Sorry I haven't devoted as much time to this as previously. I've been busy getting my finances in order, preparing for Christmas, and preparing for the Mayan Apocalypse. <G>
I mention on my podcast that one thing I'm constantly re-learning is patience. I had brewed a spiced holiday ale for Christmas, but, when it was conditioned, it tasted like an ordinary brown ale. Not terrible, but without the the fruity, spicy character I was looking for.
So, I waited another couple of weeks, and tried it again. And there it was! The orange flavor was perfect, and the cinnamon was very close to what I had hoped for.
The lesson here is that no beer is a failure. Either it needs a bit more time to mature, or there is a lesson to be learned. Either way, the passage of time will make things clear.
Since the Christmas Ale came out well, here's the recipe:
2 lbs 2-row malt
8 oz chocolate malt
8 oz 80L crystal malt
3 lbs light liquid malt extract
1 oz Cascade Hops (6.5% AA)
1 pkt dry ale yeast
1 oz sweet dried orange peel
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
Grains were mashed for an hour at 154 F, then boiled for an hour with the hops and extract. The orange peel and cinnamon were added for the last 15 minutes of the boil. Everything was strained out from the primary. Fermentation was a week, then I bottled.
Straining out the cinnamon was a bit difficult, so I might change my process next time, and add the cinnamon to the primary.
Even after 24 years, I'm still learning.