Pumpkin Ale Recipe

Get into the spirit of the season with our delightful Pumpkin Ale recipe. Originally brewed as a cost-effective alternative to malt beers in colonial America, this seasonal ale captures the essence of autumn with its subtle spiciness and distinct pumpkin character. Perfect for cozy gatherings and crisp evenings, this recipe will guide you through the process of creating your very own batch of this classic and flavorful brew.

Pumpkin Ale

Traditionally brewed in colonial America as a cheap, local alternative to malt beers, this seasonal ale is subtly spiced to complement the distinct pumpkin character.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
To Ferment29 days
Course: Beer
Cuisine: Mixed Styles
Keyword: Pumpkin Ale
Servings: 40 Pints
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Dan Smullen


  • 1 Large brewing pot
  • 1 Fermentation vessel (such as a glass carboy or plastic bucket)
  • 1 Airlock and stopper for the fermentation vessel
  • 1 Immersion or counterflow wort chiller
  • 1 Mash tun or large heat-resistant container for mashing
  • 1 Brewing thermometer
  • 1 Hydrometer or refractometer for measuring gravity
  • 1 Long stirring spoon or paddle
  • 1 Auto-siphon or racking cane for transferring beer
  • 1 Tubing for siphoning and transferring beer
  • 1 Sanitizing solution or sanitizer
  • 1 Bottles or kegs for storing the finished beer
  • 1 Bottle capper or kegging system
  • 1 Airlock for the fermentation vessel
  • 1 Cleaning brush or scrubber for equipment cleaning
  • 1 Brewing software or recipe formulation tool (optional, but helpful for recipe calculations)


For the Mash – Liquor 12.75 Litres (22 Pints) – Mash Time 1 hr – Temperature 65°c/149 °F

  • lb Pale malt Quantity 3.4kg
  • lb Munich malt Quantity 1kg
  • 1.2 lb Wheat malt Quantity 500g
  • oz Special B Quantity 100g

For the Boil – 27 Litres (47½ Pints) – Boil Time 1 hr – 10 mins

  • ½ oz (Hops) Magnum 16% When to add – At start of boil (IBU 21.8)
  • oz (Hops) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh 5% When to add – For last 5 mins of boil (IBU 1.0)
  • tsp   Protofloc  Other – When to add – For last 15 mins of boil
  • 1 stick Cinnamon stick Other – When to add – For last 5 mins of boil
  • ½ tsp   Ground ginger Other – When to add – For last 5 mins of boil
  • ¾in piece Vanilla pod Other – When to add – For last 5 mins of boil
  • 2 cloves Whole cloves, crushed Other – When to add – For last 5 mins of boil

To Ferment – 18°C (64°F) – Conditioning 5 weeks at 12°C (54°F)

  • 1 White Labs WLP001 California Ale


Mash Preparation:

  • In a large pot, heat 12.75 liters (22 pints) of water to a temperature of 65°C (149°F).
  • Add the following ingredients to the pot: 7½ lb (3.4 kg) Pale malt, 2¼ lb (1 kg) Munich malt, 1.2 lb (500 g) Wheat malt, and 3½ oz (100 g) Special B.
  • Stir the mixture well and let it mash for 1 hour.


  • In a separate large pot, bring 27 liters (47½ pints) of water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add ½ oz (Hops) Magnum (16% alpha acid) to the pot and start the 1-hour boil timer.
  • After 50 minutes of boiling, add 1 tsp Protofloc to help clarify the beer.
  • With 5 minutes remaining in the boil, add ⅓ oz (Hops) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh (5% alpha acid), 1 stick of cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¾ inch piece of vanilla pod, and 2 cloves (crushed).
  • Stir the mixture gently and continue boiling for the remaining 5 minutes.

Cooling and Fermentation:

  • After the boil, cool the wort as quickly as possible to a temperature of 18°C (64°F).
  • Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermentation vessel.
  • Pitch the White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast into the fermentation vessel.
  • Seal the vessel with an airlock to allow carbon dioxide to escape while preventing contaminants from entering.
  • Place the vessel in a temperature-controlled environment at 18°C (64°F) for fermentation.
  • Let the beer ferment for approximately 29 days.


  • After fermentation, transfer the beer to sanitized bottles or kegs.
  • Store the bottles/kegs at a temperature of 12°C (54°F) for conditioning.
  • Allow the beer to condition for about 5 weeks to develop its flavors and carbonation.


  • Once the conditioning period is complete, your Pumpkin Ale is ready to drink!
  • Pour it into a glass, savor the flavors, and enjoy your homemade Pumpkin Ale.
Makes 🍻Ready to Drink 🍺Estimated ABVBitterness RatingColor Rating
23 Litres (40 Pints)6 Weeks5.2%22.8 IBU15.7 EBC

Seasonal Delight:

Experience the essence of autumn in a glass with this seasonal brew. The subtle spiciness and distinct pumpkin character make it the perfect beverage for cozy gatherings and crisp evenings.

Historical Significance:

Brewed in the tradition of colonial America, this recipe pays homage to a bygone era. Enjoy the taste of history as you savor this classic and flavorful ale, originally crafted as a local alternative to malt beers.

Rich and Satisfying Flavors:

The careful selection of ingredients, including pale malt, Munich malt, wheat malt, and special B, creates a beer with depth and complexity. The blend of warm spices perfectly complements the pumpkin, resulting in a rich and satisfying taste experience.

Brewing Adventure:

Embark on a brewing adventure with this recipe as your guide. From the meticulous mash process to the fermentation and conditioning stages, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the brewing craft and have the satisfaction of enjoying your own handcrafted Pumpkin Ale.

Ready to Drink in 6 Weeks:

After following the brewing process outlined in this recipe, your Pumpkin Ale will be ready to drink in just 6 weeks. This timeline allows for proper fermentation and conditioning, ensuring optimal flavors and carbonation for a truly enjoyable beer.

FAQ on Making this Pumpkin Ale Recipe

How long does the fermentation process take for the Pumpkin Ale recipe?

The fermentation process for the Pumpkin Ale recipe takes approximately 29 days.

What is the recommended temperature for fermentation?

The recommended fermentation temperature for this recipe is 18°C (64°F).

What are the main ingredients used in the mash for this recipe?

The main ingredients used in the mash for this recipe are pale malt, Munich malt, wheat malt, and special B.

How long should the wort boil during the brewing process?

The wort should boil for a total of 1 hour and 10 minutes during the brewing process.

What type of hops are used and when should they be added?

The recipe calls for Magnum hops (16% alpha acid) to be added at the start of the boil and Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops (5% alpha acid) to be added for the last 5 minutes of the boil.

What spices are included in the recipe and when are they added?

The recipe includes a cinnamon stick, ground ginger, a vanilla pod, and crushed cloves. These spices should be added for the last 5 minutes of the boil.

Which yeast strain is recommended for brewing this Pumpkin Ale?

The recommended yeast strain for brewing this Pumpkin Ale is White Labs WLP001 California Ale yeast.

How long should the beer condition before it is ready to drink?

The beer should condition for approximately 5 weeks at a temperature of 12°C (54°F) before it is ready to drink.

What is the estimated alcohol by volume (ABV) of the final beer?

The estimated ABV of the final Pumpkin Ale is 5.2%.

How many pints does this recipe yield?

This recipe yields approximately 40 pints (23 liters) of Pumpkin Ale.

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.

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