High OG Holiday Spice Help

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Adagio

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I'm allowing myself almost four months to brew and condition this beer so I would like to get this right. What I want is a spicy thick beer with a head you have to chisel off the top. I am priming with maple syrup in the hopes that it will lend a slightly sweet earthy tone to it. Here's what I'm looking at:

12lb - American pale 2-row
3lb - Caramel 120
2lb - Chocolate
1lb - Black patent
1-2 - Cinnamon sticks (10 min)
1T - All spice (10 min)
1t - Nutmeg (5 min)
2 oz Chinook (60 min)
1 oz Cascade (15 min)
Wyeast American Ale (2 packs w/ 0.5 gal starter no stir)

Anticipated OG is 1.097
Priming with maple syrup (bottle conditioned)

Things I'm worried about:
How do I get the most out of my continuous sparging?
I'm trying to pull off a 9-10% using all grain and no sugar additions.
I've had really good results with the decoction method but I'm trying to stay away from that incredibly laborious method. What is a equally useful method of mash? (But I'll do it if I have to!)
Any tips on this recipe too! (I know my chocolate and black levels are high but will it destroy the brew??)
 

Glynn

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Dude that's way to much caramel, chocolate and patent. here's an example of my all grain holiday style brew. a lot of recipes i see replace candied ginger with one oz fresh grated ginger. the candy sugar is often replaced with honey and the yeast is an ale type

Naughty Kitty Christmas Ale
Christmas/Winter Specialty Spice Beer
Type: All Grain Date: 6/26/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: glynn brown
Boil Size: 6.60 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Pot and Cooler (10 Gal/37.8 L) - All Grain
End of Boil Volume 5.47 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal Est Mash Efficiency 86.5 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Ingredients


Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10 lbs Rahr Pale Malt 2 row (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 74.1 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.4 %
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 3 7.4 %
4.0 oz Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 4 1.9 %
4.0 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.9 %
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 6 13.4 IBUs
1 lbs Candi Sugar, Clear (0.5 SRM) Sugar 7 7.4 %
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -
1.00 oz Amarillo [10.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 9 11.9 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [9.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 7.6 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [9.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 4.2 IBUs
2.00 oz Candied Ginger (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 12 -
2.00 Items Cinnamon Stick (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 13 -
0.82 oz Orange Peel, Sweet (Boil 5.0 mins) Spice 14 -
2.0 pkg Trappist High Gravity(westmalle) (Wyeast Labs #3787) [124.21 ml] Yeast 15 -

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.066
Est Final Gravity: 1.011
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.3 %
Bitterness: 37.1 IBUs Calories: 151.6 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 13.7 SRM
Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 3.85 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 8.73

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 4.50 gal of water at 162.1 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 3.85gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
 

RM-MN

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I agree that the caramel, chocolate, and black malt are way too much. Those grains have a powerful flavor and will make the beer so harsh as to be undrinkable. I also think you are cutting the time too short for such a dark, high gravity brew. I think that the holiday you should be shooting for with this brew is Easter, not Christmas. Heck, I'd probably look toward mid-summer even. I like my dark beers to be smooth and full flavored, not harsh.
 
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A

Adagio

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Okay I'll scale back considerably on the specialty malts. Is it a general rule of thumb "the higher the OG the more time it takes to condition? I have a 1.068 in the primary right now and I was hoping that would be ready by late October but now I'm thinking it won't be ready till December. As for this recipe I may have to do an easier spice recipe around 7-8%.
 

Glynn

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Is it a general rule of thumb "the higher the OG the more time it takes to condition?
yes and no. IPA and IIPA don't require long aging. darker beers will smooth out the harshness. the holiday style needs to mature to help mellow out the overall ginger/cinn/honey spice flavor.
 

DrHop

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If you want foam retention and body, 1# of flaked barley is a nice addition.
 
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