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Old 05-25-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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Default Bottle label removal

I have managed to collect a very nice cache of Sam Adams bottles which I plan on using for my first batch soon. Does anyone have any bright ideas on the easiest and most effective way to remove the labels? Only thought I have come up with is to throw about 15 a time in a large cooler with water and soap and let them soak for a day or two and then use a wire bristle brush.

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:09 PM   #2
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Oxyclean -- perfume free kind. throw them in a batch of that, let them soak overnight and voila labels come right off.

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:15 PM   #3
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Get some PBW,& mix 4 3/4tsp in 1 gallon of water. Put in 4C of hot water,put the cap on,& swirl it till it dissolves. Then top off with cool water. I use an orange home cheapo 5G bucket. Put 12 bottles in it,& keep making PBW solution till the bottles are covered by 2" or so.
With the cooler,enough to cover them by about the same. Unless you have a clean bucket to mix the PBW in,then 1ounce per gallon. Which ever way works. Soak them overnight. The label will have slipped off,& the glue dissolved,or real soft. Go get a beer bottle brush,it's softer & easier on the glass for scrubbing inside the bottle. I use a dobie (kitchen pot scrubber) that's a thin sponge with nylon netting on the outside To scrub the outside of the bottles. Goes real fast this way. Certainly easier for you. Let's the brewer's wash do the hard part. Plus,unlike oxyclean,it's no rinse.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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Oxyclean -- perfume free kind. throw them in a batch of that, let them soak overnight and voila labels come right off.
Absolutely, even dissolves the adhesive underneath the labels easily. In fact, I don't even go overnight, just 45 minutes in hot water does it for me. Throw them in the tub or sink while I brew and the labels slide right off. Soak them again in plain warm water, shake them up on the inside, a final good rinse in running water, then a soak in sanitizer... squeaky clean and good to go.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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I did that on bottling day once. Took me 6hrs to cook the labels off in kettle of boiling water,& scrubbing like mad. Never tried the oxyclean,I don't want to burn time,water,& money rinsing again. That's why I went to a clean 5G bucket & PBW solution. And I started doing that while the beer is fermenting. So,at bottling time,I just sanitize a tree full & go for it. Could use another 45 bottle tree,though...
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:39 PM   #6
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Could use another 45 bottle tree,though...
I use the racks in my dishwasher. Pull them out, they fit about 60 bottles.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:42 PM   #7
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Oxyclean works wonders. I use a tote I can put a case or so at a time in there. The tote as a matter of fact is an important piece of kit for me starting out. Use it in all phases of brewing.

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:44 PM   #8
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+1 on PBW for most easily removed labels.

If perchance you want to keep the labels as mementos, try a 1-hour soak in a solution of 1/2 cup ammonia to 3 gallons water. PBW shreds the adhesive and discolors the labels in record time. Ammonia will deactivate the glue (don't ask me how it works, I'm just describing my experience) without discoloring the labels. Most labels you can then peel off fairly easily, and there's often still enough glue that it will stick to a sheet of paper or something after it dries.

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
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Absolutely, even dissolves the adhesive underneath the labels easily. In fact, I don't even go overnight, just 45 minutes in hot water does it for me. Throw them in the tub or sink while I brew and the labels slide right off. Soak them again in plain warm water, shake them up on the inside, a final good rinse in running water, then a soak in sanitizer... squeaky clean and good to go.
Yeah I'm kinda lazy. I've also gotten some REALLLY grungy bottles from friends who don't bother to rinse the bottles... it's amazing what oxyclean will get out of the bottom of a bottle by just soaking overnight. Though that water will be thoroughly disgusting the next day.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by boomtown25 View Post
I have managed to collect a very nice cache of Sam Adams bottles which I plan on using for my first batch soon. Does anyone have any bright ideas on the easiest and most effective way to remove the labels? Only thought I have come up with is to throw about 15 a time in a large cooler with water and soap and let them soak for a day or two and then use a wire bristle brush.
I use the sam adams bottles as well. Honestly they are the best. Soak them in hot water for 30 min.... label should come off by them sellves. Then just use a cleanser to clean them out inside if you didnt rinse after you finsihed the beer.
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