I racked my Pumpkin Ale into a carboy last night and it seemed chunky or thick. Is this a product of using the Pumpkin in the brew? I siphoned as much as I could but I questioned how much of the "thick stuff" should go into the secondary. It smelled great and had a great color, so I think it is going to turn out great. But can anyone offer insight on this?

I can post a picture of the carboy if it helps... I really hope this works out in the end.

It is an extract kit from Midwest Brewers Supply. I used canned pumpkin per the recipe with spices that came with it. I added extra pumpkin last 20 of the boil(many people suggested it on their site). I added a bit of pumpkin pie spice. It was in the primary for 13 days at around 70deg. It has a great aroma to it and cool color. Part of the batch has what I would consider normal consistancy of beer, there was just a bit of think stuff on top of the regular sludge on the bottom of the bucket. I cannot acess the recipe online right now (work) but I can do that later if you need me to do so.

  • I am sure Midwest has luck with this, but I can't imagine dropping that much unconverted starch into my wort. A better approach would be to do a mini mash with the pumpkin.
    – brewchez
    Aug 18, 2011 at 20:35
  • If you have a recipe link I'd love to see it. Just curiosity though, I don't think I can help answer your question. Aug 22, 2011 at 14:11
  • I cannot get the link at work... for some reason they don't want us looking at beer stuff while working (wonder why?). its avail on Midwest Homebrew Supply's website. The kit is affordable at $25 and easy. Aug 29, 2011 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


Pumpkin leaves a ton of goo in the fermentor. It's mostly fiber, which is what makes pumpkin such a good food for you. Whatever is oozing around in the beer will undoubtedly settle down and sink to the bottom over time, it might just take a few extra weeks. The colder you can keep the secondary, the better. Go ahead and rack it if it smells good.

If after another 3 weeks, its still looking gooey, then I'd suggest using gelatin to help clear it up.

  • I am a newbie so take it easy on me if this is a dumb question? Putting the secondary in cold will stop fermentation won't it? And by cold do you mean on a basement floor or in a fridge? Aug 18, 2011 at 19:39
  • Isn't gelatin is a protein binder, if pumpkin is mostly fiber how does gelatin help clear it up?
    – brewchez
    Aug 18, 2011 at 20:28
  • @brewchez Uhhh magic unicorns in the gelatin maybe? I dunno you may be right, but I can't imagine the gelatin would hurt.
    – GHP
    Aug 22, 2011 at 13:20
  • @JugheadOmaha Yeah the colder the better, so a fridge would be perfect if you can manage it. Just make sure your fermentation is complete first. If the gravity is stable now, put it as close to 32F as you can get it. That will help all the gunk settle down to the bottom.
    – GHP
    Aug 22, 2011 at 13:22
  • Thanks... racked this weekend. Smells great, should be ready by thanksgiving or Xmas. Would it be a bad idea to do this cold crash on every batch? Aug 29, 2011 at 19:13

I suspect the sludge is starch and carbohydrates from the pumpkin. The only solution is to wait for it to settle out naturally. Getting the beer as cold as possible will make it happen faster.

You wouldn't attempt to cold crash it until fermentation is done. But it might be hard to get an accurate gravity reading with the starches in there. Doubtless some of them have solubilized in the boil and will contribute to a nonfermentable percentage of gravity points.

  • thanks for the advice. But another newbie question... by getting the beer cold as possible what do you mean? Should I put the carboy in my beer fridge? In a cooler spot in my house? If so should I let it sit in normal fermentation temps for a few weeks first? Thanks in advance for whatever Advice you cangive me. I really hope this beer turns out well. I have a beer exchange/ taste off in december. And I am hoping to use this as my entry. Aug 19, 2011 at 19:06
  • As cold as possible means if you don't have a fridge, put it in the basement. If you have fridge space put it in there. The colder you get it (without freezing it) the faster it tends to settle out. Just give it time and wait for it to settle out.
    – brewchez
    Aug 20, 2011 at 11:48

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