I brewed the pumpkin ale and it barely had any spice flavor. I guess they were all driven off during primary since. I ended up steeping the same amount of spices in 1/4 of water, filtering it, and adding to the keg and it's perfect now. I think I'm going to do this from now on with spices including the coffee I plan on adding to the previously-mentioned breakfast stout.
I'm looking forward to making my first lager. I've been making ales for years, but had no way to really keep the temp down for lagers until recently. So, if I can find a free day this month, I'm going to try to make a Munich Dunkel for next year.
I usually make my holiday beers in the summer so they can age and be ready for the holiday season. I've got a few 9+% brews on tap now that I made back in March.
Ok, tried the chocolate breakfast stout after 2.5 days of force carbing. It's got a harsh taste to it, a bit "hot" (it is 7.8% ABV), I'm hoping from being young. seems like the flavors need to meld together more. Leave it in the kegerator for another month and re-visit? Will a month be enough time?
At 7.8% abv, it definitely needs more time for the flavors to integrate and the alcohol flavor to subside.
Trying it again in a month is a good plan.
If it were me, I'd wait 3 months. I make my holiday ales (usually 7.5 - 10% abv) in the spring and leave the kegs in my cellar to age until Thanksgiving. Then I bottle up a bunch for gifts and put the rest on tap for the holidays.
I also drink stout year-round. I don't buy into the "summer beer"/"winter beer" thing. I just like to make special high-abv beers for gifts and as winter warmers. They also give me a good reason to experiment with spices and interesting beers that I wouldn't want to drink 5 gallons of. LOL
I'd store it in the cellar. The warmer temps will help it age a bit quicker. Plus, that leaves room in your kegerator for something else to enjoy while it ages.