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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > First Brew. Can I add hops and caramel taste to given Amber Ale ingredients?
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default First Brew. Can I add hops and caramel taste to given Amber Ale ingredients?

My starter kit should arrive any day now and it comes with an Amber Ale recipe. My favorite beers have a caramel/hoppy taste and I was wondering if I can add anything to the given ingredients to make the Amber have those flavors. I like Cascazilla, Hop Head Red, Denogginizer, Wilco Tango Foxtrot etc. I have an 8 gallon brew kettle and a propane cooker and am looking forward to my first brewing experience. It will be a full boil. Any suggestions/recipes for a caramel/hoppy Red or American Amber for a beginner brewing with extract would much appreciated. Thank you!

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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Once you have the kit post the recipe/ingredients and we can make recommendations.

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:51 PM   #3
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IMHO if this is the very first beer you will be brewing you should brew it as is so you can first learn how to brew beer, understand the process, learn patience, etc. Once you get a couple of beers under your belt and you are comfortable with everything then just look for a recipe kit that best suits the type of beer you like, there are hundreds of them out there!

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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+1

I agree with the previous poster -- but if you do choose to be adventurous -- for a 5 gallon batch you would probably be safe buying a dry ounce (not pellets) of whatever the late addition aroma hops are and dumping them into a 2 gallon sanitized paint strainer bag and after your primary fermentation is over tossing them in for two weeks.

Again I agree with previous poster -- but if you are gonna do what you are gonna do, dry hopping is pretty easy for a beginner as long as you sanitize sanitize sanitize. Go buy some star san.

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Old 06-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #5
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I got the kit today. The ingredients are:

6 lbs Gold LME
2 oz. special B
8 oz. caramel 80L
1 oz. hallertau hops
1 oz. Fuggle hops
Muntons 6gm dry yeast

Thoughts?

I really appreciate your insight. I'm sure I'm going to learn a lot in this forum

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Old 06-08-2012, 10:44 PM   #6
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Add 8 oz crystal 40L

1 oz cascade 60 minutes

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Old 06-08-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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Looks like the midwest amber kit.
I added a 1 oz fuggle dry hop in the keg.
Nice malty mellow brew. Had very little bitter or hop flavor without the dry hop.

Using US-05 or liquid yeast is another good upgrade.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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So I brewed the above recipe last Friday with the following changes to the kit.

I added the 8 oz. of crystal 40L per the above suggestion.

I added .5 oz. of Cascade at 45 mins

I added .5 oz. of Cascade at 30 mins.

So I have an extra 8 oz. of crystal and 1 oz. of hops to give the Amber more a hoppy/caramel flavor.

I have 1 oz. of Cascade hops left and am considering a dry hop, but don't want to overkill the recipe.

I would love your thoughts/suggestions.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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I say: Carpe diem--seize the day! And: Do what thou wilt! Either way you will have to learn first hand what it tastes like. Hey, you bought the extra ounce. You know you want to use it.

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:21 PM   #10
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So I sampled this beer after 5 days in the bottle at room temp and 2 days in the fridge and it was delicious! I did dry hop with an ounce of Cascade for the last 5 days of fermentation. I was nervous for my first brew, but really happy with the results. The caramel flavor was mild, maybe up the crystal slightly next time and the hops were a low level IPA and it has great drinkability. Thanks everyone for your insigh! I am doing a Hex Nut Brown Ale from Midwest next and am thinking of adding some hops to the 2 ounces of Willamette they include for a slightly more American Brown style. Thoughts?

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