Sep 162009

Autumn leaf

Fall is here!

Wow – I can’t believe Fall is here already! I had a really crappy summer – the weather ruined just about every weekend I had at home, while wedding planning (T -124 days) took up the rest. I look back now and realize how incredible the odds were that every weekend we planned wedding stuff for would be beautiful, and every other weekend would be raining/hurricaning/fire storming. Yea, I can’t win a scratch off Lottery game, but I can defy the laws of probability when it comes to lost brewing opportunities!

Anyway, with Summer 2009 a bust, we look forward pleadingly towards Autumn to right the wrongs Nature has smacked us with. As previously mentioned, I am planning a nice pumpkin spice ale and a porter with the star anise I picked up a few months ago. A couple of questions for discussion and debate –

1. Pumpkin ale – with or without real pumpkin?
2. Star anise in a rich chocolate porter – yay or nay?
3. Have you ever used cardamom in beer? It goes well with tea…
4. Can I somehow work my avocado fetish into one of these beers?

Also, let me know what you have cooking for the Fall and holiday seasons!

  3 Responses to “Trying to Salvage the Brew Year”

  1. 1.Pumpkin needs some pumpkin for flavor though I think like pumpkin pie squash may be a better answer.
    2. I like the Rogue chocolate stoudt ( but have not had the combo you speak of.
    3. Cardamom sounds interesting. I’ve had ginger beer before but never a beer with ginger in it that I know of.
    4. sure, beer and chips with guacamole dip.

  2. Anise and Cardamom are fine additions, but be careful about ending up with a one-dimensional beer if you use too much. I think if they are used in moderate quantities there would be some balance in either a Porter or a Stout, but probably not in a lighter beer. I’ve used both ingredients in a Jaggery Ale, which resembles a Porter. See

  3. IMO, I think you must add real pumpkins to a pumpkin ale. Just adding the pie spices to it doesn’t make it a pumpkin brew. Chop some up, cook it a bit and throw it in.

    I’m all in favor of adding some extra spices and flavorables into the wort. You never know until you try it. Be bold!

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