So I figure it's a good time to start my christmas (x-mas, channukah, kwanzaa, winter solstice, etc.) brew, so that I can let it sit for a while before I bottle, then it can bottle condition for a while before I give it out.
I want to brew two beers, and give them both out. One will be labeled "naughty", and the other "nice" (get it? Like santa's lists? Clever, ain't I?). Anyhow, I'd like the naughty to be a spiced red ale, around 10%, and the Nice to be a (vanilla?) Stout/Porter, around 8%.
So... here's the q's
1. A lot of Hefes have a good "spicy" quality to them, as do a lot of cervezas. Would I be able to add corn/wheat to a Red ale recipe, or ferment with a hefe yeast, to replicate some of that spice?
2. Which hops would give me that spicy edge in the Naughty ale? I'm a fan of the tang that comes from centennial, but it's a little to grapefruity for what I was thinking.
3. So far, it seems like Cinnamon, cloves, orange peel, and ginger are the standard spices. What about a hint of actual spicy peppers? peppercorns? Star anise? I'm friends with a guy who owns a specialty spice shop, so nothing is off limits here. Wasabi? allspice?
4. Would vanilla work well in a stout? I'm probably going to use an amped up version of niguejim's http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f68/dark-owl-sweet-stout-55233/
Any and all comments are helpful! Thanks in advance!