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-   -   Use KNOX! It's the best label adhesive (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f46/use-knox-its-best-label-adhesive-354082/)

sidepart 09-13-2012 02:53 PM

Use KNOX! It's the best label adhesive
  • Amount of water was amended to 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup.
  • I recommend microwaving the water, another user had luck with using hot tap water.
  • I tested for about 8 hours in room temperature water. Labels were fragile (soggy) but still stuck.
  • Another user had luck using a spray bottle instead of brushing it on.
  • Gelatin can be bought in bulk (used for clarifying beer). I haven't tried the generic bulk geltain, but I assume it works all the same. 2.5tsp (or about 1Tbsp) is equal to 1 Knox packet.
  • Tips at bottom for dissolving gelatin if you're getting boogers.
  • Gelatin doesn't seem to bond labels well to PET bottles. Thanks to nonameisgood who did some extensive testing, but without success. Sorry!
  • Brewcrew02 posted a video example of how easily the labels come off in hot (120F+) water. Excellent example! Thanks!

I've seen a lot of talk on the forums about using knox (gelatin) to clarify beer. But I have yet to see someone let you all know what a great adhesive Knox also makes! I probably wouldn't have known myself if my sisters hadn't used it to cement their hair for synchronized swimming.

What's awesome about Knox:

1. CHEAP...like $1.00 for 6 packets.
2. 1 packet can do more than 48 bottles if you use it right.
3. It's waterproof at all the temperatures that matter.
4. It turns back into gelatin when exposed to HOT water.
5. 3 and 4 make labels stay on when wet (usually even in a cooler), and makes the labels STUPID easy to remove with just a short dip in some hot water.

So...how does this magic stuff work? Read on.

Heat up about 2 cups of water in the microwave until it starts to bubble.


Afterwards, put the Knox in a small bowl and pour in about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of hot water and mix it together (I usually use a fork) until it's clear (no clumps). You may need to use less water, but use your best judgement to dial it in. Some of you may have used this as a hair gel (for mohawks)...add more water, you want more of a liquid and not a gel here.

That's really all there is to it. I print my labels using a color laser printer (so the ink won't run). I print on plain old laser grade paper too. Using a silicone brush, I paint on a thin amount of the adhesive and then stick it to the bottle.


Positioning the label is easy, you have a minute or so to move things around. I like to press the label on firmly so it's flat on the bottle.

Your fingers will get sticky! Don't worry...just wash in hot water and the Knox comes right off (dissolves).


If you start running low on adhesive, you can usually use the remaining cup of hot water to dilute it some more. Again I've done more than 48 bottles with just 1 packet, and still had enough left over to dilute.


Let me know if this works for you guys too. Like I said, the labels stayed on when the bottles condensed, and even in a cooler (although I haven't extensively tested this). I'd like to see if others have the same experience. Also, someone suggested that gelatin might help fix INKJET ink to labels (prevent them from running). The gelatin does soak through the paper before it dries...so maybe it'd fix the ink. I haven't tested it yet but would be interested in trying.

Dissolving Gelatin Tips

Sounds like some people might be getting snot instead of a liquid gelatin mixture. The snot will generally work all the same, but it'll be harder to work with and you might be applying more gelatin than is needed to your labels. Here are some tips.
  1. Add more hot water to dilute the mixture. Keep a glass measuring cup filled with about a cup of nearly boiling water handy. Add a small amount to your mixture and stir it in until it becomes more liquidy.
  2. Make sure you're using water that is near the boiling point before mixing into the gelatin powder.
  3. If you've used gelatin in cooking before and are aware of "blooming". Try it, see if it helps alleviates snot balls that are the bane of Jello makers.

Misplaced_Canuck 09-13-2012 03:09 PM

You can buy a whole pound for about $10...


sidepart 09-13-2012 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck (Post 4409791)
You can buy a whole pound for about $10...


I assume it's no different than Knox, just generic. I'll have to buy in bulk then!

Boleslaus 09-13-2012 04:31 PM

Awesome advice!

MedicMang 09-13-2012 05:37 PM

Awesome. I've been using milk. Works great except for any water situation, like in a cooler and the ice melts. Will be trying this next time. Does it leave a nasty residue in the tub after you soak the labels off?

Greenbasterd 09-13-2012 05:46 PM

cool!!food grade glue mmmmmmmm delicious and genius!!!!!!

passedpawn 09-13-2012 05:52 PM

Great idea! Prost!

sidepart 09-13-2012 06:13 PM


Originally Posted by MedicMang (Post 4410299)
Awesome. I've been using milk. Works great except for any water situation, like in a cooler and the ice melts. Will be trying this next time. Does it leave a nasty residue in the tub after you soak the labels off?

Well...the labels might leave a residue if they dissolve. I haven't really had to soak them though. First time I filled a bucket up with nearly boiling water, dumped a few bottles in and literally seconds later the labels floated off. Ended up being a huge waste of time getting all of that ready.

Get a pot, heat some water up and dip a bottle in. Worked well.

TheDudeLebowski 09-19-2012 03:56 PM

Best part of this solution is telling your vegan friends the beer is vegetarian but the bottle is not. Wait for beer volcano. (There are vegan gelatins)

MichaelBrock 09-19-2012 04:24 PM

I have been using milk as well. Works perfectly well...except for that ice-chest label falling off thing. I'll give this a shot when I bottle this upcoming weekend. Is the gelatin mixture thin enough to spray on with a spray-bottle?

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