Getting All Fancy!

For some reason or other I’ve resisted putting labels on my home-brew beer bottles until now as frankly I thought it was just getting a bit silly. Instead I just marked each bottle with the batch number written on a piece of masking tape so that I could tell what’s in each bottle. But after 7 or 8 batches I started forgetting which beer matched each batch number, so finally I’ve come to see the usefulness of properly labeling the bottles. Last night I bottled batch no. 11, my second go at Slutty Red, and I added some fancy labels, well not overly fancy (and just black and white because my printer is out of colour cartridge), didn’t let myself get too carried away!

Some of the batch 11 bottles all tarted up

The label for batch no. 11


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    • Aran on 15 January 2012 at 7:39 am
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    Nice – been following your site for a wee while. I’m on brew #4 myself – but still on kit and kilo (and a form of dry hopping which I think makes even kit beers pretty good).

    I started labeling from day 1 although the price of a pack of labels was surprisingly expensive! But half the fun is coming up with names for your brews!


      • on 16 January 2012 at 10:24 am
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      Hi Aran,
      I just used regular printer paper, 6 per sheet using the entire sheet, and stick on with glue stick which I reckon should be easy to remove.
      Nothing wrong with the kits if done right and they are pretty economical. The dry hopping is easy and should definately help as kit hops are mostly on the bittering end. I’ve got a toucan kit brew going at the moment, Coopers Stout and Dark Ale.
      From your email address I assume your also in NZ, where abouts?

    • Aran on 17 January 2012 at 10:31 pm
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    Yep in Jafa land – but originally from the Waikato. Haven’t done any toucan brews yet – I have the next 4 brews planned out including a repeat of my first one (a Munich Lager Ale of course like yours but I added 500gm honey and made a hop tea with 25 grams of saaz)

    Once I get through those it might be time to try a toucan. I am going to try steeping grains for one recipe (a smoked porter) and try a partial boil (have a 7 litre stock pot which should do at a pinch and see if I can manage something similar to an IPA. Although I wont be able to get the IBU’s much higher than 50 from what I have red I found IPA’s up at around 60 a bit too bitter for my taste. Should hopefully be enough to turn a kit into a reasonable if more moderately bitter IPA.

    The other advantage of the printer labels is easy to stick on and hey come off the glass bottles easy… Not so flash on plastic tho – have to use tea tree oil to get off the Pet bottles. Cost me $17 which has enough labels to do 4 brews (30 bottles – with plenty of spares for a few screw ups!)

    I look forward to your next Posts!

      • on 18 January 2012 at 12:48 am
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      If you are after something similar to an IPA but a bit less bitter, I think you might actually prefer Pale Ales, especially American Pale Ales (or NZ Pale Ales, i.e. American style Pale Ales with NZ hops). My own beer preference favours Pale Ales over the IPAs as I like the hops flavours but usually find the IPAs overly bitter. You can do an easy version of this with a Coopers Lager kit as a base e.g. my batch 10. But to make batch 10 a bit more of an APA, use a little more hops (Cascade are a great choice), and include dry hopping to get that hoppy aroma. You can easily do that with your 7L pot – boil 5L water with 500g DME (or 750g LME) for your 2 hops additions. Only a 15 min boil needed as bittering will come from the kit.

      • charlie on 27 January 2012 at 9:33 pm
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      aran – when you talk about the labelling – you didnt mention where you got the printer label kit. Where did you get them from? Presumably its sheets for your printer?

      I want to give it a go, even if I did just bottle my first brew, which could be completely awful :) Its a bock, with a couple of those hop tea bags in boiling water added.

      Im going to celebrate my first brew by labelling :)

    • Aran on 17 January 2012 at 10:32 pm
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    BTW I meant 30 bottles per brew too – 120 total!

    • Aran on 18 January 2012 at 10:22 pm
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    Cheers Aidan – I will give that a try. Will let you know how it turns out!

    • Martin on 22 January 2012 at 1:23 pm
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    Hey! Enjoying your blog. Have to say, for only 11 brews under your belt you have come a long way. Inspirational for new brewers.
    I only label the bottles I am giving as gifts or sending to competitions. I have tried many types of media and adhesives but never plain printer paper and a glue stick – so simple and I assume no problems with the ink “running” and very easy to remove.

    PS. I don’t mean to be picky, but you have a typo. on your label “Alcahol” should be “Alcohol”

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