Midweek meet up – 24 Feb.

The midweek offers a chance to meet in a great pub, bring and taste some home brew and sample the pubs own beer made on site.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got anything to bring other than yourself! Feel free to bring the same beers again if you were at the last one. It’s amazing the difference a day makes, it’s unbelievable the difference a month makes.

The comments sheet was a great success so it will be back this month, just for fun, nothing serious!

November Midweek bash

tapsThe midweek offers a chance to meet in a great pub, bring and taste some home brew and sample the pubs own beer made on site.
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got anything to bring other than yourself! Feel free to bring the same beers again if you were at the last one. It’s amazing the difference a day makes, it’s unbelievable the difference a month makes. The comments sheet was a great success so it will be back this month, just for fun, nothing serious!

Club Meeting – Don’t miss out!!!!!

It’s time for the big club meeting – the highlight of the SCB calendar.

FREE to members and only £2 to non members
£7 for Davie’s legendary curry lunch.

What to expect…

HOP TRIAL BEER TASTING
Members have brewed single hop beers for us to taste and compare so you can learn about hops flavours from all over the world.

TALK FROM A REAL BEER SCIENTIST
Prof Alex Speers from Heriot Watt University comes to talk to us about hops and brewing.

SINGLE VESSEL BREWING
Get up close and personal, ask question and learn about both the Grainfather and the Braumeister systems and what it’s like to brew with them.

RAFFLE
Win some fantastic prizes donated by members – remember to bring a prize to donate.

LUNCH
Lunches at SCB meetings are legendary but do let us know if you have any weird and wonderful dietary requirements.

HOMEBREW TASTING, CHAT & MORE
Bring your homebrew to let others taste it and give you feedback, after all that’s the biggest benefit of belonging to a homebrewing club, get help to make your beer better.

LET US KNOW IF YOU ARE COMING ALONG SO WE CAN PLAN NUMBERS FOR LUNCH.

Eli.Appleby-Donald@scottishcraftbrewers.org

August Midweek Meeting

The midweek offers a chance to meet in a great pub, bring and taste some home brew and sample the pubs own beer made on site.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got anything to bring other than yourself! Feel free to bring the same beers again if you were at the last one. It’s amazing the difference a day makes, it’s unbelievable the difference a month makes. The comments sheet was a great success so it will be back this month, just for fun, nothing serious!

Categories
Recipe

SCB BBQ 2015 Beer Winner, The Recipe

SCB BBQ Winner 2015
SCB BBQ Winner 2015

Citra and Simcoe Strong Bitter
Method: BIAB / BM

Style: Pale Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 18 litres (fermenter volume)
Boil Size: 25 litres
Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 5.25%
IBU: 40.62

Fermentables

Amount               Fermentable                                   PPG          °L            Bill %
3.3 kg      United Kingdom – Maris Otter Pale              38           3.75        88.6%
0.3 kg      United Kingdom – Munich                            37           6              8.1%
0.125 kg  United Kingdom – Cara Malt                        35           17.5         3.4%
3.73 kg  Total

Hops

Amount               Variety Type         AA          Use                                       Time       IBU
20 g        Citra        Leaf/Whole         14           Boil                                    60 min    40.62
5 g          Citra        Leaf/Whole         14           Whirlpool at 90 °C            10 min
25 g        Simcoe   Leaf/Whole         12.7         Whirlpool at 90 °C            10 min

 

Mash Guidelines

Amount Description             Temp      Time
25 L         Mash                  42 C        10 min
—             Mash                  65 C        70 min
—             Mash                  73 C        10 min
—             Mash                  78 C        10 min

Categories
General

An update – making your own bottle labels for your home-brew beer

selection of beer labelsI thought it might be time for a quick update on what I’m doing and maybe some more hints and tips that I didn’t post last time. The blog post I did is still available if you want to have a look –

If you hadn’t read it previously I’d say go read that post and come back as there is some useful information there that will set you up to get started.

You read it? Good then lets look at some new labels and how I did them.

 

 My labels – how did I choose that design?

Brew dog labelI actually didn’t start off with that design for my bottles. I’ve gone through a whole process of trying out different labels until I found the one that got me most excited and although at the minute I am really pleased with them, they are not perfect but I’ll tell you more about that later.

