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):


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


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:


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


And there I have it, about 40 capped beers:


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:


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.


  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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