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Old 03-03-2010, 06:36 AM   #1
dshaggy
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Default Two bottling Questions

I'm new to homebrewing, did my first batch a couple weeks ago. I won't be ready to bottle for at least a few more weeks, but I have a few questions about it.

1. My batch is an extract kit, with everything measured out, directions, etc. My question is about the priming sugar and bottle size. There is a packet of sugar, which I assume is the proper amount for 5 gallons worth of 12 oz bottles. What if I want to bottle to something larger? If the head space of a larger bottle is about the same, there is going to be a lot more pressure than in a 12 oz.

2. I'm trying to think of an effective way to label. I plan to have several batches going at once and don't want to get them mixed up. I don't need anything fancy, just something so I (and my HB drinking friends) can tell the brews apart. I was thinking something on the cap, since it gets thrown away anyhow and I don't want to be peeling labels off more than I have too. I would really appreciate any tips/tricks on a good way to label.

Thanks in advance,
dshaggy

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Old 03-03-2010, 07:32 AM   #2
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1. The amount of priming sugar you use should be determined by the desired carbonation level, not the size of bottles you are using. Just don't try to carbonate in growlers, as they aren't designed to hold pressure like bottles are.

2. I like to write a couple of letters on the cap with a sharpie. One of my brews is called "Count Chocula", so I mark "CC" on the cap. Just dry the caps off first.

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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I use 4 - 5 ounces of corn sugar for a five gallon batch.
Boil some water mix in the sugar boil a bit more, then when cool add to the racking carboy.

I rack off to a fresh carboy before bottling. This keeps me from getting any cake and crap in my bottles.

My preferred capper is the kind that looks like an arbor press with a lever arm driving a rack and pinion gear assembly. I don't think I'd like the two handed units I see selling . Mine is pretty old. I bought in 1982.

I saw a pneumatic capper that looked most interesting.

Labling:
I don't bother. It seems like a conceit that I just can't bring myself to undertake.
I do use colored caps. So long as I am not too plastered I can tell which brew is which by the color.
Besides a label would only complicate cleaning.

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #4
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1) When you pull the bottling wand out of the bottle, it will automatically leave the correct amount of headpsace in the bottle. The taller the bottle, the more wand is submerged in the beer, displacing more beer.

2) Write on the caps with a sharpie, or use these labels on the caps. I want to try this method myself.

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:28 PM   #5
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I found it hard to write on my caps with a sharpie, although since everyone else seems to do it, it could just be my sharpie. My other idea though was to get those little colored round stickers like you would use for pricing garage sale items and color coding the beers. Or even just writing on the stickers with a pen. A new sharpie might be easier though, so maybe I'll try that.

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Old 03-03-2010, 04:33 PM   #6
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Also check out Revvy's Bottling Tips Thread. Most excellent resource. Read the entire thread and take out what will help you.

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Old 03-03-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbie View Post
I found it hard to write on my caps with a sharpie, although since everyone else seems to do it, it could just be my sharpie. My other idea though was to get those little colored round stickers like you would use for pricing garage sale items and color coding the beers. Or even just writing on the stickers with a pen. A new sharpie might be easier though, so maybe I'll try that.
Make sure your caps are completely dry. If they have a small amount of water on them the sharpie won't work.
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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I have a friend who labels his beers with colored rubber bands. He has 7-8 colors and slips one on when bottled. It makes finding them in the fridge very easy, no reading, just check the chart on the front of the fridge.

"I want a Belgian Blonde. Purple"

Open the fridge and grab a bottle with the purple band.

Works well especially since he usually has 5-6 different brews in the fridge at any given time.

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:53 PM   #9
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For labeling, I used to hand label the cap with a sharpie, but whenever I used to give a way a variety sixer I'd have to give them notes on what was in the pack. So Office Depot sells little color dots made by Avery, on Avery's web site there is a MS Office template. Just type up the name and date bottled. Print off and stick on. You can even mix and match colors on different batches. This takes less than half the time it used to take me hand writing, especially when I'm bottling 2 batches for 20 gal in a day. The labels like to print a little to the left so you just have to adjust by hand.

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Old 03-04-2010, 05:55 PM   #10
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There is a handy label that you can slip onto the neck of the bottle. You can print the name, and whatever you want, and when you drink it, just pop it off and toss. It basically looks like a bookmark.

It's not as simple as a sharpie, or a rubber band, but easier than a full label, and no cleanup later either. Wish I could remember where I saw that template....

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