So who here DOES NOT de-label bottles?

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BakRivrBruen

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I used to de-label all my bottles when I started brewing. Many of those bottles have either been broken or never returned back to me. So now, I'm starting with a whole bunch of newer labeled ones. I was going to start removing the labels and thought to myself "what the @#$% for and who cares?" I rate de-labeling bottles right up there with brew day cleanup. I'd much rather spend time making beer than screwing around with labels and rinsing 150+ bottles. Especially since I drink most of it anyway and I couldn't care less what the bottle looks like as long as the beer tastes good. So who's with me?
 

emjay

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passedpawn said:
Put bottles in bucket or bathtub. Fill with water. Add some oxyclean. Labels fall off. Seems like almost zero effort. That I can do.
That's what I used to do, but actual zero effort is better. I rinse all my bottles after pouring (or buy new ones, but no labels on those), so they don't need a cleaning anyways.
 
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BakRivrBruen

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Put bottles in bucket or bathtub. Fill with water. Add some oxyclean. Labels fall off. Seems like almost zero effort. That I can do.
Thats exactly what I would do but its still a complete pain in the ass. Especially bending over the entire time to rinse them all. No thanks. I'm not getting any younger and my back isn't getting any less painful.
 

davekippen

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I guess the OCD gets the better of me. I have to take the labels off. I wont even keep a Stone bottle cuz of the screen printing LOL. Different strokes....
 
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Thats exactly what I would do but its still a complete pain in the ass. Especially bending over the entire time to rinse them all. No thanks. I'm not getting any younger and my back isn't getting any less painful.
I hear you. I have the MRIs to prove I know exactly what you are talking about. A bit of that kind of bending and I'm done for the day.
 

emjay

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davekippen said:
I guess the OCD gets the better of me. I have to take the labels off. I wont even keep a Stone bottle cuz of the screen printing LOL. Different strokes....
I found even the paint (or whatever) comes off in oxyclean.
 

davekippen

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I found even the paint (or whatever) comes off in oxyclean.
Really? Huh. Maybe I dont use enough oxy. I fill up my utility sink with hot water and oxy, bottles soaking up to the neck label. Usually let them soak a few hours. Most labels fall right off (Shorts Brewery uses NASA strength adhesive, dont bother...) The screen printing didnt seem to budge. But now that I think of it, I didnt try real hard on those LOL
 

emjay

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davekippen said:
Really? Huh. Maybe I dont use enough oxy. I fill up my utility sink with hot water and oxy, bottles soaking up to the neck label. Usually let them soak a few hours. Most labels fall right off (Shorts Brewery uses NASA strength adhesive, dont bother...) The screen printing didnt seem to budge. But now that I think of it, I didnt try real hard on those LOL
I had let them soak overnight. And it rubs off... it doesn't just come off like the paper labels.
 
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I took muriatic acid to the Stone bottles. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing that, but it works. I made one emergency trip to the pool while doing this.

I guess it was the challenge. I toss them now. In fact, now that I'm kegging, I toss everything. I've got about 10 cases of bottles in my attic.
 

emjay

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passedpawn said:
I took muriatic acid to the Stone bottles. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing that, but it works. I made one emergency trip to the pool while doing this.

I guess it was the challenge. I toss them now. In fact, now that I'm kegging, I toss everything. I've got about 10 cases of bottles in my attic.
Now that I think of it, it may have been StarSan that did it.
 

Clann

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Havent removed a label in over a year. Like you said who the #$&%%$# cares. No That is not a sam adams you are drinking
 

weirdboy

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StarSan will remove the paint labels, if you soak the bottles at fairly high concentrations over night (and sometimes longer).

Sometimes I will remove labels, and sometimes I won't. It's not particularly difficult to remove them, but unless I'm submitting beers to a competition I cannot think of a compelling reason that my unique caps & cap markings aren't good enough to ID homebrews vs commercial beers. So, if I am prepping a bunch of bottles for competition entries, I will do a case or whatever of bottles with all the labels removed. Otherwise I will just clean & sanitize as normal, and sometimes the labels come off anyway during that process.


I used to have cases upon cases of bottles, but since I started kegging I haven't really made an effort to keep any of the bottles I drink, so they have been steadily dwindling. I have a case or two of empty bombers, but no regular 12oz empties.
 

SenorPepe

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I'm with you. I hated taking the labels off because I don't have a place to store empty but labeled bottles. So I had to soak them like 5-10 bottles at a time. Not worth it to me anymore.
 

verbhertz

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I remove them because I thoroughly clean all new, commercial bottles anyways. Soak in oxi so it's a no brainer. Usually I'm just reusing bottles I've already brewed with so a rinse and store upside down is all it takes.

Also, swmbo would not want homebrew from a bottle with a random label on it, no matter how I explain it.
 

emjay

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weirdboy said:
He lied. Oxyclean won't do it, but starsan will. At least, for *most* of the painted bottles. I have had a couple where starsan wouldn't work.
:

emjay said:
Now that I think of it, it may have been StarSan that did it.
 

BrewKnurd

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He lied. Oxyclean won't do it, but starsan will. At least, for *most* of the painted bottles. I have had a couple where starsan wouldn't work.
Rogue bottles seem quite resistant to starsan. At least at the concentration and length of soak I've tried.
 
