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Old 10-01-2009, 03:40 AM   #1
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Default Best Bottles for de-labeling

I'm new to homebrewing (in the middle of my first batch), and I wanted to share my experience cleaning and de-labeling beer bottles. I learned that some beers give up their labels easily, but others don't. Here's my list:

First off, my procedure for de-labeling was to put half a scoop of Oxiclean into a big bucket, load with 25 bottles, and then fill with water. After a soak of at least 1 hour, I then pulled off the labels by hand and scrubbed off any remaining glue with a green dish pad.

BEST (labels come off on their own, no glue residue):
Kona Longboard
Carmel
Kirkland Wheat Beer

GOOD (labels pull off easily, little to no glue residue):
Sam Adams, regular
Sam Adam Summer Ale
Trader Joe's Vienna Lager
Michelob Amber Bock

WORST (labels leave paper reside, lots of glue residue):
Widmer heffeweizen
Sierra Nevada

That's it. I also discovered that, if you ask around, you can procure 100 free beer bottles in a week and a half.

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Old 10-01-2009, 03:55 AM   #2
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Soak 'em overnight in the Oxi Clean solution. I've found very few labels that stand up to that sort of treatment.

Guinness Draught bottles (the ones with the widget) are the easiest. They have plastic labels that can be sliced off with a razor blade. There is no glue on them at all. Remove the widget with a pair of thin needle nose pliers.

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Old 10-01-2009, 04:02 AM   #3
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+1 Sam Adams

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Old 10-01-2009, 04:30 AM   #4
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From my last delabeling mission...

Very easy: Paulaner
Easy: New Belgium, ODell, Deschutes
Hard: Flying Dog, Avery
Dreaded: Bridgeport, Breckenridge Brewery

That was after fifteen minutes in warm water with baking soda, so it might be easier if I had more patience!

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Old 10-01-2009, 05:16 AM   #5
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+1 on the Guinness Draught bottles, it is extremely easy

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Old 10-01-2009, 06:04 AM   #6
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Bear Republic has to be worst I have ever dealt with

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Old 10-01-2009, 03:14 PM   #7
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Has anyone used Amonia/water mix to de-label? If so what concentration and how well did it work?

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Old 10-01-2009, 05:13 PM   #8
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+1 on sam adams

also Guinness stout 22s are money
and any deschutes bottles are pretty easy

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Old 10-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #9
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Bad: any with foil, such as Samuel Smith's Brown or Negro Modela.

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Old 10-01-2009, 07:34 PM   #10
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Agree that Sam Adams were great. I just tossed them in the dishwasher and fished all the paper out afterwards. A few needed a slight scrub to get the rest of the glue off, but 90% were perfectly clean.

Worst ever are bridgeport. I soaked them for a few days to get the paper off them. I don't think I will mess with them next time.

Hmmm, sams here is carrying cases of sam adams for about $1 a bottle. . . might have to stock up on bottles.

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