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I decided to brew for my third time now. I have a red ale in the primary fermenter... but I am itching to do something a little more "advanced", since the last two came out good. I'm ready for a new challenge.

Any recommendations on what I can add to it during the secondary that might give it a little bit of a more unique/delicious taste?

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Voted to close because this is out of the scope of this type of site. –  brewchez Mar 2 '11 at 15:09
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4 Answers 4

If it's American-style (American Amber Ale can be red), then dry hopping isn't a bad idea, as patbrew suggested. On the other hand, if it's a malt-forward Irish-style red ale, some raspberry could be pretty good in there. You can use raspberry flavoring from the HBS, or you can use raspberry liqueur, or you can even use raspberry preserves (look for organic ones, such as Oregon brand).

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I like this idea too. –  patbrew Mar 1 '11 at 22:33
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You can always dry hop. Dry hopping is when you simply add hops to the carboy during the secondary fermentation 3-4 days prior to bottling/carbonating. It doesn't add much in terms of flavor, but is meant to add to the hoppy aroma of your brew. I've always been told to use hops of lower alpha acid content as these typically add more to the aroma anyhow, but I also like trying stuff out, so choose a hop that you like. I've done this several times and it's always turned out great.

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You could try adding ginger tea. I had really good results with ginger in an ESB.

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I like to split out a five gallon batch into one gallon jugs for experimenting. That way you could try dry hopping using different amounts and hop types in a couple and try out other flavors in the rest. When I do this I like to leave at least a gallon untouched to compare to the new flavored ideas. +1 for branching out and trying something new!

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