Sunday, January 30, 2011

Glass Carboy Etching

This year for Christmas, I got two brand new three gallon glass carboys for brewing.  I was really excited about this since it will allow me to do some really fun and experimental beers without having to drink five gallons if it doesn't turn out great.  The only tough part is since I'm doing primary in the glass carboy instead of a brew pail or my conical, I don't know when the carboy is up to the two gallon mark.  I used sharpie on the carboy for a while, but it just doesn't have the pzazz that I'm looking for and it can easily be scraped off when cleaning.

I remembered back a few years ago when I was looking for some projects to do on Home Brew Talk.  Etching the glass would be a great permanent fix.  So, I decided to give it a shot.  For the test I should have done the numbers and level markings, but there was a large open space on each of the carboys, and I decided to go big instead of going home and etch the Lake Effect Brewing Logo into the carboys.  I taped off an area with masking tape to get started, then I printed out the logo in black and white and taped it onto the glass.

Next, I went at it full force with an Xacto knife.  I'm not gonna lie, this took a while, so I found a comfortable spot on the couch and a good show to watch since I ended up being there for a couple hours.  (If anyone is wondering, I watched Chopped one night, followed by the news the next.)  Here's the progress I made with it.

After that, it was pretty easy.  I picked up some glass etcher from the local craft store.  (I bought the 10 oz. jar, but I would suggest getting the smallest size you can.  With the amount I used, I could etch about 50 carboys at least.)  You just have to follow the instructions and you're good to go.  I only left it on for about 5 minutes, I probably could have gone longer, but here are the final results.


Once I get it filled with beer, I will try to get a couple more photos of it, and hopefully they will turn out a bit better.  The one problem I did have was that some of the etcher was able to seep in between where the masking tape overlapped.  I am hoping to remedy this on the next carboy by using contact paper or something of the sort that is a single surface.  Anyways, onto the next carboy, and what I was planning on doing originally, making level marks.  I do get sidetracked easily...

On Deck: Irish Red Ale (2/1)
Primary: Beef on Weck Ale
Secondary: Nothing
Carbonating: American Pale Ale
Drinking: Rye-rish Red Ale

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