Squash; My Wife. Spiced Ale

squash brew
Today I brewed my first batch at the new “brewery” on 26th. It was also the first time I’ve brewed on propane. Using part of my birthday gift, I purchased a Camp Chef single burner stove. I was pleased with how quickly it warmed the water and what a nice rolling boil it produced. The only problems I encountered were what you’d expect from a first batch brewed outside. While my wort chiller connected to the garden hose, my outlet was too short and I had to hold it and spray it around to keep water from pooling around the brewing area. Also, I didn’t have sufficient working surfaces, and it was kind of warm in long pants, but I didn’t want to brew in shorts just yet.

The batch is also my first vegetable beer. Michelle’s a fan of spiced/pumpkin ales, so I put together a squash ale recipe for her that I also named in her honor. “Squash; My Wife. Spiced Ale” is better without the punctuation, but she hasn’t seen the name yet. Baking the squash was a bit of a challenge given the size of our oven. Plus, the ambercup squash, while delicious, was hard as hell to cut open. The sweet meat squash was also quite good and much easier to work with. Because the squash preparation took so long, I had to push the brew date back. and refrigerated the squash overnight.

So as brewing time approached, we cubed the squash and put it into my grain sack with the 2 pounds of crushed barley. The contents were steeped at 170F for 45 minutes and the smell and color from the squash was excellent. The stove was also quick to heat things up.

I asked Michelle to prepare the spices, so she measured out 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, allspice and fresh nutmeg and shredded 1 ounce of fresh ginger. The hops were added at 60, 15, and 5 minutes, and the spices were added at 10 minutes, then the contents were chilled and a London style yeast was pitched. The gravity was read at 1.049, and the preliminary taste was excellent. Maybe a little hoppy up front, but an excellent mixture of spices and a nice sweet pale body with a lovely fall desert finish. Now we wait.

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