Of course – I wanted to try my hand this season at a pumpkin beer. I was also going to do a beer made with home-grown leeks. Side by side they would be the Thanksgiving series of ales (leeks are a traditional Thanksgiving food – look it up!). After some consideration, two beers became one, sweet potato joined the party, and I would have a great chance to use those fresh hops – all in the spirit of Thanksgiving! Maybe next year I’ll also brew with mussels. It will be a great addition this carbonated barley-leek-sweet potato-pumpkin-soup of sorts.
And for you technical geeks out there, this will be my first brew day to involve any sort of mini-mash. The pumpkin and sweet potato puree will be mashed with rice hulls and six-row barley (for sugar conversion). Then after a quick sparging, the brewing process will continue as normal, for the most part. I will make a pre-boil tea consisting of light British two-row caramel malt, rich melanoidin malt, and roasted unmalted barley. I will be using extra light extract from Northwestern because it is a quality product. I will also be using molasses. The wort will be bittered with an appropriate amount of Willamette hops, and finished at different intervals with fresh Cascade hops (thanks Sarah!). After the boil, the leeks will be steeped in the hot wort, much like is commonly done with herbs.