I'm starting my first batch of home brew, have done a fair amount of lurking and research have have read here and elsewhere about improving your extract kit. I have one from true brew(bought at the local shop before much research). I understand the reasons for improvement i.e. boiling, replacing malt for sugar/dextrose, hop additions etc. The true brew kits don't contain specialty grains. I was wondering if I do some of these revamps if the ratios or quantity of the true brew kit should be changed.
I will need to add bittering hops, as the presence of the isomerized hops in the extract will no longer be present after boiling. Adding hops after the boil, should these be removed before it goes into the primary fermenter?
Should I replace sugar with liquid/dried malt? Or maybe a little honey, maple syrup, or molasses?
If I am to steep specialty grains or replace sugar with liquid or dried malt should this change the amount of malt extract used from the kit?
The kit is an american wheat from true brew, and I'd like to add blueberries. I'm not 100% sure when to use or if I should use just the juice from crushed berries or after crushing place in a nylon bag and include in fermenter?
Also, going back to the beginning, since I am in fact boiling, is it important to cool the wort quickly? The only thing I'm missing is an immersion cooler as I though I could wait on that until moving on from extract kits.
I'm not worried about taking risks or bigger steps, I'd rather shoot for a quality brew and miss then crutch on a mediocre true brew basic.