You made it through brew day, following all of the directions without any earth shattering mistakes. Your beer is now fermenting in a bucket or carboy, so where do you put all of that delicious beer when it’s ready to be bottled when it’s done fermenting?
Where Do I Get Bottles For Home Brewing?
You could buy a couple of cases of bottles from a home brew store, but that could cost at a minimum $25 bucks, maybe a lot more and maybe a lot, lot more if you have to buy them online and pay shipping.
However, if you’re going to pay for bottles, why not start with bottles that are full of delicious craft beer. Instead of recycling those bottles or (shudder) throwing them out, why not re-use them for
your home brew concoctions. It’s the perfect excuse to drink fifty or so, craft beers from your favorite brewers.
When you’re picking out your craft beer, look for bottles that are the dark brown color. Avoid the ones that are green or clear because they let in the beer destroying light. Also avoid ones with screw off caps. The screw tops don’t mix with the manual bottle capers that most home brewers use can leaded to broken bottles and beer all over the place.
Once you’re done drinking your mouth watering craft beer, make sure to rinse out the bottle right away. Don’t be like me and wait a couple of days. That can lead to nasty mold taking up residence on the bottom of your beer bottle.
Now what about those pesky labels?
When I first got into home brewing, I read that soaking the bottles in hot water would make the labels easier to peel off. Not so much. What worked for me was a sink full of hot water and half a scoop of OxiClean. I originally used a full scoop, but I noticed that was leaving a white film on the inside of the bottles. Not so sexy. Baking Soda also worked, but OxiClean was the most effective.
After thirty minutes soaking in the sink with the OxiClean, the majority of the labels came off. A lot of them even came off in the water without me touching them.
Let them dry after that, then store them in a clean place until bottling day.
And don’t forget to sanitize your bottles on brew day. Even though, you washed them, doesn’t mean that they’re sanitized.
Do you have any tips for when it comes to home brew bottling that you would like to share?
Really good news: Dogfish Head labels are by far the easiest to remove. Talk about win-win!
Those are my favorite bottles for that exact reason, well that and the beer that comes inside of them are always delicious.