There were a few reasons why I decided to re-brew Curly's Pumpkin Milk Stout. I had not brewed any variant of Curly's Milk Stout or a Pumpkin Beer of any kind since my last batch in 2016. I also haven't had a dark beer on tap in several months. The timing just felt right. I also was too busy over the summer to brew a Marzen or a Festbier and let them lager properly.
I stayed fairly close to the original recipe. I used American 2-row, Maine Malthouse Mapleton Pale specifically, as the base to help convert the starches in the pumpkin to fermentable sugars. I did replace the specialty malts with Muntons Crystal 110 (40L), Chocolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. I didn't have a chance to pick up the 1272 yeast from the last batch, so S05 will have to do and I'm sure will work fine.
|Roasted the pumpkin on the grill outside.|
|Obligatory grist picture.|
|Sparging the mash with pumpkin in it.|
In 2016 pumpkin beer was already trending down. Six years later the trend has continued. In the late 2010s marzen made a big comeback. It feels like every brewery has some kind of Oktoberfest event. This year it seems like more brewers are making the lighter, contemporary German Festbier style for the fall. Sam Adams has one of each in their sample pack.
At the height of the pumpkin beer craze I wasn't the biggest pumpkin beer fan. I remember going to one pumpkin beer tasting and by the end all I could taste was cinnamon. I still enjoy well-made versions. One of my favorites was Cape Ann Brewing's Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout, and its big brother Imperial Pumpkin Stout. With Cape Ann no longer in business I did consider using an American Stout base, but it was past time to bring Curly back.