In the fine tradition of marrow rum and in keeping with the season, a pumpkin was chosen as the fermentation vessel of choice. On Hallowe'en night, a small hole was bored into the top of the pumpkin and it was inoculated with a package of baker's yeast, some sugar and a healthy dose of spookiness. The pumpkin was then filled with water and left to ferment at room temperature.
One week later, on the notably less spooky 7th of November, the pumpkin brew was deemed, by arbitrary measure and impatience, ready for tasting.
Tapping the keg: AC makes the first cut
The usually clean Rob, splattered with a mix of pumpkin and baby vomit
Once the pumpkin was cracked open, the yeasty aroma of our brew and the foul stench of evil filled the air. What does evil smell like? As one bystander put it: "It smells like cheese beer." Spectators were simultaneously turned away in disgust and drawn to the spectacle.
Pumpkin ale, or portal to hell?
The resulting liquid
Filtering out the filth
The liquid inside the pumpkin was deemed too 'chunky' to swig fresh from the fruit, so it was put through a coffee filter before tasting. While AC and Rob argued over safety (and who would drink first), I took a sip of the filtered brew. It passed the first test: I didn't keel over. Despite the stink, it was drinkable. It was what I imagine watered down dough put through a blender would taste like. Slight pumpkin overtones. It didn't taste good enough to drink enough to get a buzz given the low alcohol content. This was more bread than beer.
Rob and an uncowardly Coward contemplate the pumpkin ale
Anonymous Coward reacts as Rob takes a healthy swig, while a bystander looks on in disgust
Rob was unsatisfied with the weakness of the drink, so he braved drinking the unfiltered swill. My recommendation for Pumpkin Project 2.0: skip the water, let the natural pumpkin liquids provide the base and let it ferment longer. Of course we still wanted to see what the inside of the pumpkin looked like, so we cracked it right open and let its full bouquet permeate the Bay.
The pumpkin innards and remaining brew
A handful of the resulting goo
Most of the pumpkin innards had pulled away from the shell of the fruit and partially liquefied. Have we stumbled upon a quick and easy way to clean a pumpkin for carving? the inner surface of the pumpkin had softened and was covered with yeasty growth. All drinkers survived the experience, but adjustments need to be made for a successful recipe.
**The Bayblab encourages attempting this experiment at home and posting the results here but takes no responsibility for any injury or illness - physical or mental - that may occur.