Dubbel dubbel, toil and trouble

Couped up at home and fancy a project this Halloween? Look no further than our pumpkin ale in collaboration with Brew Dog Tower Hill and Toast Ale.  

We’re all about eating pumpkin here at Hubbub HQ, but we’re not opposed to drinking it either. Especially when it’s in the form of a warming home brew. You’ll need rescued pumpkin, stale bread and a little home brewing experience for this one.  

Style: Dubbel strong winter lager  

Mouth-feel: strong alcohol, warming flavour, full-bodied and sweet 

Flavour: complex caramel and toffee notes with a hint of pumpkin  

"The perfect beer for a chilly day, best enjoyed cosied up sitting by a roaring fire.” Toast Ale head brewer, Stuart. 

Mix things up: in the recipe there are suggested spices, but feel free to use anything you associate with winter e.g. mace, cloves, star anise. Or add the peel of your favourite citrus fruit, orange works really well. 

Toasty top tip: when deciding on your spice mix, make an infusion with them first. Then let it cool down and see if it's got the flavour profile what you like. 

Makes: 20L 

ABV: Approx. 7.1% Original gravity: 1.067 Bitterness (IBU): 50 Colour (EBC): 80 


For the mash

  • Pilsner Malt 4.4kg 
  • Crystal Medium 90g 
  • Chocolate Malt 90g 
  • Dry crumbled bread 1.3kg 
  • Pumpkin, squash or gourd 1kg 
  • Muscovado sugar 500g 

For the boil 

  • Perle hops 46g 
  • Hallertau hops 30g 
  • Muscovado sugar 500g 
  • Optional, spices (e.g. cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, aniseed) see note above, approx. 5g 

To ferment 

  • Belgium Trappist yeast 11.5g 


Roast the pumpkin and dry the bread 

  1. Cut the pumpkins into chunks and sprinkle with 100g of sugar. Roast in an oven at 180°C 
  2.  for 20-25 min (until golden). Set aside to cool. 
  3. Slice the bread and dry it in the oven at 90 °C. This will take about a hour if using fresh bread. The more stale your bread, the more time you’ll save. 
  4. Coarsely crush it to the size of large croutons. Don't crush to powder  

Make your Mash 

  1. Steep your grains (1.3kg bread and 4.58kg malt) in 15.7L of warm water to achieve a rest temperature of 68 °C. Cover and leave for 60 minutes.  
  2. The enzymes in the malt will convert the starches into simple sugars. Towards the end of the mashing stage add the pumpkin. The caramelised sugars will be dissolved in the final wort during sparging, providing additional flavour. 

Sparge and lauter 

  1. Drain the liquid from the bottom of the mash tun whilst rinsing the grains with 78°C water from the top to extract additional sugars. 
  2. Sparge until you've reached 20L  

Tip: use a colander so that the water is distributed in a spray. Don't push it through the wet grains as you'll get the taste of tannins. 

Boil and add pumpkin and hops 

  1. Bring the wort to a boil.  
  2. Add 16g of Perle hops immediately at the start of the boil (this will provide 50% of the bitterness).  
  3. Add 30g of Perle and 30g of Hallertau towards the end of the boil, providing extra bitterness whilst keeping the fresh hop flavours.  
  4. Add spices according to preference (be cautious as the flavour may become overpowering depending on the spices used) 
  5. At the end, add 500g of Muscovado sugar for extra gravity and flavour. 

Cool, ferment and condition 

  1. Allow the wort to cool to 20 °C.  
  2. Add the Belgian Trappist yeast and leave it to ferment at 18°C for 7 days.  
  3. Siphon the beer into sterile bottles with a sterilised sugar solution for refermentation, seal and leave in a dark place at around 21 ° C for two weeks.  
  4. Perform a further maturation at 12 °C  
  5. Afterwards, cool, pop open and enjoy!