that. Beer tastes good, though.
01/13/2013 esheppy
Yesterday, I blended the extra gallon with Rationalité Poison d'Ereeeek. See Blending the Sour Pumpkin Wit. Hopefully these carb enough (and not too much).
01/18/2013 esheppy
I feel like this beer is significantly better in my New Belgium globe glass. I think I can smell and taste the spices and maybe even the pumpkin better.
01/27/2013 esheppy
Really been tasting nice. The carbonation and head is awesome now. Really a nice beer. Probably won't last a whole lot longer.
02/09/2013 esheppy
The Beer Model killed the keg last night.
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