Mash Out!: P.S.B.

September is here and while we still have a few weeks left of summer, our days are getting noticeably shorter and cooler. Fall is around the corner and with it comes cozy sweaters, falling leaves and all things pumpkin-flavoured, including beer! Why not make a P.S.B. (pumpkin spice beer)!

While some of those beers may not actually contain pumpkin (GASP!), you may be looking for something more authentic. Something malty will make a nice base for the pumpkin and some traditional pumpkin spice will really amp up the flavour and the nostalgia. 

The best pumpkin to use is fresh. Pie pumpkin or butternut squash will be your best bet, but if you’re trying to get a jump start on the season and you can’t get fresh stuff, canned will work. Just make sure that you buy pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling. 

A couple days before brewing, prepare the pumpkin. To do so, cut it in half, remove the seeds, then cut it into six inch long pieces. Place the pieces of pumpkin on a foil lined cookie sheet, sprinkle some brown sugar on the pumpkin and roast it in a 375 degree oven for two to three hours, just until soft. Allow the pumpkin to cool and peel the skin off. Store it in a bowl in the fridge. 

If you’re using canned purée, you should spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake it to give it some colour and bring out the flavour. 

For a five gallon batch, you’ll want to use five pounds of finished pumpkin in the boil. If you’re worried about the pumpkin clogging a pump or ball valve, put it in a hop sack. Use two tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice in the boil at 5 minutes and to add an extra touch, add a tablespoon of real vanilla extract to the secondary. 

Maybe give this recipe a shot:

For a 5 gallon batch
10 lbs 2-Row
0.5 lbs Crystal 40
0.5 lbs Crystal 120
5 lbs prepared pumpkin in the boil for its duration

Bitter to about 20 IBUs with your preferred bittering hop @ 60 minutes
2 tbsp pumpkin spice @ 5 mins

Ferment with an English yeast strain like S-04. 
1 tbsp of real vanilla extract in secondary 

Happy brewing!

Let me know, do you like, love or hate pumpkin beers? Have any other questions you’d like me to tackle in a future Mash Out? Email me at!

Cover photo courtesy of JimsBeerKit forum.

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