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Old 01-22-2011, 12:14 AM   #1
CUPilot
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Default OK, newbie with newbie questions for the first brew

I apologize in advance if this question has been asked 10000000 times before, but I wanted to hear what all of you had to say:

I am brewing the first time this weekend with my kit from brewersoutpost.com and I have the Amber Ale ready to go. However, the kit didn't come with any finishing hops, but I'd really like to add some spices if possible. I'm not looking for a holiday brew, but something subtle that would really set off the flavor.

I hope this wasn't too dumb of a question, because I'm really just jumping into it tomorrow and want to see what I can do. Thanks in advance for your responses!

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
MrGrieves
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I'm not a guru, so, I may be off on this one, but finishing hops are for aroma. Bittering hops are for taste. So, if you are concerned about your beer having some hop kick, I'm guessing it already does.

As for spices, I'm not sure what spices would be appropriate for an Amber.

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:21 AM   #3
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Ok I had heard that finishing hops were for aroma, but I had a hard time believing they didn't contribute to the flavor at all. Maybe I'm just being hard headed!

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Old 01-22-2011, 01:54 AM   #4
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bittering hops add...bitterness. They're bittering hops because they have high alpha acids, which requires less hops to be boiled. The bitternes balances out the maltiness of the beer. The longer you boil, the more bitterness you get and the less aroma and flavor. The less you boil you don't get the bitterness, but you get flavor and aroma. I would add a low alpha acid hop to get a good amount of flavor and aroma, within the last 15 minutes. You can even do this at flame out if you want more aroma than flavor. .5 oz will probably be good for this style of beer.

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