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Old 03-10-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
Texasbrowncoat
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Default What is the best way to remove labels from beer bottles?

Hello I am a first time homebrewer and I have been told that oxyclean and water or soaking in chlorine and water, which one is Better? However I am concerned with if I soak the entire bottle to remove the label will it be read to use for bottling once dried? Thank you!

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
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I use oxyclean 'free' and hot water. Most labels will fall off in around 5-10 minutes. Some I scrub off with the rough side of a kitchen sponge. Some...just won't come off easy. I use a bottle brush on the inside of the bottles, rinse and dry. You'll still need to sanitize them come bottling day.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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I fill a larger cooler with hot water and a powdered cleaner like oxyclean that is made specifically for brewers - its called PBW. I submerge the bottles in that and leave it for a few days. When I come back, the labels are generally all floating, although some brands use plasticized labels that are difficult to remove. I rinse the bottles quite well afterwards, then put up a bottling tree to dry. Then they are ready to be sanitized when the next bottling day comes around.

You must sanitize your bottles immediately before filling them.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
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PBW soak for awhile works and then scrub glue with a green pad.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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Just did 6 cases yesterday. Even though I enjoy bottling, one of my least favorite parts of this hobby is delabeling and scrubbing bottles! I use a large utility tub, fill it with bottles, toss a couple scoops of generic oxiclean in, and fill with hot water. I try to fill as many bottles as possible while the tub fills and poke down the ones that pop up. Then let them sit for at least an hour. Some labels fall right off, some have to be scraped off. Some have almost no glue left, others are covered in a thick film and have to be scrubbed. I keep a plastic scraper, a plastic scrubber (like plastic steel wool for nonstick pans), and a bottle brush on hand. Every bottle gets the brush even though I rinse meticulously before storing. Even if the label comes right off, you have to use the scrubby to get the glue residue off. I toss the tough ones back in and deal with them last so I don't have a bunch of paper floating around. Use the plastic scraper over a trash can to get as much of the paper off as possible then scrub the rest off. I then dump the dirty soak water (through a strainer if there is a lot of paper) and rinse every bottle inside and out. Now they are ready to be sanitized. I use my dishwasher set as hot as I can get it and that has always worked for me. I have a batch of bottles sitting in mine right now that I ran through last night waiting on me to fill em up! I even run them through the dishwasher, let them dry, put them back in the case, and throw foil on them to keep creepy crawlies out until bottling day.

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:04 PM   #6
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Wow! Thanks guys!

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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One scoop of Oxyclean in a sinkful of HOT water. As hot as you can get it from the tap. Within an hour the labels should slide right off, or already be floating. I scrub the remaining glue residue off with a green pad, rinse them, and store in 6-packs.

The HOT HOT HOT water is key. If the water is just a little hot or lukewarm you won't get anywhere with the labels.

Also, certain labels are just a pain, I actually have a sinkful of Brooklyn Brewing bottles soaking right now. They take extra effort to remove.

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Lately, I've been drinking Sam Adams Boston Lager because my pipeline ran dry. After I pour the beer, I simply fill the beer bottle with hot water and set it into a large pickle jar filled with water. I let it soak overnight, and by the morning, the label peels of very easily. I also have a stainless steel scrubber that I use to get the remaining glue off. If the labels DON'T come off easily, the bottle gets recycled!

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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So what would be a good ratio to use for the oxyclean and hot water?

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Old 03-15-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Not much ratio here...I dump a couple of scoops into my utility tub, fill with bottles, and fill with hot hot water.

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"I cant handle that buddy.. it tastes like Moose Piss", (IPA) - side note.. ive never had moose piss, but im sure it doesnt taste like IPA or I would have a moose.
Bottled: Grizzly Saison, Grizzly Brett, Session Pale, Colorado Cream Ale, Cranberry Apfelwein
Primary: -37* Blue Balls Baltic Porter, Bad Dog Brown, Bohemian Pilsner
Secondary: Rarely!!!
Future: Cognitive Dissonance Cascadian Dark Ale
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