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Old 09-01-2009, 06:38 PM   #21
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Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
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I have also started doing the Oxi soak overnight. If they don't slide right off after that, they go to the recycling center. I don't have time to waste dealing with stubborn labels! (unless the bottle is uber cool, then I make time).

Also, I love my bottle washing adapter! I replace the aerator on my sink with this thing and it flushes the bottles out quick and easy!

One more note. I see that Founders, in Grand Rapids has gone from twist-offs, to pry-offs! Now I can enjoy their beer AND reuse their stubby bottles!

EDIT: I also usually spray a bit of star san in there, to neutralize the Oxi, and hopefully kill off any bugs before they go to storage. I generally place them upside down to keep stuff from falling in during storage too. Just a couple of easy steps to help prevent any infection.
Day after day, it reappears. Night after night my heartbeat shows the fear. Ghosts appear and fade away. Come back another day.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:01 PM   #22
Trevor57's Avatar
Jul 2009
Posts: 150
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oxy-clean soak, and a metal pad to rub off excess goo.

O'fallon brewery labels would not come off for anything. They are the only ones I have ever had a problem with.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:56 PM   #23
Hang Glider
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Mar 2007
North Augusta, SC
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A small batch of double-strength StarSan and a one-hour soak for the tough stuff and the painted bottles -

my 2 cents...

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:48 PM   #24
AirRageous's Avatar
Nov 2008
Belen (Albuquerque), New Mexico, New Mexico
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I am only on my 10th batch but several have been 10 and 15 gallon batches. I have collected over 300 bottles to re-use. Many I enjoyed the store bought contents but most came out of the wild from friends or the local cantina.

First, if you drink the beer, rinse the damn thing out right away. Just two quick rinses with plain water and store the bottle until bottling day. Sanitizing just prior to filling will be all you need to do. If you give beer to your friends and they send them back dirty, don't give them any more damn beer until they learn to rinse the bottles. If you are bringing bottles in from the wild or need to remove labels, here is my method

Get a big box of OxyClean Free (unscented) from Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, Target, etc. What makes Oxyclean so great for this is that it cleans without agitation and then rinses very quickly. No foam, no residue, no taste. I use it for cleaning all of my beer equipment.

Place a plastic storage bin in the bathtub and put your bottles in standing up. In an extra bucket, mix 2 scoops (about 1 cup) of Oxyclean with 5 gal of hot tap water. Since I want the cleaning solution inside the bottles as well as outside, I put the bucket up on the counter next to the bathtub and siphon the solution into each bottle filling them so they don't float up later when I fill the bin itself. Mix more solution if needed to fill all the bottles. I use a 1/2 in diameter hose which gives a good flow and doesn't take forever. I start the siphon by mouth. A little Oxyclean won't hurt you and you don't need to worry about sanitation at this point.

Once all the bottles are filled with cleaning solution, I throw a couple more scoops of Oxyclean in around the bottles and fill the bin with hot water to above the mouths of the bottles. Now, with all the bottles full and the bin full, I let them soak for 2 or 3 hours.

In that short of time, most of the labels are either floating loose or peel off easily. Just a quick hit with a scrubby pad will take off the excess label and glue. Cerveza bottles have really tough labels so they can sit in buckets of ice for hours. Prior to putting them to soak, just take a knife and score the label in several places so the solution can penetrate. They may take some more time than others.

So, once you remove a label and get the glue off, turn the bottle upside down and shake vigorously while it drains. This will dislodge any crap that may still be in the bottle. Most of the time, any mold or gunk has already floated out. This includes moldy chunks of limes. I eyeball into each bottle to make sure it is clean and place them into a milk crate. Once the crate is full, I take my hand held shower sprayer and rinse the outsides of all the bottles in the crate with hot water.

Then I go to my bathroom sink where I have installed my bottle washer. With the faucet turned to full hot water, I rinse the inside of each bottle. It only takes 10 seconds or so for the Oxyclean to rinse out.

The bottles go back into the milk crate (about 24-30 per crate depending on size) and are stored for the next bottling day. Cover the crate with foil or plastic wrap if you want to but I don't worry about it. Just before bottling, I use my very own Almost Automated Bottle Sanitizer device.

I hope this makes bottle washing day easier for most of you. Happy washing.
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:41 PM   #25
Aug 2009
Posts: 31

My newb .02...
I just removed the labels off my first 50 bottles this weekend. 30 minutes in a kitchen sink full of hot water, and a whole small box of baking soda.(89cents). Every one of the labels fell off in about 30 minutes, and the glue came off with a single swipe of a rag. After that I rinsed them good, and they were ready to be sanitized. They all look pristine.
BTW if Anyone tells me the baking soda wash will ruin my beer I may have to drive off a cliff.

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:45 PM   #26
Oct 2006
Posts: 309
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Ammonia and water works great. Just soak for an hour or so and just peel those babies right off.

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Old 09-02-2009, 12:36 AM   #27
uechikid's Avatar
Aug 2009
Antioch Ca.
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I soak mine in TSP and hot water for at least 12 hours. Most labels will fall right off.
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:36 PM   #28
Overdue4Brew's Avatar
Jul 2009
Posts: 65

i peel as much of the label off dry as possible (pretty easy) then i put them in a sink with warm water for about an hour. then scrub them with that copper wool stuff... or the coarse end of a double sided sponge. sometimes glue from certain bottles are hard to get off so i just chunk those lol
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Old 09-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #29
Aug 2009
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Man, HB'ers rock the recycling!

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Old 09-02-2009, 04:30 PM   #30
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Nov 2007
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Not sure if its available in your area or not but Deschutes Brewery labels are the easiest to remove that I have found.

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