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how to store bottles so that you can locate particular beer?

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I have about 80 - 100 bottles of different styles of beer and I find it really difficult to locate a particular style of beer that I have brewed. I have taken to write on the caps but that does not seem to be very effective not least because I can write perhaps two letters on any one cap... How do you store beer bottles so that you can easily identify the contents? Or do you simply make a batch and then drink it before making any next batch?  (I store my home made wines and meads and ciders on their side with tags that I can read from the front but I have not found any similar structures for storing beer bottles on their side)

HoppySmile! likes this

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I pretty much do what you do and write on the caps.  I keep an Excel spreadsheet on my computer, so that I can tell what the few letters on the caps stand for.  For ex:  W3 is Wicked Winter Warmer, L3 is Lincoln's Liberty Lager, SoT is Sugar on Top IPA, etc.  The spreadsheet really helps b/c I also note the date I brewed, bottled, any mods to the recipe, and how it turned out.  

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I thot of getting colored adhesive round dots to attach on the bottles, then keep a log , so u can reuse the color scheme on future brews as long as the colored dots dnt fall off frm washing the bottles, but AnthonyC has a great idea!

AnthonyC likes this

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Do NOT store beer on it's side or the entire side of the bottle will have trub, and your pour will be awful.  I put them in boxes, labeled.  I write the names on the metal caps (i.e. FT for Fat Tire), and on the PET caps I use a grease board marker which mostly cleans off.  

Brewer likes this

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I make labels on my computer for each batch.  The labels can be very simple or you can try to make them look like a commercial label.

 

I print them on regular paper, cut them out and use glue sticks to apply adhesive to the back of the paper to apply the label to the bottle.  The labels are not water proof by any means and a 2 minute soak in warm water will remove them.

TonyKZ1 likes this

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I label mine also, but that doesn't help you pick a particular one out of a batch of hundreds of bottles (I label mine also).  That's why I label the caps with a marker, store them in 12 packs or cases with labels on the outside, and store them in alphabetical order (in the frig as well).  I have two areas - current boxes and reserve - and they are both stored the same way.  I also have inventory on an Excel spreadsheet which allows me to know exactly how much I have, but again doesn't help me find any. 

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I label the caps using self adhesive 1 inch round Avery 5247 labels. They have room for brief description & date in ballpoint. They work on glass caps or PET screw caps. Mostly I use PET. I sort and keep  the bottles in the cardboard boxes by age. I keep an excel sheet history/planner of brews for reference.

You can also get these in 8.5 x11 sheets although I get the smaller ones (mailing seals). You could also computer print these, but I hand write for 10 to 11 PET bottles. No need to clean the caps, just stick one label over the prior label. If too many build up, it is probably time to change the cap.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Nickfixit said:

No need to clean the caps, just stick one label over the prior label. If too many build up, it is probably time to change the cap.

 

While there may be no need to clean the top of the cap off, there is a need to sanitize the inside of the cap, which I'm sure you do.

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Yep. Put sanitized in bottle, put on cap, shake it up, invert, unscrew cap enough so a little sanitizer comes out to cover screw threads, re-invert and leave 10 min.

Look good?

 

I was going to put in a picture, but my uploads fail.

RickBeer likes this

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I label the caps like most of you do with a couple of initials. Right now I have about 100 bottles consisting of 13 different recipes. I then but the bottles in six pack carriers and beer boxes. I then but the boxes in clear garbage bags just to be safe and tape a handwritten label on each bagged box. When I want something I simply look at the label taped to the box and change it accordingly.

RickBeer likes this

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I label the box w/ all info ie: beer, when bottled, ABV ect. and only mark caps when I go to the Lake and plan to share.

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I'm planning to make a reference chart and just label the caps with colored garage sale type round stickers. Red = CAL, Green = OCT Fest, etc

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7 hours ago, brewchamp said:

I'm planning to make a reference chart and just label the caps with colored garage sale type round stickers. Red = CAL, Green = OCT Fest, etc

 

I used to do this using colored electrical tape, but like Rick said, I ran out of colors.

RickBeer likes this

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Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, White, Black, Pink, Gray

 

I think 10 colors should get me by. Don't forget, you can also add a stripe to the sticker and it will double to 20.

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1 minute ago, brewchamp said:

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, White, Black, Pink, Gray

 

I think 10 colors should get me by. 

 

You are thinking way too small.  I think at one point I was at 15.  I now have 14.  I have two more in bottles not yet ready - which is either 16 or 15, depending on whether the two components of a Black and Tan count as two or one.  

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Add a stripe to the sticker gets another 10. Add an X to the sticker would get another 10. Each their own. I think this method would work for me.

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If you're going to color code couldn't you just use a box of Crayola Crayons?  They ought to be able to leave a mark on white, silver, or yellow caps.  Bonus...  You can buy the Ultimate Crayon Collection box which has 152 colors therefore keeping Rick content. 

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My pipeline is not as rich as yours. I do print simple labels (name, brew/bottle/drinkable dates, ABV) for each bottle in the batch and have them mostly boxed by batch - short boxes that show the labels and bottles are accessible. They gradually move from floor up the shelf as their older brothers move to the fridge upstairs. No separate beer fridge for me 🙁  

There may be 8-12 batches but geographically reasonable searches.

I also put a label on a board with each new batch - part "trophy case," part log, and certainly more legible than my notebook with gravity, recipe tweaks, and aberrations.

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Generally I bottle in 12 pack boxes.

 

As boxes get mixed up (from drinking and reshuffling) I try to keep track with post its. So right now I have a box with 8 Kenneth Blondes, 2 Hoppy CALs, and 2 Hopped ESBs. I know because I stuck a post it on the outside....

 

But I am kind of hoping to "lose" some bottles in the process and one day....a year or two from now, uncover one that I forgot about and try it.

TonyKZ1 likes this

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Lately this has become an issue for me.  I have so many different types of beer either ready or conditioning that it has become hard to locate what I want.  Only thing I can do is drink more to diminish the arsenal. ;)

TonyKZ1, John K. and Bighead beer like this

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33 minutes ago, AnthonyC said:

Lately this has become an issue for me.  I have so many different types of beer either ready or conditioning that it has become hard to locate what I want.  Only thing I can do is drink more to diminish the arsenal. ;)

 

A brewer's gotta do what a brewer's gotta do.

John K. likes this

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