First cider. Funky? We will see...

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lalapet73

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So my husband and I were given 27 gallons (yes gallons) of cider from one of his coworkers who happens to owns a local apple farm. We stared a hard cider and a Cyzer (we purchased 30 lbs of local honey). Since we have several gallons left we decided to make a couple more. The next two are my own creations. The first will be a straight forward strawberry hard cider. (This lady loves strawberries!) For the next I'm going a little bold. I figure what they heck never know until you try. We were looking on White Labs and saw WLP616 Funky Cider Blend. OK what does "funky" mean. My husband has been brewing for years (beer, wine, mead and cyzers)I have helped with beer and we made an amazing honey orange Hefeweizen, but I've never done a cider. When I ask him questions he says "this is your baby so look into it"... I did some research and saw a few other references. "Barnyard" "horse-Blanket". So what? Am I licking someones muck-boots? More research and a trip to our local beer store. Got a cider by Cider Creek and it specifically referred to this "Funk" in its description. Purchased, brought home and tasted. Sort of sour, tart but crisp. I like it! So here we go. I'll be using the White Labs and also oak chips and vanilla. (researched that one too.) We are killing off any wild yeast strains before starting with this fresh cider to be on the safe side with Campden tablets. The Plan is:

First Fermantation:
5 gallon fresh local cider (uv pasturized)
1 packet WLP616 Funky Cider Blend

Secondary:
About 2oz oak chips
Vanilla beans (only one or two) or 1 tbs pure vanilla extract. I don't want it to be over powering.

Here's a question, to increase the alcohol what should we use? WLP616 Funky Cider Blend doesn't have a set alcohol tolerance. Apple concentrate? Sugar? Like I mentioned before I am new to this so be kind. As one amazing author says, Just relax... have a home brew.
 

bmd2k1

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New to hard cider brewing...gonna start my 1st batch middle next week...so I'll let someone else respond to your jacking up the ABV question.

Good luck & keep us posted!
 

MarkKF

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I say don’t Up the alcohol. A good cider will come in 5-6%. If you must up it you can freeze concentrate some and add it back in.
 

don_bran321

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Dextrose is always a good sugar boost that doesn't impart much flavor. I'm not sure how well it will dissolve unless the cider is heated though. Good luck!
 

PKnotlost

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Your limited by your yeast, all you can do is balance your sugar (starting gravity) to the yeast tolerance
 

TBC

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I just made a Cider with that same yeast. Plan on kegging half in a day or two and dry hopping the other with Mosaic and possibly Citra. To jack up the alcohol I added white sugar. I’ve also added brown sugar in the past.
 
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