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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)

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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!

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Ok.  Just so you're not limiting yourself to ten different beers.  It would be a violation of forum rules.  :lol:

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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.

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This is the extent of my labeling, only writing the batch number on the cap.

KINDLE_CAMERA_1464721757000.jpg

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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. ;)

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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.

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2 minutes ago, MrWhy said:

 

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

I don't know why we suffer like we do. ;)

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This is a quandary for me , 'cause happily/sadly it has not been an issue. My production barely keeps up with consumption. In my defense...I don't like the pain meds VA gives me, makes me sick(phenergan don't help) . If I drink enough ale, I get to sleep, and with homebrew no hangover.(insert happy dance)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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label5247.png

Reviewing this thread again, I think one answer is use of a finer line pen. I get a lot of info in the caps.

 

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At one point I had close to 24 cases, now down to 14.5 with 3.02 conditioning.  I print labels for every batch (black and white on laser printer) and always have a few extra.  I used to put initials on the cap also, now use the small white labels that someone (Nick or MrWhy?) discussed at one point.  I put the 12 ounce glass bottles into cases or 12 packs, and put one of the bottle labels on the outside.  The bigger bottles (16.9, 25, 33.8 PETs) go into general boxes again with one of the labels stuck on the outside (some boxes have a few labels).

 

My inventory is in a spreadsheet (and my signature), so I know exactly how much of each that I have (signature shows total, I have it by bottle size).  I also take some up to another place for the summer, so I split the inventory into two columns and keep track of it that way.

 

Beer fridge has 6 of each in 12 oz glass plus bigger sizes on the door, all in rows.

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17 hours ago, Broox said:

This is the extent of my labeling, only writing the batch number on the cap.

KINDLE_CAMERA_1464721757000.jpg

I do the same thing, but its my phone number I write on the caps! then I got to parties and give out each bottle to the hottest women, in hopes they collaborate together and call me!! it's full proof ingenious way to pick up women!

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12 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

I do the same thing, but its my phone number I write on the caps! then I got to parties and give out each bottle to the hottest women, in hopes they collaborate together and call me!! it's full proof ingenious way to pick up women!

 

Then how come the phone is not ringing?  Bah-dah-bump!  :lol:

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since I have an extension on my phone, I usually give out an 36 pack, so that means I buy cheap beer at the store, open all the bottles, recap them and shake em up to regenerate the fiz effect

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This time I tried printing the round labels. You can get a lot of info on them, and I could have used smaller font.

I think I will print not handwrite now I have tried it.

BelgWit round label.jpg

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I use the Avery software/online tool (depending on what machine I'm on) and the small removable labels (4 x 8 to a sheet.) They stand up well to moisture and are easy to peel off when done. One sheet per LBK batch, with enough blanks that I can get my fourth batch or backs from the leftovers. Not that I'm cheap or anything <_<. I like the idea of labeling the outside of the box, as mine are generally by batch with some overflow. 

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The big question here is why are you storing them when you should be drinking them?  You don't hear HOPPY complaining about this problem do you?? ;):)

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Each recipe goes into a different brand labeled bottle.  Those bottles go into six pack carriers.  Mr. Beer can labels go through the six pack loop.  Hop variations get stapled to the first of each such label.  Six packs are then stored on shelving four six packs deep. 

 

I can now select one from each variety and put them in the fridge.  When I pull one from the fridge, I replace it with a companion from the same six pack.  That association is enough to remind what I am selecting at the moment.

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I only use one sheet of the round Avery labels per batch as I use 1L or 750 ml bottles and maybe a couple of 12 oz for give-aways. So 15 labels is enough. I can see what tey are from n top and so just move them around in the Mr B Bottle boxes.

pipeline20150209_102336.jpg

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On ‎2016‎-‎01‎-‎10 at 1:08 PM, Brewer said:

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)

Green painter's tape and a marker.  I write MX, MX, MX... (ex: for Mexican)........ all the way around, then rip and paste on bottles after I pour them.  Then I can just throw them all (I do 4 LBK's at once, different types) onto one shelf and just leave a piece of paper on that shelf with the '4 week' due date.  Then later as I drink them, the painters tape easily comes off without anything sticking to the bottle.  Just make sure the part of the bottle you put it on is dry.

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On ‎2016‎-‎06‎-‎19 at 7:25 PM, AnthonyC said:

I don't know why we suffer like we do. ;)

First world problems.....

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 I recently saw this the other day, and am going to try it out. Instead of baking the bottles (especially the plastic ones :) ) I figured I would paint them after I bottle and cap them while they are carbonating (glass curing per paint label is 21 days). Will see how they hold up after beer is finished and you have wash bottles. 

http://www.boxbrewkits.com/blogs/news/115824516-diy-chalkboard-beer-bottle-labels

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 8:21 AM, HoppySmile! said:

since I have an extension on my phone, I usually give out an 36 pack, so that means I buy cheap beer at the store, open all the bottles, recap them and shake em up to regenerate the fiz effect

what the hell was I saying hear???

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Hoppy, no one knows.  We try to understand what you're saying, but it's like you are a visitor from Mars.  Schnerfoof qwakametz.  

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I print simple labels for the bottles.  Each batch is in its own crate, and I tape a piece of paper or a piece of an index card with the bottle date, name of batch, and anything else I decide to put on. 

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On 2/24/2017 at 11:00 AM, HoppySmile! said:

what the hell was I saying hear???

 

On 6/21/2016 at 6:21 AM, HoppySmile! said:

since I have an extension on my phone, I usually give out an 36 pack, so that means I buy cheap beer at the store, open all the bottles, recap them and shake em up to regenerate the fiz effect

 

Hoppy - Pondering this statement is what lead me to enlightenment. I was reading it, thinking about it....and then it hit me.....am I thinking about what Hoppy said or did Hoppy say what I am thinking?

 

After that it was like there was a light, but the light wasn't something I saw, but something I was. And the realization hit me....If I am drinking beer, and Hoppy is drinking beer...then maybe Hoppy and I are not drinking beer but beer is being drink-ed by hoppy and i......and if that is the case then maybe there is no hoppy and there is no I but there is only beer. 

 

And beer is not beer unless the i/hoppy are rinking it....and there is no i/hoppy without beer being drink-ed.

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8 hours ago, MrWhy said:

is no hoppy and there is no I but there is only beer. 

 

I should have never taken the Red Pill!!! Why cudn't I just taken the Blue Pill??? The Matrix

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Chalkboard paint was a success. Stored the bottles in crates with chalkboard paint on front outside area- write in what's being stored.IMG_4699.JPG.e7787727eb1dc01290619622c6fba75f.JPG

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I box batches together in old wine case boxes or Mr Beer bottle cases.  I put masking tape as a label on each bottle with batch name and bottling date.  Then I use an Excel spreadsheet to track when each batch is conditioned.  

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