Re: busy Holiday brewin'
Hey Al B
I was thinking of a nice spicy apple bier for the holidays, so the hefe yeast seemed natural. Organic raisons in the secondary may also be quite tasty.
I do a Wit with hefe yeast and replace the corriader with a very light touch of cardomom (2 pods at time 0 for a 10 gallon batch), and man it's fantastic. The blend of banana, clove, cardamom, and a raw wheat and oat malt base is heaven in a glass. This is probably more of a Farmhouse approach, but I like it anyway.
A Bier de Mars with WY1214 is a bit odd, but it comes out great at lower fermentation temps. Actually, a bit spicy-clovy if done at 65-68F. I use a base of Vienna, Munich, wheat, and flaked corn. Add a few handfulls of Aramatic and your good to go.
Have you tried the Canadian/Belgian VSS yeast? I used it last year on a Kolsch and Farmhouse recipe with great success. Very malty and smooth. It screams Unibrou. I just bought 4 more smackpacks this season I liked it so much.