Reusing bottles - Ranked

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

surferosa

Active Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
39
Reaction score
7
Location
Nottingham
I’m pretty new to brewing, so green in fact that I hadn’t even thought of just re-using the bottles I was drinking from... until a month or 2 ago.

So since then, I’ve been recycling pretty much everything I’ve drunk. Here’s my ranking of beer bottles for ease of label removal.

Method: Soaking in hot soapy water (Any top tips for easier removal appreciated)

Easy - Weihenstephaner, Duvel, Erdinger (these all basically fall off)

Moderate - Hop House, Leffe, Hitachino, Goose Island, Tripel Karmeleit (careful peeling, no glue remaining)

Stubborn - Innis & Gunn, Delerium (need to scrub the glue)

Impossible - anything by Brew Dog - what the hell do they stick the labels on with?!? Super glue?!
 

Mavroz

Landlord.
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
560
Reaction score
158
An easy way with brewdog labels is just to hold the bottle and run it through a gas flame on the cooker or a blowtorch for a few seconds to warm the bottle and label up.
Have done this with a few in the past and the labels just peel off.
Any remaining glue on bottle is removed with the label remover i linked in one of the many other threads regarding bottle cleaning.
 

Nicks90

Landlord.
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
764
Location
West Yorks
Having just removed the labels from 50 wine + gin bottles (converting them to light bottles for the local girl guides charity stall), I can highly recommend spraying them with 'elbow grease' multi purpose cleaner and then leave them in a plastic FV full over water overnight.
Labels either float off by themselves or are easily scraped off using a plastic scraper. Any remaining glue will be a blobby white film that literally wipes off with a cloth.
Elbow grease is the nuts!
 

Andymoz-70

Active Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
72
Reaction score
29
Location
Lancashire
Having just removed the labels from 50 wine + gin bottles (converting them to light bottles for the local girl guides charity stall), I can highly recommend spraying them with 'elbow grease' multi purpose cleaner and then leave them in a plastic FV full over water overnight.
Labels either float off by themselves or are easily scraped off using a plastic scraper. Any remaining glue will be a blobby white film that literally wipes off with a cloth.
Elbow grease is the nuts!
Elbow grease is great. I use it all the time on my plastic fermentation vessels. Was scrubbing for ages to get a krausen ring off with no avail. Then tried that a min later it disappeared without me touching it. It just ran off. I squirt everything with that. Give it a quick clean . Swill off then sterilise and off I go. And it's only 85p from a shop near me!!!
 

MickDundee

Landlord.
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
4,583
Reaction score
2,899
I find the Brewdog labels come off dry by peeling but require a bit of strength. Wetting them just causes the paper not to come away leaving the impossibly stubborn glue behind.
 

Pavros

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
971
Reaction score
454
Location
North Yorkshire
This is the method I use for Brewdog labels. They usually come off clean but the occasional one leaves some glue:
Soak overnight in the sink.
Lift the corner of the label slightly with a fingernail or thin knife.
Ensure that both the label and glue layer have lifted at the corner.
Hold both layers between finger and thumb and pull the label off in one motion (if you stop, it sometimes leaves a line of glue).

This works on both 330ml and 660ml bottles.
 

MmmBeer

Brew Pub Brewer
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
1,869
Reaction score
1,035
Location
Bromsgrove
I don't bother taking the labels off. Life's too short ;)
Largely I'm with Graz, but when I clean bottles with Oxi (either in dishwasher or in a fermenting bucket) a lot of the labels fall off or can be easily peeled off.

Another in the 'Impossible' group, St Austell.
 

JonBrew

Landlord.
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
677
Reaction score
354
Location
Perth, Scotland
Impossible - anything by Brew Dog - what the hell do they stick the labels on with?!? Super glue?!
There's a knack to getting the labels off Brewdog bottles cleanly but if you do it right you can take the label off with minimal residue left behind. I do it by, at on corner, picking back the edge of the label with my fingernail - when doing this the trick is to ensure you peel back the glue backing to the label as well. Continue doing this until you have enough label to pinch with fore finger and thumb then slowly start to peel the label away from the bottle. If done correctly you'll be left with very little to no sticky residue left behind.
 

ClownPrince

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2014
Messages
189
Reaction score
62
I find that when i'm sanitising most of my labels come off (certainly the paper-based ones). I use VWP to sanitise bottles .

Also, Newcastle Brown is my bottle of choice, tough, clear and paper-based labels.
 

BassoonBrew

Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
125
Reaction score
40
Location
West London
Fullers Pride bottles for me - labels fall off after leaving in water for a while. Oh yes, and I have a supply from a local club...
 

Grealish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
167
Reaction score
72
I don't bother taking the labels off. Life's too short ;)
100%. I label some beers nicely for mates at Christmas etc, other than that write on the cap or stick a cheap white label on top of the frustratingly sticky Brew Dog one. It’s home brew. The most important thing is the bottles are free.
 

micklupulo

Regular.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2019
Messages
439
Reaction score
598
Location
wolverhampton
I do not remove the labels and have built up an interesting collection of beer bottles from various parts of Britain. Where possible I match the label to the type of beer I am bottling. If I experiment with different varieties of sugar on priming I make a note of the relevant label. Many of the modern labels seem to be a sort of laminated material and would be a real pain to remove but it would be a shame to do do as many are minor works of art!
 

Grealish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
167
Reaction score
72
I do not remove the labels and have built up an interesting collection of beer bottles from various parts of Britain. Where possible I match the label to the type of beer I am bottling. If I experiment with different varieties of sugar on priming I make a note of the relevant label. Many of the modern labels seem to be a sort of laminated material and would be a real pain to remove but it would be a shame to do do as many are minor works of art!
I get a perverse satisfaction from refilling my Nanny States with my more potent brews.
 
Top