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John
09/22/08 12:20 AM  
tips on making labels?
Hi,

ive never made labels for any of my beers but i have one im interested in making one for. Im wondering if anyone has any tips on the best places to get label paper (im assuming theres an adhesive backed paper specifically for this) and is there software for this or just use photo shop?

i thought about getting some online but it seems pricey to have them made.

thanks for any help.

ErikH
09/22/08 03:01 AM  
Re: tips on making labels?
I find that the sheets of labels available from Staples are fine - 6 labels to a sheet kind is my usual. Avery is a good brand I do trim them down from their 3.33x4 inch size as it is large for a 12 oz bottle. There are smaller labels available in a longer rectangular shape if you like that and want a 'no trim' option.

Any software you like can be fine. I like P-shop myself, others may prefer their own poison - Quark, Indesign, even Word.

Make your label to your satisfaction then copy the appropriate quantity into an 8.5x11 "sheet" file. Test print on regular paper to make sure the alignment is OK then print on the actual labels.

I love the identity it gives my beers. Went to a very nice homebrew event the other day and was shocked to find not just blank bottles (fine, i guess, if anonymous) but people using bottles with original labels still on or logo bottles. I just can't see representing my own product like that . . .

SteveG
09/22/08 12:24 PM  
Re: tips on making labels?
John, I'd go Erik's route. Do it inexpensively, you may find the allure wears off. I bottled my entire second batch (back then color copiers were hard to find and computer printers sucked). I stuck them all on with a glue stick. A lot of work but they were well adhered but still easy to remove. They'd soak off quickly and in many cases were actually reusable.

Anyway, I was beaming with pride. But I drank many on my own, thus the only one to see the label was me. Then I started just labeling bottles I thought people would see. In the end I found it was better to just impress them with the inside of the bottle. Hummm. Actually that wasn't the end. The end was that I began kegging and the whole thing became moot.

tankdeer
09/22/08 12:48 PM  
Re: tips on making labels?
+1 on Steve's comment. These days it's very rare that I bottle anything, let alone label anything. In the off chance that something does get a label, it's usually only when putting together a gift for somebody, in which case I do have some label paper I got at the LHBS quite a while ago, and I design the labels in PhotoShop. Like I said, very rare. I don't think I've done one in over a year.
john
09/23/08 11:39 PM  
Re: tips on making labels?
Thanks for the info! I really hate bottling but am doing a lot lately so i can age and or enter competitions. i usually keg but havent gotten the time (or $) to figure out which equipment (beer gun, etc) i should get to bottle from a keg. the labels will mainly be as gifts or in this case a joke between my wife and i.
SteveG
09/24/08 09:55 AM  
Re: tips on making labels?
John, you can also age in a keg, its like a big bottle. To go from keg to bottle I use a picnic tap. Beer must be very cold, bottles the same temp. The first pours more foamy, so I pour one to drink (at a low PSI) then fill bottles at a trickle. If the beer is very carbonated pour slowly and be prepared to loose some foam. But if you're only doing a few for competition that amounts to a couple ounces of actual beer.
john
09/26/08 03:03 AM  
Re: tips on making labels?
Thanks steve. i'll try to bottle from a keg shortly. How long will they keep if bottled this way? do you attach a bottle filler to your picnic tap?

I really should start using my kegs more. i have quite a few that are underused. Of course partially because having kegs of beer sitting around is nearly too much temptation and for a while we were drinking more than i was making (which was 10 gallons a week plus ciders and meads that seem to always be aging).

SteveG
09/26/08 09:18 AM  
Re: tips on making labels?
>> How long will they keep if bottled this way?<<

The oldest I can report is a beer I bottled from keg that placed in the 1997 AHA regionals. It was a small batch of a few problematic beers that I blended in a keg, force carbonated and rebottled. I drank the last bottle with the Dewberrys at the 2001 SoB. It was refridgerated the whole time, but in this case it lasted years.

>>do you attach a bottle filler to your picnic tap?<<

No. When I first started using a picnic tap I - following advice - put a stiff tube in the end of the tap to deliver the beer directly to the bottom of the bottle. Made it foam more. So now its just the tap - but you need do draw off a beer first and pour slowly. And be prepared to keep filling a full bottle in those cases where you foam.

>>I really should start using my kegs more.<<

I use them in lieu of carboys.

 
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