Tag Archives: Drinking Vessels

Recycle your Bottles at Home

22 Nov

Every Homebrewer is faced with a slight dilemma: after brewing 5 gallons of beer you have to put it somewhere.  If you’re small-time like me then you are probably not set up with a kegging system and have to rely on bottling.

There are several options on how to go about this: you can buy bottles from homebrew stores that come without labels, or you can reuse empty bottles that you have drained yourself.  I do the latter because, number one it is cheaper and, number two it becomes a game to find cool bottles that I can reuse for my own beer.

Coolest shaped bottles I have found: Samuel Smith bottles are larger and darker; Sierra Nevada bottles are more stout shaped, same as Anchor Brewing Co,; Schneider weisse bottles are taller but pretty narrow and elegant looking; larger, almost wine-sized bottles can be found but you have to make sure that a regular sized bottle cap will fit, wine bottles won’t work but a nice fit is any larger bottle put out by Dogfish head; I have a lot of really old Genesee pint bottles that are tough to come by nowadays; I also have a really nice, older Sapporo bottle that is pretty large and most definitely in charge.

Don’t bother with twist-offs, there are of no use and should be returned for deposit money.

I have tried various ways of getting labels off and I haven’t noticed much difference in effectiveness.  I have tried baking soda and soap mixtures which seem to work fine and I hear the Oxyclean really does the trick, but that isn’t a product that I own so soap, hot water and maybe some baking soda is my solution.  What I can tell you is what brand’s labels come off the easiest and the toughest.

Tough Ones: Brooklyn labels are, in my opinion, the worst.  You can let them soak in your solution overnight and they are still incredibly resistant to leaving the bottle.  I don’t bother with them anymore, I would rather have the deposit than deal with that headache.  In general, American craft beers are tougher.  I am not sure if we use more adhesive, or just superior adhesive but the labels are stubborn.  Samuel Adams is not the best, but can be done.  If you don’t mind scraping some paper and scrubbing off some glue residue then grab some Sam.  Any beer bottle with foil on it presents some scraping, but is very doable.  Bottles in which the label has been etched or adhered in some other way present problems as well.  Stone Brewing Company’s bottles must remain with their demonic icons in place, I don’t bother trying to make those bottles naked.

Easy Ones: For the most part, when German brand beer bottles are soaked the labels just slide off.  Leave the bottles in the solution for about an hour and when you return the labels will be floating on the surface waiting for you.  Brand’s I have tried: Paulaner, Spaten, Ayinger.  Goose Island is the same way, again I don’t know if it is less adhesive or inferior adhesive but the labels just jump right off of the bottles.

Something I am trying right now is retrieving the labels that come off in one piece, drying them out and adhering them to a piece of hard board to make coasters.  Look for a post on that in the future and I hope that this was helpful in some way.

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My Overdue Oktoberfest Post

24 Oct

We are pushing three weeks since I volunteered my Saturday to work at Wolff’s Biergaarten for their 2nd annual Oktoberfest celebration.  My bad on not posting sooner, [insert lame excuse here.]

I volunteered to help out at this event and I recommend anyone who likes: beer, sausage, German folk music, cool free stuff, or any combination of these things to strongly consider it next year.  I went in for 5 hours of working security.  However, it wouldn’t be fair for them to put me in a situation where I would be responsible for checking IDs because they would seriously loose their liquor license if I were an idiot (which, let’s face it: I am.)  So, I really didn’t do anything all day.  For a while I stood behind the food tent watching to make sure people didn’t try to sneak in through a parking lot (no one did.)  BONUS: I got some free eats from the chefs working because I helped them break down boxes and carry a cooking range.  Later on in the day I was just walking around the bar area.  Literally, they told me that it makes the bartenders feel better if there is someone walking around amongst the crowd (surely a false sense of security because if you have seen me I am not intimidating and my first thought in a violent situation is to run.)

What was my reward for all of this ‘work?’  A $50 dollar gift certificate for the Biergaarten, two Wolff’s T-shirts, a meal voucher for Oktoberfest, 2 beer tokens for the event, and a glass Spaten stein.  Talk about a bargain.

My only complaint about the event was that a lot of people were there.  It took a while to get a beer, and people were kind of douche-y about waiting in lines.  A few righteous bros thought that they were entitled to not having to wait for their beers so they barged through the patient, relaxed, fun-having crowd.  Number one: are those aviator sunglasses really necessary indoors, and number two: I hope you choke on your beer.

For the most part everyone was relaxed and quite pleasant.  The employees I worked with at Wolff’s were fun and I am happy to give Wolff’s my business.  If you haven’t checked the Biergaarten out yet, then you may be wasting time in the capital region.

wasting precious "beer-getting" time by posing for photos, also: sweet gloves.

About Time…

17 Sep

FINALLY!

Those of you who have waited up long hours wishing and praying that some day you could enjoy your favorite ale or lager in official Middle-Earth drinking vessels will be pleased to know that this dream can finally be a reality.  Gone are the days of drinking in non-hobbit glassware, but now we are all faced with a great choice: Green Dragon or Prancing Pony?

If my memory is right then the Green Dragon is the pub from the Hobbit’s hometown and the Prancing Pony is the pub in the human town of Bree.  If you are already lost then just know that this post is strictly about Lord of the Rings drinkware and that I understand if you now think less of me.

and there was much rejoicing

People that are still interested should know (and sit down for this one) that Green Dragon pint glasses are already sold out.  Please try not to throw your monitor in a fit of rage at this news, for there are still Green Dragon steins available!

I know what you are thinking… when are they going to start selling those sweet wooden pipes that Gandalf smokes out of in the movies?  Well, take what you can get and don’t waste any more time.  Go to the website and order your vessels.

fly you fools!