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Mike T
02/27/09 09:42 PM  
Butternut Sqash Sour
I'm planning on brewing a beer tomorrow inspired by Alpine's 2007 Ichabod (wine barrel aged pumpkin ale with Brett). From the description (at the bottom) it almost sounds like they add the pumpkin to the barrel, any thoughts on that? (The brewer hasn't answered an email I sent him a few days back to ask).

No pumpkins to be found this time of year, so I got a 3.5 lb butternut squash which I just peeled, cubed, and roasted at 400 for 45 minutes.


Alpine Ichabod

Recipe Specifics


Batch Size (Gal): 5.25

Total Grain (Lbs): 14.44

Anticipated OG: 1.060

Anticipated SRM: 19.2

Anticipated IBU: 16.1

Brewhouse Efficiency: 63 %

Wort Boil Time: 90 Min



7.00 lbs. Pilsener

3.00 lbs. Butternut Squash

2.00 lbs. Munich Malt (light)

1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt

1.00 lbs. CaraMunich Malt (swap half out for crystal 90?)

0.25 lbs. Melanoidin Malt 0.19 lbs. Carafa Special II



0.50 oz. Amarillo Gold @ 60 min.



6.00 gm Cinnamon 0 Min.(boil)

3.00 gm Nutmeg 0 Min.(boil)

1.00 oz Med Toast French Oak 180 Days



Slurry of 1056, La Folie, and Russian River dregs (from a 3 week out sour honey wheat)

Water Profile


Washington DC

Mash Schedule


60 min @ 156



Ichabod 2007 - 6.6% Belgian Brown Ale aged 3 months in Calloway Vineyardís red wine oak barrels with cinnamon, nutmeg (fresh, hand-ground) and Pumpkin. Some special wild yeast gives it a cherry pie tart flavor and the spices are gracefully subtle. The red wine helps with some tang, too.

03/01/09 03:17 PM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
I've heard of brewers doing pumpkin ales both ways. I've always put the pumpkin in the mash. I would imagine that putting some in the primary would add a more pronounced squash flavor in the final beer, since the aromatics of it won't be boiled off. Re you panning on using anything like pectic enzyme to prevent possible haze from the fruit?

Let us know how "squashy" it is.

03/02/09 11:36 AM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
I always use butternut squash in lieu of pumpkin, its sorta pumpkin but I think it tastes better. I've always roasted it till the outside gets a little bubbly brown. You get some caramelization of the squash's sugars, but then of course you'd loose any on-board bugs if that is what you are looking for.
03/02/09 12:36 PM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
I saw that beer mentioned on your blog and I was looking around for the recipe for quite a while, because I thought you had already brewed it! Anyway, it sounds enticing.

For squash usage +1 on the mash. I've used butternut but my personal favorite is Kobacha or Hubbard squash. It looks like a big cancerous green or blue pumpkin.

Mike T
03/02/09 02:16 PM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
I was actually hoping to find a hubbard, but the supermarket only had two options (and I assumed spaghetti squash wouldn't be a good choice). After peeling/seeding/roasting my 3.5 lb squash I was left with just 25 oz , so for future reference processing butternut squash like this reduces its weight in half. I compensated by upping the pils (although I hit 1.067, so I probably could have left it as is).

I swapped out the caramunich for Ĺ lb each crystal 90 and English medium crystal. I also backed the spices down to 1 g nutmeg, 2 g cinnamon after seeing what that much fresh grated nutmeg looked/smelled like. I may add more once it gets closer to bottling time.

The smell out of the primary is very nice (a bit of squash I think, but mostly spice). Iím really interested to see how much of those flavors survive the aging.

I doubt Iíll add pectic enzyme, between the mash and the microbes I imagine the squash wonít cause any haze issues. Even if it does I donít need brilliant clarity in a beer like this.

03/03/09 11:21 AM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
Hey Mike, have you actually had the real deal? I personally kinda felt that the brett clashed a bit with the spices. It was good, but not great. From what I remember, there were no lactic bacteria in the beer. Only brett. Just something to keep in mind. I don't know if you're going for a clone or just using it for inspiration. Of course I haven't had it since it was semi fresh, so if you had an aged example all bets are off.

As far as Pat getting back to you, Alpine is in the middle of a fairly large expansion including a whole new Brewpub. In addition, Pat is a full time firefighter and is only at the brewery on his days off, so I'm not really too surprised that he hasn't gotten back to you yet. Hopefully he will, he's a good dude and very knowledgeable, I just personally felt this wasn't one of their strongest beers.

Good luck. Should be interesting to say the least.

Mike T
03/03/09 11:40 AM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
I got to try it twice, once relatively fresh, and once with ~6 months on it. I thought it was mind blowing the first time, and very good (although not as good) the second time. I thought the funky flavors meshed well with the spices, but I can certainly understand why it might not be everyoneís choice for a great combination of flavors.

I was more using Ichabod for inspiration rather than going for a clone. I agree, it certainly sounds like they just added Brett (probably Lambicus) to the original. Allagash and Jolly Pumpkin have both released sour/funky pumpkin beers as well (although I didnít get to try either). For Allagashís Drunken Promise they apparently added pumpkin to the mash, boil, and fermentation.

A friend of mine has a sour going that had loads of pumpkin in the mash and no spices (he calls it an American primitive), a sample from the carboy was great, so that encouraged me to go in the sour direction.

Certainly no blame on a brewer not getting back to me, Iím not even sure if the info@ email goes directly to him. Iím still interested to hear if they add pumpkin to the barrel, certainly something I would consider with my low squash yield.

03/03/09 01:30 PM  
Re: Butternut Sqash Sour
Cool man, I know a lot of people liked it a lot. I do like the idea of doing a sour pumpkin ale. Perhaps I'll try it sometime, but I would likely forgo the spices as well, or use a very light hand. I bet the pumpkin in the barrel would give some nice starches for the bugs to eat over the long haul.

Can't say if the email goes to him or not. As of now there are only 3 people that I know of working at the brewery, they are Pat, his wife Val, and they're son Shaun. I would think any one of them would respond to you, hopefully at least.

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