I brewed what is supposed to be a Holiday Red almost a month ago. The recipe (it was my first all-grain batch) was based on Northern Brewer's Brickwarmer Red, but I changed the grain bill to accommodate for what I could get my hands on (still nice, malty character). The recipe uses 1oz. of sweet orange peel at flameout.
So, 2 weeks into fermentation - all was looking good. Tested it and thought it didn't have enough character (orange wasn't present), decided to add more orange peel - racked the beer into secondary on top of the peels of 3 oranges and a cinnamon stick. Took it off the peels last weekend and now, it's really bitter. But there's still no real orange taste (aroma is there from sitting on the peels for a week though) - just tons of bitter. I was careful about leaving the white portion of the peel out too...
It's still sitting in the fermenter and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. It's beer, but it's not at all what I was going for - and I'm a little hesitant to let anyone else drink it - it's the worst beer I've made to-date. Could I salvage it by adding spices to overcome the bitterness (some traditional holiday beer type spices)? Any other suggestions?