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Old 03-11-2008, 09:35 PM   #1
Silviakitty's Avatar
Nov 2007
Beautiful Downtown Wilmywood, NC
Posts: 457
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I've seen lots of threads about removing labels, but what if you want to keep the labels intact?

I don't have a lot of room to store bottles, but I do want to remember favorite beers and labels (La Fin Du Monde and Insanity come to mind). I figured the easiest way would be to keep the label and reuse the bottle.

Some labels are cooperating; most are not. Has anyone figured out a way (or even tried; this may be a dumb idea ) to remove beer labels whole?
Cathouse Brewery

  • Primary: [2 mr beer lil keg things] Apfelwein. One with sucrose and molasses, the other with fructose and honey.
  • Better Bottle: Empty. Going to be Cheesefood's Caramel Cream Ale.
  • Carboy:empty.
  • Secondary:Brewferm Frambois
  • Piggie: Irish Stout
  • Bottled: Red Ale, Irish Stout

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:37 PM   #2
Nov 2007
Halifax, Canada
Posts: 279
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Unibroue labels are tough. I've managed to get them off a couple times by soaking for 24 hours, but it's always hard. I've heard soap helps?
The Greenwall

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:49 PM   #3
Jul 2007
Posts: 1,636
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I've always been told that being able to peel the label of a bottle intact is a sign of s*xual frustration. Must be true as I am now able to peel the label off a corona bottle w/o a single tear....

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
menschmaschine's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 3,272
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Any increased pH water soak will do it. I know Lye works (took mine off whole in 15 minutes). You might try baking soda, but I don't know if it has the power to raise the pH all that much.

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:27 PM   #5
Feb 2007
Port Townsend, Washington
Posts: 608
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Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)

NaHCO3 is a salt which consists of the ions Na+ and the bicarbonate anion, HCO3-. It has a pKa of 6.3 in water which causes aqueous solutions to be mildly alkaline:

HCO3- + H2O --> H2CO3 + OH-

Not a very strong alkaline.
Primary: , Boddington's Clone, Mirror Pond w/Marris Otter
Bottled: Fullers ESB Clone
Kegged: Mirror Pond Clone
Drinking: BM's Kona Fire Rock, Dead Guy Clone, Alaskan Amber Alt Clone, Firestone DBA Clone, Magnum/Crystal IPA
Next up: Burton IPA

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
imasickboy's Avatar
Oct 2007
Landisville, Pennsylvania
Posts: 936
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Here's something that may be useful:
"Opinions are like a$$holes. Everyone has one, and most of them stink."

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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BigKahuna's Avatar
Feb 2008
Eastern Colorado
Posts: 5,970
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I wouldn't soak...that'll jack up the ink and paper.
Try filling the bottle with boiling water from the microwave...don't put the bottle in there, lots of labels have metal in them.
When it's almost too hot to hold onto, use a razor blade and gently work off the label. It takes some practice, but you'll get it quickly.
Seriously. I'm here for BEER
It's Not The Size Of Your Rig That Counts....It's How Often You Use It.

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
Sep 2007
Posts: 55

I soak my bottles in a hot solution of PBW overnight...the labels are found floating in the solution the next morning, totally intact.
Primary: Bee Cave Pale Ale
Secondary: ~nada~
Drinking: yes

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Old 03-11-2008, 10:53 PM   #9
mstev50's Avatar
Feb 2008
Northville, MI
Posts: 610
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I had some luck in the past with wine labels by putting them in a warm oven for a while. The heat softened the glue and they came off pretty easily.

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Old 03-11-2008, 11:14 PM   #10
Denny's Evil Concoctions
Grande Megalomaniac
Denny's Evil Concoctions's Avatar
Oct 2005
West Kelowna BC, Canada
Posts: 7,733
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Try oxyclean.
I may not be an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express........ 6 months ago.

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