Winning homebrewer joins our team for a day
After winning Philly Beer Week's Extreme Homebrew Challenge in June, 40-year-old Tyler Flynn got a shot to head south and brew his Pumpkin Old Ale at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub.
Tyler (center) and his mentor George Hummel (right) of Home Sweet Homebrew spent the day with brewer Ben Potts. Tyler said his Pumpkin Old Ale was inspired by his youth in New England. "I used to do a lot of hiking growing up, and I wanted a beer that was like being outside."
120 pounds of pumpkin went into the mash, along with Marris Otter, Carabohemian and Amber malts. "It's mostly about taking that aggressive funky pumpkin and finding a grain bill that softens that out a little bit," Tyler says. .
George helped Tyler brainstorm the recipe for this medium amber ale. "I only started brewing three years ago, and George really mentored me," Tyler says. "Because he's so knowledgeable and such a good teacher, I didn't have to suffer through much trial and error." .
With temperatures in the brewhouse flirting with triple digits this week, mashing out was no picnic. .
Ben helped Tyler scale up his recipe from 5 gallons to 5 barrels. This batch should clock in at 9% ABV. .
A small amount of Vanguard hops goes into Pumpkin Old Ale, but the real stars are ... .
... whole vanilla beans and cinnamon. "The pumpkin is so assertive and earthy, and the vanilla and cinnamon really soften it out without overspicing it," Tyler says. .
The finishing touch: A bucket of Hungarian oak chips soaked in Knob Creek bourbon will go into the fermenter. Watch for Pumpkin Old Ale at the pub in a few weeks. And in October, the beer will be entered into the Pro-Am competition at the Great American Beer Festival. Good luck, Tyler!