2013 Punkin’ Porter

Punkin' Porter

This is the fourth year of brewing the Punkin’ Porter, which is the only one of our brews that has made so many repeat appearances.

Before kicking off our brew day we did a side-by-side tasting of the 2012 and 2011 batches. Unfortunately, the 2012 had a slight sour note to it. I assume this comes from experimenting with roasted pumpkin seeds, but really could stem from any part of the process of using real pumpkin. The 2011 batch was—even after two years—pretty amazing!

Previous batches:


  • Starting gravity (actual)
    • oops!
  • Starting gravity (expected)
    • 1.078
  • Final gravity (actual)
    • 1.021
  • Final gravity (expected)
    • 1.014
  • ABV
    • 8%

The photo makes it look as though there is more carbonation than there really is, but at least it isn’t flat. I’m very happy that it has any carbonation after the disaster of our first attempt to keg carbonate and bottle with a counter-pressure bottle filler.

Tastes good and roasty with a nice amount of spice. If anything I think it’s a little heavy on the pumpkin; it has a real thick mouthfeel.


  • 1 lb crushed black patent malt
  • 1.5 lbs crushed pale 6-row malt
  • 3.3 lbs Light liquid malt extract
  • 3 lbs Amber dry malt extract
  • 1 oz Hallertau hop pellets (bittering)
    • 60 minutes
  • 1 oz Cascade hop pellets (flavoring)
    • 20 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Hallertau hop pellets (aroma)
    • 10 minutes
  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast
  • 2x 29 oz cans of Libby’s pumpkin purée

  • 1x 29 oz can of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie mix

  • 0.5 tsp allspice (dried/ground)
    • 5 minutes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (dried/ground)
    • 5 minutes
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (dried/ground)
    • 5 minutes

Brewing Notes

  • Brewed
    • September 14, 2013
  • Bottled
    • October 15, 2013
  • Tasted
    • October 17, 2013

We followed the Extreme Brewing recipe but only used canned pumpkin this year.

  • We used even more Libby’s canned pumpkin
    We used two 29oz cans of Libby’s pumpkin purée and one 29oz can of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie mix (which is purée with pumpkin pie seasoning)
  • New pumpkin pre-boil technique
    In past years we have added the canned pumpkin directly to the boil, but we interpreted the directions differently this time and instead first boiled the pumpkin for ~20 minutes in 1/2 gallon of water. We then added more water and the crushed grains for our 45 minute steep at 155 degrees. I think the pumpkin pre-boil is only for whole pumpkin, but we thought it might help release more pumpkin flavor. A lack of pumpkin flavor has been our main complaint over the years.
  • Extra cheesecloth straining to remove sediment
    Before starting the brew timer, we strained the wort through cheesecloth multiple times to try and remove all of the sediment. We usually lose a gallon or more of our beer because of the sediment that settles during fermentation. We didn’t have very much cheesecloth but it seemed to work. More cheesecloth in the future!
  • We used less allspice again
    The rest of the process pretty much followed the recipe, except we only used 0.5 tsp of allspice because our old notes show that we prefer it to the full 1 tsp listed in the recipe. We used the full 1 tsp of cinnamon and nutmeg listed in the recipe. All of the spices were dried (not fresh).
  • Counter-pressure bottle filler
    We’re going to try bottling this batch with a Counter-Pressure Bottle Filler. This will be our first attempt at using a Corny Keg to force carbonate beer with CO2.

Update October 7: After a week the keg hasn’t carbonated as expected. We initially had the PSI too low (only ~14 PSI) for basement temperature of around 63 degrees (we guessed 50). I’m upping to 30 PSI to try and get it carbonated and can then level it out.

Update October 15: Bottling was a disaster. We made a huge mess and spilled beer everywhere with the counter-pressure bottle filler.