Need some creativity

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Calvinfan1

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Hey!

I have a Brewer's Best California Pale Ale kit that I plan on brewing and later dry hopping with some Cascade leaves in the secondary. But I'm sick of just doing a plain old BB kit and I want to add a little creativity to this one. I'm looking for some suggestions as far as flavorings, spices, or any other cool ideas I can do to make this a more interesting brew. I'm all about the dry hopping so I'd like to do something that would compliment it. If you have any ideas, please let me know!
 

Brewmando

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Yesterday I bottled the BB Micro Style Pale ale that I dry hopped with 1/2 oz of centennial for three weeks. I'll be racking to secondary the BB California pale tonight. I wasn't going to dry hop that but I'll taste it and might change my mind. Maybe when I give it a taste I might be able to come up with something that might add some creativity to your brew. I really like the BB kits as that they make good beers but I also love to tweak and experiment. If nothing else simply adding some honey (1#?) can make things more interesting.
 

Ooompa Loompa

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Maybe a half pound of honey after initial fermentation dies down? Maybe dry hop with pine or spruce needles instead of (or in addition to) the cascade dry hop? A couple of pounds of mango or apricot after initial fermentation dies down might be good too.
 
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Calvinfan1

Calvinfan1

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Will the honey change the flavor or just up the alcohol content? I like the idea of the spruce or pine added to the dry hop!
 

david_42

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Honey would add a little flavor. If you want to try spruce or pine, pick the tips and sanitize by boiling for 5 minutes. Spruce is easy to overdo.
 

EinGutesBier

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Could you list what's in your kit? It'd give me a better idea of what suggestions may help in tweaking it.
 
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Calvinfan1

Calvinfan1

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6.6 lbs Plain Amber Malt Extract
2 lbs Plain Amber Dry Malt Extract
1 lb Crushed Crystal Malt 120L
4 oz Chinook Hops

How much spruce would you recommend? Is this something I could get at my brew shop?
 

EinGutesBier

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Well, I know I can get spruce in my backyard since I'm in Wisconsin. : )

Allow me to recommend a half pound to one pound of Munich or Vienna malt. Or, perhaps some 90L malt would do the trick. If nothing else, you can never go round with some Belgian biscuit malt. I recall someone suggesting honey, but a half pound of Gambrinus honey malt might give some dryness that could be welcome in this beer.
 

Bob

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For an interesting twist, replace the yeast with something like Wyeast 3522, Belgian Ardennes. Sometimes it's that easy!

Cheers,

Bob
 
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