I am brewing a batch of Amber Ale right now and I was wondering if it would be possible to put something in with the wort while it is fermenting in order to change it's flavor. Could I add in like orange extract or something along those lines in order to get a citrus flavor in the beer? Is there anything I can do or should that have happened when I was boiling the wort in the first place? On a different note, would it be possible to raise the alcohol percentage of the beer/ make it stronger in this stage?
Could I add in like orange extract or something along those lines in order to get a citrus flavor in the beer?
Yes; search Google for "secondary fermentation additions".
Is there anything I can do or should that have happened when I was boiling the wort in the first place?
There are flavor additions you can throw in the kettle but you'll get the most bang for your buck with (SANITIZED!) additions during fermentation. Don't think twice about an amber ale, though; wait until you have some more experience before improvising with recipes.
would it be possible to raise the alcohol percentage of the beer/ make it stronger in this stage
Again, yes and no. In theory you can add more cane sugar, but in practice it only works with yeast that are highly alcohol tolerant. (Usually Belgian; highly alcohol tolerant yeast strains usually make no secret about their properties.) The yeast used for an amber ale is most likely not tolerant enough to go very far outside the recipe, and beer that is too alcoholic for the recipe generally tastes pretty bad.
yes, not really and yes.
It's quite popular to add flavors, especially spices, after fermentation. The ideal method is to make extract of the spice, try it in a sample of the finished beer, and add the right amount to get the flavor level you want. Adding it during fermentation makes the end result harder to predict (especially if the CO2 scrubs out volatile flavor compounds) but it is not uncommon to dry hop while the beer is near the end of fermentation.
The only special thing to do on brew day is make sure the beer style is suitable for the spice that you want.
For barleywine some people will continue to add fermentables over a long time, apparently it keeps the yeast happier.
Ideally you'd want to add flavors in the secondary fermentation stage (aka placing your fermented beer in a brightening tank). After your primary fermentation happens, you'd rack the beer into another clean container and let it set for longer. This would allow any of the remaining sediment to fall out of solution and make your beer less cloudy.
This is a very common time to do things like "Dry hopping." Where, in addition to adding hops in the wort-making-stage... You take (as sterile as you can get them): hops; spices; fruit; or whatever you feel like adding - place them in a sterile cheese-cloth if they would get messy/float - and then let the new mixture set until you're ready to bottle/keg.
@Pepi is correct. Since you cannot "clean" a cinnamon stick, it is common practice is to make a spice extract and place it into the beer, a little at a time, until you achieve the appropriate flavor.
You probably can add something during the primary fermentation; but, the chances that it would cause issues with the fermentation become much greater.