Beer Update 2, and Home Improvements (Not at Our House)

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Scott came over last night and we completed the next set of tasks in the creation of my “End of Term” beer to celebrate the completion of my tenure on city council.

Rather than work in the basement this time we worked in the kitchen. I set the carboy on the work table.

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We had already sterilized 60 or so bottles, the bottling bucket, the siphon system and the bottle filler. This is done by washing them all in bleach water and the rinsing in clean water. Scott inserted the siphon system and we started to fill the bottling bucket.

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After we had started the siphon going we decided to have a little taste so we partially filled a mug and tried it. I don’t want to jinx this process, with a rash prediction, but we were both pleased with what we had.

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After the bottling bucket was filled Scott attached the bottle filler to the siphon hose and started filling our sterilized bottles.

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My job was to take the full bottles and cap them. I bought my bottle capper in 1982, when as a first year teacher I made root beer with my 5th graders for our Halloween party, a tradition I carried on for three more years. Scott had never seen a capper like that so he wanted a turn at trying it out. So he capped our final bottle.

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In the end our batch made exactly 50 12 ounce bottles of beer.

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Youngest daughter saw my photo above and said it wasn’t artsy enough so she shot a better version. Her’s does a much better job of showing off the hops cone bottle caps I bought for our brew.

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So despite working on our home at glacial pace, I’ve actually picked up a few jobs on the side. I finished one last weekend, so here are some shots from that. “Susan” (not her real name) is a new faculty member at the University of Iowa and has bought a nice bungalow on the east side of Iowa City. Over the summer I did some work in her kitchen and installed a correct period front door. She said that she wanted a tin ceiling in the kitchen to cover a not so great plaster job and I agreed to work on it with her.

First thing we needed to do was cover the ceiling in 3/8 inch plywood.

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After doing that I snapped out lines and started to install the ceiling panels.

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A couple weekends after finishing the ceiling panels I went back to install trim around the walls to make the project look “finished.” In the shot below you can also see the paneled box I created last summer to hide the soil and water pipes that run to the upstairs bathroom. Originally this area, and the furnace chimney were covered by a plaster wall bump out. Susan wanted the get some exposed brick in the kitchen so she had the plaster removed, but wasn’t expecting to see pipes. She is pretty handy herself and has been stripping the woodwork on the window and doors and will take them back to their original varnished condition.

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The kitchen is not big but it certainly had interesting challenges, working around the stairway to second floor led to some creative cutting but I think it looks quite good now.

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