At last, I have finally tackled the troublesome task of learning how to label my home brew. The challenge for me wasn’t so much that I didn’t know how to design the labels. I design things all the time in Photoshop. The pesky problem lie more with choosing the print medium and method of adhesion.
Scraping labels from recycled bottles ranks right up there with cleaning the refrigerator and doing sit-ups as my most loathsome tasks. The last thing I wanted to do was add to my label scraping misery by putting homemade labels on my bottles using an adhesive that would evoke four letter utterances from my mouth.
But, I just knew that the Skeeter Pee project had to be the one that finally freed me from the bondage of presenting naked bottles to my humble guests. The naked bottle vs. label standoff is finally over! I vow to never again subject partakers in my home brew to indecent vessels or mystery brews!
My adhesive solution: milk. Yep, milk! I read about it on a wine making forum and I thought I’d give it a try. It made sense really. If you’ve ever cried over spilt milk you’ll know it has a lot to do with the sticky mess spilled milk can leave behind. Maybe milk was just the adhesive I have been hoping for. Something to keep the labels in place just long enough for our beverage consumption pleasure but without the major label scraping headache I am accustomed to.
Utterly energized with the hope of at long last licking this troublesome problem, I sent my design to my printer.
Then, with printed labels in hand I then pondered the problem of the milk potentially smearing the printer ink (alliteration at its best!). My crafty instincts told me that I needed to seal the ink in some fashion before applying the milk. So I grabbed my trusty spray acrylic sealer and sprayed the printed designs. After allowing the paper to dry, I used my paper trimmer to cut out the labels.
The first round of labels did smear a bit as I was too heavy handed with the spray sealer and I used my fingers to apply the milk to the back of the labels. So the next round of labels I merely misted the labels with sealer, and used a basting brush to paint the back of the labels with an even coating of milk. And voila! Virtually no smearing and the labels were perfectly adhered to the bottles! Hooray!
At this point I do not know how well the bottles will stand up to the chill of the refrigerator or being packed in a cooler full of ice. But rest assured I will post an update after my milk slathered labels have been subjected to more adverse climate conditions.
If all goes well and the labels do the job they were hired to do, I plan to invest in a better quality printer paper for my labels. The el cheapo paper I used for these bottles was a bit flimsy and I don’t think the ink saturated the paper as deeply as I would have liked for the best possible print quality. My dear family will be my guinea pigs for my first batch of Skeeter Pee this weekend so I will have an opportunity to test their endurance as well as the ease in which they come off the bottles when it’s time for recycling.