My first label idea was based on the Brewdog labels. I liked the bold colours and text of the design and I liked the slightly grungy look so I had a play about with how I could recreate that kind of idea.

lager labelMy first attempt was for a coopers lager kit I did, so of course thinking of Australian lager, I made the label yellow. Looking back, it’s not a brilliant label not least because of the poor choice of yellow background with white lettering which wasn’t easy to read. Also it was a bit cluttered. I tried to put a name for the beer, details about what it looked and tasted like, the style, the percentage, a logo for my “brewery” and some information about pouring it since it had yeast in the bottle. An awful lot of info to get onto a little square of paper. Things did continue to evolve though.

I switched colours mostly, so each beer had the same label but with the background as a different colour. Red for Goblin Queen, Purple for Heather Ale etc. But I mostly stuck with this design, just adding a couple of little bits to grunge it up a bit and it worked fine for a while, all our beers had this label on them and together they looked quite cool sitting on a shelf and I was pretty proud.

 

beer lined up

 

However the grunginess and the massive amounts of text started to annoy me and I wanted something simple and bold. Something modern. So I scrapped it all and started with a blank, white square and said, “What text actually NEEDS to be there?” And the scary thing is, not as much as you think.

So I went for a very stripped down version, just a square of bold colour and the text I needed in a plain bold font. It worked out great and I am still using this idea although tweaked ever so slightly.

Bottles with new labels

 

 So how do I make the labels?

Ok, I normally use a piece of software called Fireworks to make my labels but since there are lots of free versions of graphics software out there, I’m going to show you how I would create a simple version of this label using one of the pieces of software you can get for free.

apa label

 

First download a piece of software called GIMP from this webpage and install it. http://www.gimp.org/

 Creating your label

step 1- get started

ok once you have GIMP open on your computer you need to create a new work area. Simply done, click FILE and then NEW. This gives you a choice of sizes to play with. For this label I usually make it around 500 pixel each length so I choose the template from the drop box which nearest fits this size – 640 by 480.

step 2 – draw your label outline

Click on the rectangle tool on the tool box.

step 2

 

Then drag the rectangle shape to the rough size you want.

To colour the rectangle, double click on the colour box and then choose the colour you want from the pop up window.

colour picker

Now to fill your rectangle with the colour you have chosen, click on the fill tool and then on your rectangle. I chose white but you can choose any colour you like.

fill tool

The next thing we want to do is to create the black outline around the rectangle. To do this we have to choose the background colour. On the graphic above you can see the colour boxes are red and black, red is the foreground colour and black is the background colour. You can either change the foreground colour (as you did previously) or you can switch them around by clicking the little white arrows on the top right of the colour boxes.

However you do it, for this example we want to give our rectangle a black outline so make your colour black.

Then using the menus at the top of the screen, click on EDIT, then STROKE SELECTION. It will now open the window where you can edit the outline.

stroke

 

For this example I am going to change my stroke settings to have a solid line and a line width of 1 px then click STROKE.

step 3 – draw your centre rectangles

You should now have a white rectangle with a black outline on the screen. The next thing we are going to do is add another rectangle in the middle of the first and colour it red. We do this in exactly the same way as before. Click on the rectangle tool, draw your rectangle and then use the colour picker and fill tool to colour it, in this instance red.

red square

Now you are rocking!

Right next we are going to add the white band where you put the name of your brewery. Exactly the same as before choose the rectangle tool, then draw it out where you want it and then use the colour tool and fill tool to colour it white.

 

step 4 – adding text

Now we have the basic shapes in place, we are going to add the text. Firstly the name of the beer. in the example I am calling my beer APA, for American Pale Ale.

From the toolbox, click on the bold A in the centre, this is your text tool.

text tool

As you did for your rectangles, draw out the area you want your text to go. It’s good to make it much bigger than you need for the minute, you can always make it smaller later.

Inside the space you have just drawn, double click and then type the text you want. A text tool bar will appear which will allow you to change the size or colour. Get everything as you want it by highlighting the text you just written and then using this bar to make changes.

To adjust the font or the position of the text, you can do this from the tool options on the left.

font tools

 

 

On my example I have text that looks like it has a dark shadow. I made this by having two pieces of text. One white and one black. Then I moved one on top of the other.

To move an item such as text, click on the moving tool from the tool box and then click on the item and drag it to where you want it to be.

drag tool

The other tool you need to know about is the layers toolbox. It allows you to move layers to have one on top of the other. In this case the white text on top of the black text.

The layer which you want to be on top, will be top of the list. For example, our white rectangle is the back, then next is the red one, then the black text and then the white text as this is the order we want them to appear.

layers

Adjust yours so that your text appears as you want it.

