Homebrew: Bottling, Labeling

5 Jul

I’ve started homebrewing. I’ll post recipes at some point. But to start, photos of the all-important bottling and labeling step.

I’d been saving used bottles for the past year in anticipation of brewing some day, so I used a propped-open electric kettle to steam off the labels (most labels peel right off after about 15 seconds of steam, though some brands need a vigorous scrubbing to remove residual glue):

SteamingLabels

Baking bottles for 30 minutes at 180F to sterilize them:

OvenBottles

After siphoning from the fermenter into a bottling bucket (not necessarily needed), I dropped 1-2 glucose/sucrose tablets in each bottle (for the yeast to ferment after bottling to produce the carbonation), and gravity-filled the motley crew of bottles:

Bottling

The “Red Baron” capper is only $15 and easy to use:

Capper

And there I have it, about 40 capped beers:

Capped

Next, I printed out labels on a color laser printer (not inkjet). I’ve decided that my label style will be “some unrelated photo I took around the date of brewing” to anchor them in time, with minimal text and the eldash logo. After cutting them down on a paper cutter, I floated the backs on skim milk, applied them to the bottles, and smoothed them down. Milk makes a great low-tack glue to smooth surfaces and cleans off easily:

Labeling

My first two batches, bottled (a photo of the bike path in Heron’s Head Park for a Summer IPA, and a photo of an abandoned couch at Warm Water Cove for the Rye ESB).

Bottles Batch1and2

3 Responses to “Homebrew: Bottling, Labeling”

  1. Jess April 30, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    A surprisingly good way to remove labels from glass bottles is to mix equal parts baking soda and oil, apply generously to the label, let it soak in for a few hours to days, then easily peel up the label. There should be little to no adhesive residue, and the oil can be cleaned up with soap and water.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. First-Time Homebrewing | The Robot Must Eat - July 5, 2013

    […] settle to the bottom, leading to a more clear beer during bottling without using any additives), I bottled and labeled the beer (with a little extra sugar, to give the yeast something to eat once it’s sealed in […]

  2. Shrubs (drinking vinegar) | The Robot Must Eat - December 27, 2013

    […] And because any food preservation project also has to turn into a craft project, trying out a few quick label designs (with the usual milk-as-label-glue). […]

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