Thursday, December 20, 2007

If it's not labeled, do you trust it?

Tried test-labeling a bottle using a glue stick. No-go. The label initially stick then comes off. I tried two 3M sticks: one for paper and one for paper/photo paper. Either the bottles are not clean enough or the glue doesn't work well on glass. I'll try rubber cement next, lightly brushed. That should do the trick!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rinse this bottle and return to brewer when finished.

I bottled yesterday, uneventfully save for cracking off the top of one bottle when crimping the cap. I wonder how long it takes to go from an initial 48 bottles to none when you account for misadventures like this? Add in bottles that you give away, bottles that still have something in them from last time, and it's easy to see that you really need more than 48 bottles, perhaps 72 on a rotating basis, to always have enough for a batch. I noticed that only one or two bottles had any residue on t he bottom from not being rinsed properly after being used previously. Maybe I need a warning on the label: ``Rinse this bottle and return to brewer when finished.'' Maybe a deposit would help me get all my bottles back? Hmmm.

Friday, December 7, 2007


The Citizen's Voice has a beer blog and I guess has for a while but I just found out about it. It's my favorite two words:
On Tap

Price of Ingredients

I read here that prices for beer will be going up soon if they haven't already. Have you noticed? Specifically, hops and malt price increases were cited (but will clean water, good `ol H2O, be far behind?) and they suspect that it will add $2.50/case to the price of many their craft brews (and $8/case for hop-heavy recipes). I can tell you that my 5 gallon batch (a bit more than two cases) costs me now about $50 for all the ingredients (purchased in October). $25/case is not that bad for a good quality brew and 27.5 isn't that bad either, but $32? The free market will eventually solve this when there is good impetus (profit) for farmers to begin growing barley and hops again instead of subsidized corn. But how many brewers will be forced to leave the party before this happens? And with the massive energy bill that's in the works with incentives to move to biofuels (this itself screws up the free-market unnaturally!), this may not end soon and maybe good beer is gonna be left out in the cold? I hope not since we as drinkers and brewers of distinctive beers will be the worse for it. Guns or Butter. Guns or Butter, Beer or Gas? Hmmmm. I vote for good beer. What do you think?

Bottle Labeling

I am considering labeling my bottles at the conclusion of bottle conditioning just before they go back into lager. I think this would be the best time to do this since the bottles are room temperature and the labels will probably stick better. I have read somewhere that a simple gluestick works best to hold the labels on with the goal of 1) holding the label on, and 2) coming off rather easily afterwards when the bottles are recycled for the next batch. I have a design in mind for the body-label but nothing yet for the neck label. I will have to whip my slave to get that done in time. Oh. I am going to spray my labels with something before-hand so that condensation does not disadhere them. I'm going to use a glossy spray coating. It should work. Hey, this is beer science!

Adventures in Brewing Update

Christmas brew is doing fine lagering at 32 deg F. now for almost 30 days. I have taken notes of my procedures and will enter them here when I have more time.

I can't wait to taste this fine brew (at least it LOOKS fine) and have held off taking even a sip so far. What constitution! Stay tuned for more updates.