It was the perfect combination of motivation. Yesterday, as I was driving from one errand to another, I decided to take a slightly longer route. I could say it was because I was bored with my ordinary route and that would be true, but it would be even MORE true to admit that I wanted extra time to sip and enjoy the coffee I had with me in my travel mug before arriving at my next destination.
I promptly got stuck behind three large trucks that I couldn't see over.
At a particularly long red light when I grew weary of staring at the back of a dirt smeared truck, I happened to glance to my left and noticed that the plaza had finally found occupants for its small storefronts and one of them was a homebrewing and winemaking supply shop. I squinted to try to see the hours on the door but the stop light changed, the truck in front of me gave a metallic groan as it started forward, and a blast of an impatient car horn behind me forced me on my way. I decided to try to remember to google the shop when I got home.
I forgot to google.
This morning, I arrived at my family's business to answer phones as I do a couple of mornings a week, flipped on the computer, and went in search of a spoon and a cup of coffee while the computer booted up. I pried open the lid of my glass lock storage container and stirred the yogurt I had brought from home and settled back in my chair. This is a quiet time in the office; employees are drifting in and fetching their own cups of coffee and the phone lines don't ring much until about 9 am. I like to eat my breakfast and read a few of my favorite blogs. I try not to read any of them on Monday so if I'm lucky I'll have at least two posts saved up to read.
The Universe decided to follow up its gentle nudge from yesterday with a more solid kick when the third post I read was one about making your own small batch of hard cider. Inspired, encouraged, and excited by Jenna at Cold Antler Farm, I decided to dabble my toes into the world of home brewing. I googled the shop I had seen yesterday, South Hills Brewing Supply, and saw that they carried all of the things that I would need to make my own batch of hard cider--except the Apple Cider and I knew exactly where to get that!
I could barely wait to be finished at the office and when it was time to go I nearly flew out the door! After lunch (where it took all of my willpower not to fidget through like a small child), I drove directly to South Hills Brewing Supply, parked....and didn't want to get out of the car. I felt apprehension at walking in with a list of supplies I had gotten off a blog post and no other knowledge whatsoever about home brewing. Would the store employee talk to me like I was too stupid or not 'ready' to try to brew something? Would they scoff at my only 'recipe' being off the internet and try to convince me to do it a different way when I was set on trying it Jenna's way? I remembered reading somewhere once that 'beer is liquid bread, and bread is solid beer' but somehow I knew that my confidence with baker's yeast (and Chuck!) wasn't going to carry over to confidence with things like champagne yeast, airlocks, and proper sanitization.
My fears were completely unnecessary. I DID feel a little bit awkward inside the shop and it must have showed because a friendly man about my age wearing a very silly bright orange knitted cap with a face on it came over to me and offered to help. I pulled out my list and smoothed it out and told him what I needed. He was quietly helpful and made only two suggestions and I didn't feel pressured at all. I took the first suggestion: He showed me a different type of airlock that was easier to clean and when I looked closely at the traditional one and the one he showed me it did in fact look easier to clean. I just hope it does its job as well! The second suggestion he showed me when I asked about siphoning hose: He showed me a tool that helps get the siphoning going. It wasn't very expensive but I decided against it as I was only making one small batch.
South Hills Brewing Supply had a fair sized collection of bottles to choose from but I chose to wait to buy bottles. In a couple weeks, if the hard cider seems to be going well and it looks like bottling is going to happen then I'll dash back and pick up the necessary bottles.
I am Hopeful!