Here is the recipe from the Brewer's Best site http://www.brewersbestkits.com/pdf/1...in%20Spice.pdf
I've left the beer for a few weeks now (can't exactly recall how many at the moment). The beer still has a lot of astringency. It foams easily when poured, leaves large bubbles in the bottom of the bottles, and has a slightly soapy feeling in the mouth. And actually I wonder if some of what I think as astringency really the beer being overly-spiced.
So far, I've thought of a couple of things to watch with my next batch.
1. I used the BYAB method with the included mesh bag. It said to keep grains loose for steeping evenly, but I didn't think they stayed very loose in a tied off bag. My plan to fix this is using a perforated pot, line with a bag and pour grains into bag and allow everything to stay loose until removal of perforated pot. My best guess is it could have leeched tannins from the grains on the outside while barely extracting anything from the grains in the center.
2. I noticed mashing temperatures were on the high side rather than low side. Next time I'll try to keep them on the lower side to further avoid tannins.
3. I used LME, but didn't use a rubber scraper to remove all of it from the containers.
4. Hop pellets were added during the boil but nothing was filtered out before cooling and transferring to fermentation, aside from racking. I honestly don't know if this is something to worry about but it's something I'd like to find out.
5. Fermentation temps were on the high side, next time I'll try to keep them on the low side to keep it from producing off-flavors.
6. When bottling, I added the whole bag of priming sugar included in the kit to water and heated per instructions. Not sure if it was too much sugar or what. I also added the hot water/priming sugar directly to bottling bucket on top of beer. Not sure if this is a factor or not.
7. I allowed the bottles to soak in oxiclean and didn't rinse with hot water. Prior to bottling I rinsed in the included no-rinse sanitizer. I think the oxiclean may be a factor but I did bottle beer in a growler which was sanitized but I don't recall using oxiclean. The beer in the growler is also astringent, though less soapy. Next time I plan to simply clean with water and sanitize with Star San.
All in all, I'd say this bad batch was a big learning experience because it's caused me to look at a lot of factors which could have caused the flavor of this beer, factors which I'll keep in mind on my next batch. The last thing I'd like to point out is that I don't recall any astringent smell when bottling (just a strong spiced smell), though when I open a bottle the astringency is pungent.