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  1. Hey all! The perfect brewing time is now in AZ where the ambient temps are below 90 without AC power which means room temps and fermentation temps are in the 70s without ice packs ( I do have fridge capabilities to lager/cellar it). With that in mind I'm looking to make a Winter Saison for next year. I've looked on a lot of homebrew websites but there's a lot of variance in grains used- also there aren't a lot of comments on how the brew turned out. I'm looking for a darker saison, and plan on using star anise, coriander and cloves (lightly- I want the yeast to do the talking). I plan on aging for 10 months minimum. I'm a slightly above novice HB, I've done about 20 brews with 5 being all grain. And I'm looking for a simple to semi complex grain bill. A few recipes I looked at had 8+ grain additions. NB sells a Saison de Noel with 3-4 grain additives- I'm looking for around that up to 6, also hops? People have listed Fuggles, Kent Goldings, Hallertau, Magnum and everything in between. Anybody have any success stories/recipes to share?
  2. First off, Hello. Long time lurker, occasional brewer, first time poster. So, I like many of you, I decided that the recent sale of the 2013 Winter Seasonal Belgian Spiced Ale was too good of a deal to pass up. That being said, I am just never one to let well enough alone, so in addition to the 3.75lb can of HME I threw in a pouch of Smooth LME. Other wise I brewed it precisely as instructed. Boy, those little guys from Safbrew went to town and the Krausen was as far as it could go and stay in the LBK. Anyway, enough small talk. I unlike some of you, I prefer to rack my beer off the yeast into a brightening vessel (also known as a secondary) and additionally I batch prime, simply for no other reason than I like my beer to be as clear as I can get (short of "fining"). Reading the thread on the community pre-sale I noticed it was put out that the spice contained orange and clove. I love orange and clove flavors in my beer! My concern: by adding the smooth LME is there any potential of pushing down the orange/clove (and other spice) flavors? Would putting fresh orange zest (sanitized of course) into the brightening container be too much? Or should I just use some sanitized tongs and transfer the spice pouch over to the secondary?
  3. I just got done tasting the 2013 Winter Seasonal, the Belgian Spiced Ale. That was a really delicious beer and i already ordered another one. I wanted to add a LME to the next batch but not sure which one would go best with this one. Anyone thinking about brewing this should jump on it ASAP if they like a good tast spiced ale, kind of like a Sam Adams Cold Snap. Thanks for any advice
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