Recipe: Sweet Potato Spiced Ale

We thought of this beer right around the time we started brewing. We didn’t know exactly how to go about it, but we really wanted to do it and have it done for Thanksgiving. Thanks to some ideas from our friends at the local brewer’s guild and poking around online, we came up with a recipe that worked pretty well. The base was the Great Pumpkin Ale from Adventures in Homebrewing. We did mess up and accidentally used a pound of roasted barley instead of the chocolate rye, but it was still delicious.

Mash

  • 2.5lbs 2-row barley
  • ≈2lbs sweet potato

Boil

  • 1lb Roasted Barley (steeped)
  • 5lbs light liquid malt extract
  • 1oz Centennial Hops (9.0% A.A.) 60 min
  • 1tsp Irish Moss 15 min
  • .5oz pumpkin spice 15 min

Yeast

  • Dry Nottingham strain

We baked the sweet potatoes whole for about an hour at 425ºF, cut them open and scraped them out with a fork. The sweet potato clogged the valve quite a bit and it was quite the pain in the ass.  The running were really golden orange, and if we were to do this in the future, we’d probably go lighter so that sweet potato color could shine through more.

Recipe: Joe Paterno is Olde Ale

This was our first successful all-grain brew.  We used a 5gallon cooler with a false bottom and valve fashioned out of parts from the local hardware store.  This is probably my favorite beer that we’ve made so far. It’s rich, complex and malty with a great caramel to amber color.

The grain bill is taken exactly from here, and we switched up the hops to keep it to 1oz each of two different varieties. So, without further adieu:

Grain

  • 12.5lbs Maris Otter
  • 1.25lbs Crystal 60ºL
  • .5lbs Carapils
  • .25lbs Special B

Hops

  • 1oz Nothern Brewer (8.0%) Bittering
  • 1oz Kent Goldings (4.0%) Flavor

Yeast

  • White Labs English Ale Yeast (WLP002)

We mashed for a little over an hour right around 165ºF with 3.5gal of water. We ran the mash through 2 additional times to set the grain bed then added 170ºF water to sparge until we got 4.5gal to start the boil.

We added the Northern Brewer at the hotbreak and the Kent Goldings 45 minutes into the boil with a teaspoon of Irish Moss. After 60 minutes we cooled it, racked it to the carboy with the yeast in the bottom already and added about a gallon of water to get it just over 5gal.