Getting ready to bottle on Friday so I am cleaning bottles right now. I used to scratch all the labels off ones that had labels but now I don’t really care. Haha. I know cleaning is the most boring but most important part of brewing. Anyone else just leave the old labels on?
When I do an initial soak in oxyclean, the vast majority of labels just slough off. I work a bit to get some off, but yes, I remove paper labels. As for painted labels, I’ve even heard of some who remove the paint somehow(?!?) eg Stone brewing bottles.
If the labels don’t fall off I just toss them in recycling.
That’s why New Belgium is one of my favorite brewers. Their labels fall off when I socked the pbw soak. Haha.
You guys are making me feel lazy. Some bottles, mostly Highlands, I have to scrap and scrap. I have a 2 month old baby so time is precious. Haha
+1 to the oxiclean soak. All my friends save me commercial bottles and I usually wait until I have 3-4 cases to save on oxiclean. I can fit 14 bottles in 1 side of the sink fully submerged so it doesnt take long to knock that many out. There are a few breweries that label aggressively and therefore those bottles get tossed. New Belgium, Troegs and Lagunitas are nice and easy to delabel.
I soak them overnight in a cooler filled with hot water and oxyclean. The next day most of the labels are off and I rinse and store.
I never thought about using a cooler. I’m going to try that tonight. I usually just use my 5 gallon sanitizing bucket let the bottles soak overnight.
The cooler keeps them hot longer
Great Lakes and Sam Adams both de-label very nicely. When I do a batch, I just soak in hot water in the sink for about 20 mins then scrape. If one takes much effort after that, I just recycle it. I triple rinse bottles I plan to save and re-use and store them upside down in an empty case in my basement. I’ve got roughly 4 cases worth of bottles currently de-labelled.
Bells Two Hearted come off nicely as well.
Harpoon comes off nice and I like " Love Beer " molded into the neck. I have so many bottles I only save ones I like. Another nice bottle is New Belgian. Ayinger bottles are nice also.
New Glarus labels fall off in a cold water soak. Too bad their not available to all you guys.
New Glarus also has the strongest cases for reuse. They come filled with 6-pack holders that adds more strength. I still reinforce them with packaging tape though.
Good call! I have a buddy that will import some for me, usually 12s. Big fan of Moon Man.
I envy you for already having 4 cases ready to go. I’m always scrambling at the last minute. Haha
Am I risking anything beside looks by NOT delabeling? I’m just in a bind for time between now and bottling with the new baby.
No risk. For a number of years I only removed labels when a bottle needed a blast of bleach.
No real risk other than a very very small chance of civil litigation for using their label with your Beer.
You risk being ostracized by The Society of Snobby Homebrewer.