You now use this same set of tools to add your other text elements to your label and in the end you should end up with something similar to this.

simple label

 

 

step 5 – saving your graphic

Right, you’ve created a brilliant label that you are super proud of. Now you want to save it so you can print it and use it on your new beer.

The first thing you want to do is get rid of any of the excess white area (or canvas) around your graphic.

From the menu at the top of the screen, click IMAGE. Then click FIT CANVAS TO SELECTION. this will take out all the excess canvas for you.

Lastly we want to save your creation, so to do this, click FILE and then EXPORT. This will open a window where you can choose the type of file to save and give it a name. I’d recommend using the little cross on the bottom left to choose SELECT FILE TYPE and then from the list that appears choose GIF.

Now at the top, give your file a name and then click EXPORT.

image

 

By Eli Donald.

Categories
General

Making your own labels and pump clips

As many of our regular club members will know, I enjoy making labels and pump clips for my home-made beer almost as much as I enjoy making the beer itself. So I thought I’d share a blog post I wrote in my own blog about how I go about making my own labels and sticking them to the bottles. I think this is something a lot of home brewers are thinking about just now as we sometimes give beer as Christmas presents so obviously you want people to know what beer you have given them but also it’s nice to give a gift that looks good.

Step 1

so where do I start? Well usually by looking at beers available in my local beer store or supermarket and deciding which labels I like and why. A lot of the time, the labels can influence our decision to buy a beer (even if we don’t like to admit it), so it’s a good exercise to do, what do I like about the label, what does the label imply, what assumptions am I making?

I also look online and one blog I have found which I love just for looking at really nicely done graphic design for the beer industry is OhBeautifulBeer.com. They regularly show fantastic labels and poster and other beer paraphernalia and usually with a nice back story from the designers about they came to their decisions when designing. I would recommend popping onto the blog for a look and some ideas.

Step 2

So you have looked at other beer labels and decided on the kind of thing you like. Now you need to work out what size your label should be. The simplest way to do this is to measure one of the labels you liked.

wpid-Measure-label

 

Step 3

You have your label style idea, you have your label size. Next sketch your idea out on a bit of paper. This way you can keep adjusting your ideas if you realise you’ve forgotten something important or if things don’t look as good on paper as they did in your head. The important thing here is just to get your ideas down on paper; it doesn’t matter if you are a fantastic artist or if you just draw some boxes and a stick man. After all a lot of artisan products these days go for the “rustic/handmade” look.

wpid-IMAG1831-1-245x300

 

Step 4

You have your label idea, now you need to decide how you are going to create it. Are you going to draw your label and then photocopy it or are you going to create it on the computer? What way suits you best?

If you do decide to create it on the computer, you might want to think about what software you will use. Graphic design software is great and offers you so much versatility in what you can do, but it’s also expensive. But a lot of software comes with a 30 day trial for free or there is even some free graphic design software out there.

Free software to try:

• GIMP – http://www.gimp.org/

• Paint.net – http://www.getpaint.net/index.html

• Inkscape – http://inkscape.org/

Try something out, look up YouTube videos to teach you how it works and then have a good play and see what you can do.

Here’s the finished label I made.

wpid-IMAG1832-1-1

 

Step 5

Once you have your labels designed it’s time to print them out and attach. I’d recommend using a laserjet printer for this as the ink is less likely to run. I’ve found that the ink runs a little on deskjet printer so if I use a deskjet I also spray hairspray onto the labels after printer to help “fix” the ink.

Now you have some choices on how to attach your labels to your bottles. It depends on how you are going to treat the beer.

If you are giving the bottles away as gifts, you might want to either print onto sticky paper labels which you can buy in stationery stores of your could use pritt stick to attach them to your bottles. The last thing you want is for the label to come off.

The down side to doing this is that if you want to reuse bottles for another brew, these glued or sticky labels can be a right hassle to get off the bottle again.

If I’m just bottling for us to drink at home my solution is that I stick the labels on using milk. Yup plain old milk. If you coat a very thin layer on the back of the label it sticks perfectly to the bottle and in about an hour you have a perfectly affixed label that will come off really easily in a little hot water when you clean your bottles. I know some folk worry about the idea of using milk incase it smells but don’t worry. I don’t know the science bit, but it doesn’t smell. Honestly I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and you’ve all drank my beer at one meeting or another 🙂

Some of my labels and pump clips

image

image

image

image

PUMPCLIP golden

IMAG0024

 

You can see more of my beer and other blog posts on my blog – http://www.elidonald.co.uk/blog