Has anyone had any luck/experience using graham crackers in a pumpkin ale recipe? I've seen some people using graham cracker "extract" with some luck, however, I'm referring to using actual graham crackers in the mash and/or secondary. The intent is to get a rich "pie crust" flavor (ex: ST Pumking). FYI, I'm already planning to use Victory malt at about 10% of the grain bill. Thanks!
Don't use commercially produced Graham crackers, as these will contain unconvertible starches, oils, fats, preservatives, etc that can wreck your beer. Also, you can never assume that a finished flavor will transfer into a fermented product like that.
I was on a quest once to get "graham cracker" flavor into a brown ale, and while I never got the perfect flavor I was seeking, i got relatively close by using CaraBrown from Bries. CaraBrown is a hybrid crystal/roasted malt that's fairly available, and it specifically lists "toasted, biscuity, nutty, graham cracker flavors" in its description.
The graham cracker flavor was very fleeting, by my recollection of that batch, but was noticeable, and my mild / brown ale with CaraBrown was once of my better batches of that style.
I have never tried it, but if I wanted to I would rather add grains that have that flavour (pilsner malt) as opposed to adding the actual cracker.
[Added on request] Here is a document (25Mb) from Weyermann Maltings that shows the flavour charts of their malt as well as the resulting wort.