I've revisited a red ale recipe that turned out well last year and that is loosely based on Rogue's St. Rogue Red. I used 10 pounds of Maris Otter pale ale malt and one pound each of CaraMunich, CaraVienne, Simpsons Light Crystal (10L, I believe) and one pound of German Munich malt. I also experimented with a Scottish brewing technique that calls for boiling a small portion of wort and letting it caramelize. I'm thinking that this technique will add some extra caramel flavors to the beer, off-setting the sharp hop flavors. The hops I used included an ounce of Centennial "flowers" employed half as a "first wort" addition and half as bittering hops boiled for 60 minutes, after which time I turned off the stove and added an ounce of Chinook hops. It's a pretty simple recipe, but one that makes a pretty complex beer, mixing sweet caramel malts with spicy and bitter hops.
I sparged about four gallons into the brew kettle and diluted with another gallon of water after I chilled the wort. I chose an Activator Pack of Wyeast 1332 for this beer to hopefully add a little bit accent the malt flavors a chance to be heard over the screaming 40 IBUs.
No stuck sparges this time or other hangups. Just a bit of mess dealing with the whole hops. I think I need to stick to with pellet hops for bittering and just use whole hops for aroma, because the whole hops tend to absorb a lot of the wort, affecting yield.