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BakRivrBruen

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Havent removed a label in over a year. Like you said who the #$&%%$# cares. No That is not a sam adams you are drinking
Exactly! If you don't like drinking a fresh ipa from a Boston lager labeled bottle then I'll gladly point you to the nearest corner store to buy some bmc.
 

iaefebs

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I always question the cleanliness of a bottle that has a label on it. Perception is important. They say you eat with your eye's first. I think drinking a home brew is the same. If someone hands me a bottle of homebrew in a bottle that I know takes no effort to remove the label (Boston Lager) I get queasy on what might be growing on the inside. How can you clean that bottle and not have the label fall off in the process?
 

verbhertz

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iaefebs said:
I always question the cleanliness of a bottle that has a label on it. Perception is important. They say you eat with your eye's first. I think drinking a home brew is the same. If someone hands me a bottle of homebrew in a bottle that I know takes no effort to remove the label (Boston Lager) I get queasy on what might be growing on the inside. How can you clean that bottle and not have the label fall off in the process?
This. This. This.
 

Stauffbier

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I always question the cleanliness of a bottle that has a label on it. Perception is important. They say you eat with your eye's first. I think drinking a home brew is the same. If someone hands me a bottle of homebrew in a bottle that I know takes no effort to remove the label (Boston Lager) I get queasy on what might be growing on the inside. How can you clean that bottle and not have the label fall off in the process?
I can't help but think that you are over thinking this. IMO....... The inside of my labeled bottles are cleaned just as well as those that aren't de-labeled. I do agree that presentation has it's proper place, so I keep bottles that are de-labeled for friends and family. If it's just for my own personal consumption, I could care less if it has an old label on it. My beer isn't "dirty" nor do I ever get infections of any kind from leaving labels on. This is like saying your beer will be bad if you don't sanitize the outside of your keg before kegging. I'm quite certain not too many people sanitize the outside of a keg or bottle!

Just my personal opinion.... I don't judge you or anyone else if you must de-label!
 

emjay

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Not to mention that bottles which are immediately rinsed only need to be sanitized.
 

emjay

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iaefebs said:
Immediately rinse a bottle conditioned beer and report back.
Right, because I've never done that before...

Get the tap water as hot as possible, fill it halfway, cover the opening with your thumb, and shake it vigorously. Dump and repeat a couple more times. As long as the trub doesn't dry up, it works every time... gets rid of everything, even the smell.
 

Meatyboy

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I haven't removed a label yet. I could care less if my bottle says Gaelic Ale, my brain and tongue say Bavarian Hefe.
 

louie0202

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I keg......as far as bottling I am bottling for the first time and bought new belgian bottles for the beer i am making. For Wine....I typically buy new bottles and/or ask people for Charles Shaw wine bottles as the labels come off very easy...and I give out about half the wine I make....the beer is for me.....and its kegged....so I think if I did bottle, I wouldn't waste time delabeling.
 

BrewerBear

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I could care less if the labels are still on. Up until now my sink would only hold about 10 bottles so cleaning and removing lables was a pain. Bought a muck bucket that will hold at least 60 bottles, that makes it easier to soak a bunch at a time.

It is very easy to sanitize the inside of a bottle with the lable on, I don't understand the concern over a lable being left on, but to each his own.
 
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OK, everyone here already knows that the beer inside is the same whether there is a label on the bottle or not. No point in saying that any further.

Let me summarize this thread up to this point.

The arguments for removing them is
  • Brewing requires a lot of attention to detail. Sanitation, process, ingredients. If you can't be bothered to clean the outside of your bottles, you probably are not bothered with brewing details either.
  • Part of the mystique of beer is its appearance. If you get a dirtly glass at a bar, you won't be happy. Why serve a beer, even for yourself, from a dirty bottle?
  • It's so easy. A $2 Homer bucket and a scoop of oxyclean will take the labels off a dozen bottles in a day, no work at all to it.

The argument for leaving them on is
 

Jdk261

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When I bottle, I just soak/submerge them in hot pbw to clean...it just so happens that this takes labels right off, so when I do have any bottles with labels, they just slide off as a result of my normal cleaning practices...so it doesn't take any extra steps for me.
 

emjay

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passedpawn said:
OK, everyone here already knows that the beer inside is the same whether there is a label on the bottle or not. No point in saying that any further.

Let me summarize this thread up to this point.

The arguments for removing them is

[*]Brewing requires a lot of attention to detail. Sanitation, process, ingredients. If you can't be bothered to clean the outside of your bottles, you probably are not bothered with brewing details either.
[*]Part of the mystique of beer is its appearance. If you get a dirtly glass at a bar, you won't be happy. Why serve a beer, even for yourself, from a dirty bottle?
[*]It's so easy. A $2 Homer bucket and a scoop of oxyclean will take the labels off a dozen bottles in a day, no work at all to it.


The argument for leaving them on is
You invalidated the first point with your first sentence, it still goes into a clean glass (not really much different than having a keg plastered with stickers, IMO), and it's even easier to not give a ****.

Sure, if the beer is for other people or a comp, I'll use delabeled bottles, but if it's for myself, I know better, and it's an unnecessary waste of time and money, however small you consider it to be.
 

BrewKnurd

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The easiest way for me to ensure that the inside of the bottle is clean is a soak in oxyclean. So delabelling is no extra cost or time with my process.
 

Theis

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I quit taking the labels off- There is just nothing quite like having an imperial oatmeal stout poured from a Heineken light bottle.
 

divi2323

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I tell my friends if they come over and delabel my bottles, ill give them free beer. Win win.
 
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