Labelling bottles...

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by white city, Jul 17, 2019.

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  1. Jul 17, 2019 #1

    white city

    white city

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    Hi all,
    I've been brewing for a few years. Like most I started bottling with crimp caps. That stuff got old pretty fast so I invested in a load of swingtops and life became much sweeter. However, as I started to brew more frequent batches it became troublesome to keep track of which brew was in the bottles. I got tired of that stuff too.

    I bought kegs and life became even sweeter. Cornies meant that each batch was 1 keg and approx. 6 to 8 500ml swingtops. Now I was back to the same problem of not being able to remember what was in the bottles as most the the time I am enjoying draught beer. I started looking for a label printer so that I could keep track and make some nice gifts for friends. Back and forth. The cheapest colour label printers were looking at being 200 pounds and I was on the verge of taking the plunge when I remembered reading a post long ago about labelling with MILK. I know...

    I did a little searching and it appears I was perfectly lucid when I originally read this. Print up your labels 8 at a time with your normal ink-jet printer on normal paper. Cut them up into individual pieces. Pour a little milk onto a plate and float a label very briefly onto the surface of the milk. Lift the label off and apply carefully to the bottle ensuring to carefully wife excess milk away from the label so it doesn't smudge. Done.

    It really works. the labels are rock solid stuck after a short time and removing them only takes running them under hot water for a few seconds. no residue left on the bottle at all.

    Try it. It is awesome, cheap (virtually free if you already have a printer) and no effort to clean.

    Enjoy people. I am well please at not having bought a label printer!
    Jon
     
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  2. Jul 17, 2019 #2

    Banbeer

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    Does it not smell after a while?
     
  3. Jul 17, 2019 #3

    white city

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    You use so little milk that I seriously doubt it. It's basically just an adhesive.

    Try it!
     
  4. Jul 17, 2019 #4

    the baron

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    Rather than label them run a brewing diary and number each brew then you just use a indelible sharpie to write the number on crowns tops if you use them. If using swing tops get a set of the small round stickers from wilko's or the like and write the numbers on them and stick on the neck of the bottle cheaper and much easier than printing full bottle labels. Worked for me for years
     
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  5. Jul 17, 2019 #5

    Sadfield

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    Use banana milk for hefeweizen and chocolate milk for stouts and porters, for an extra level of sensory identification.
     
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  6. Jul 17, 2019 #6

    white city

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    I have colour-coded the swing tops but after a few batches you never have enough of the same colour. Now I'm kegging and only bottling a couple of liters each time, this is an easy solution. The big win is removing the label. Literally 5 seconds under hot water and it is gone like it was never there. Try it!
     
  7. Jul 17, 2019 #7

    GerritT

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    3 mm jack for scale.
    Works for me, all the brews are in a spreadsheet, this is bottling batch 40. In 2 years, but the first brews were 1 gallon, and ciders and meads were bottled too.
    And recyclable.
     

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  8. Jul 17, 2019 #8

    Hopperty

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    Brilliant idea, thankyou, starch is a very strong glue.
    Tried one tonight and it seems to have stuck well. Wonder if a demister filled with milk would make it easier if you had a batch to do.
     
  9. Jul 18, 2019 #9

    WierdFish

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    I use milk, in a small dish and a pastry brush. A quick dip with the brush, a swish on the back of the label and onto the bottle. I can do a batch of 40 in under 10 minutes. Radio on in the background, it's quite therapeutic.
     
  10. Jul 18, 2019 #10

    kelper

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    True, but after a week in the shed all the ink has run due to condensation. Gutted. The shed gets cold at night - during the day the humidity rises - result -washout!
     
  11. Jul 18, 2019 #11

    Gulpitdarn

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    That's disappointing, you need a Laser printer.
     
  12. Jul 18, 2019 #12

    WierdFish

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    Good point, I do print my labels at work on a laser, rather than at home. Cost rather than anything.
     
  13. Jul 18, 2019 #13

    Richie_asg1

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    I tried milk but my labels dried than fell off. I think it is the crap whole milk I get with no actual milk in it.
    I have now moved onto dextrin powder which is potato starch and what I use for old style paper labels on old style paper parcels anyway. Soaks off cleanly.

    Anyone tried wallpaper paste?

    For the swing tops I print on 150gsm brown paper which is getting close to a thin cardboard and is about the thickest my printer will accept. This is then cut into a thin strip about 5cm x 1.5cm and tucked under the wire of the swing top. Nothing sticky needed, and looks kind of rustic.
     
  14. Jul 18, 2019 #14

    Gulpitdarn

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    I get best results from the green top semi skimmed milk. Not tried the blue or red tops. Also best quality laser paper, I actually soak the whole label in the milk for about 20 seconds and then place on bottle and wipe down carefully with a kitchen roll sheet, works really well. I only have a black and white Samsung ML-1210 laser printer but if I want colour I get prints from snappy snaps for a £1 a sheet.
     
  15. Jul 18, 2019 #15

    bikesandbeer

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    For any that I just want to identify for myself, I just write straight on the bottles with a chalk pen - quick, easy and cheap
     
  16. Jul 18, 2019 #16

    Clint

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    I bottle..I code mine with a Sharpie..easy and cheap...just remember to write it down in your brew journal.
     
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  17. Jul 18, 2019 #17

    aamcle

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    I use 19mm found labels on the tops, crown caps are thrown away and they scrape easily off swing tops.


    Aamcle
     
  18. Jul 22, 2019 #18

    Llamaman

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    Crown caps - I buy white ones and write the brew # on with a sharpie.
    PETs - round labels from Ryman. They scape off easily when wet.

    Anything else seems a waste of effort _for me_ - I’m not selling the beer or giving it away as gifts so I don’t care what the bottle looks like.
    But these tips are undoubtedly useful for those with different needs/aesthetic desires!
     
  19. Jul 22, 2019 #19

    Cwrw666

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    Milk works fine but you're best off with a laser printer. And no it doesn't smell, but if it's damp where you store your beer then the labels will go mouldy.
    Personally I can't be arsed. I keep my bottles in crates and just label the crate. Different coloured crown caps for each brew also helps with the odd bottles that don't fit in a crate. Or just write on the cap with a sharpie. S for stout etc.
     
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  20. Jul 22, 2019 #20

    GerritT

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    That'll teach people to brew monstrums like "imperial vegan oyster vanilla milk stout" :laugh8:
     

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