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My Cider Experiences


For when you want to start at the beginning.

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About 1994 Tasted first a commercial Cider at a University bar night. I remember thinking "Not bad but missing something". Didn't think any more of it and went back to drinking my first alcoholic friend Toohey's New.
mid 1995 Tried a friends homebrewed ginger beer and normal beer, attracted (as any Uni student would be) to very cheap alcohol. Both however were absolutely awful. To be fair the ginger beer did become drinkable at least to a uni students pallet about 9 months later but I did consider Passion Pop drinkable at the time too.

These events did however remind me of my earlier cider experience and I decide to begin trying to brew my own cider. Why cider? Two reasons. First I figured the commercial ciders didn't seem very good so I thought I could make better or at least close. Second none of my friends had tried cider so I thought if if it came out wayoff what it should taste like none of my friends would know any better!

mid 1995 + 1 week Discovered there was no homebrew shops within 100km of where I was living, lost interest in the project. Motivated little bugger wasn't I?
February 1996 At about the same time I came across a catalogue for a mail order homebrew shop, the local Woolworths started stocking homebrew beer kits. So still having money from my summer job the beer brewing kit was bought and the "Goldrush" cider kit ordered.
March 1996 Received the Cider Kit and followed the instructions exactly. Due to mess had to clean kitchen floor as it no longer met the "accepted house test"*

Began the hard work of emptying the 750ml beer bottles of their contents ready to receive the cider (with a surprising number of offers of assistance!).

* when you walked across the kitchen floor in socks and they didn't make it, it was time to clean the floor.

April 1996 Bottled Cider. Had to clean floor again.

Since I had been given a free beer base with the Home Brew kit decided to give it a go.

June 1996

Finally Sampled first cider!

Was like the bloody store bought stuff but with even less taste. However got stuck into it a couple nights later with a mate over the monthly 5c poker game. Teaching us an important lesson low taste does not equal low alcohol as we had expected.

June 1996 + 1 day

Found out you can get a hangover from poor tasting drinks too. Dam that tasteless alcohol!

July 1996

Bottled Beer.

This time in laundry so I had less floor space to clean up

August-September 1996

Tried beer. Truly and absolutely bloody awful!

This beer was so bad that no one (myself included) ever had more than one bottle. It was left at the perpetual uni student house I was living in when I moved out of at the end of the year. I heard later that it became customary to let each new housemate "discover" this homebrew still stored in the back of a little used cupboard and discover the hard way why not to "borrow" others alcohol without asking. For all I know with 30 bottles made and the usual 3 or so housemate changes a year this batch could still be terrorising unsuspecting first-year uni students.

December 1996

Finished full time uni Had absolutly huge "Final Fling" party. Drank remaining cider. As one friend commented on the final bottles "she'ch gotta kick she as'sh" just minutes before falling asleep on the toilet.

January 1997 Moved out into what was to turn out to be a succession of flats.
Then till 2001

Over the course of five rented flats and one wedding, progressively lost or gave away my homebrew items.

All I have left now is one small wooden bottle capper. Couldn't get rid of that now it still reminds me of uni days. Party till 2am, talk with friends till dawn, drag myself to a 10am lecture, then do it all again the next day...

These pages are very much in still the making and will be slowly updated until they get up to today. Also for more recent brews I intend to include enough details so that I (and possibly others) can learn from my sucesses and failures

(c) Mark Brindley 2002-2003

Last update 18 December 2003