undress your beer bottle – the perfect bottle for homebrewers to reuse

dfh_back dfh_front
Dogfish Head may have the easiest
bottle labels to remove.

In an effort to be more envioronmentally and cost conscious, I’ve started stripping the labels off the beer bottles I drink to reuse for bottling homebrew. In the past I would just buy new, unlabeled bottles. I don’t brew that much beer and at $0.50 per bottle, I felt the cost was worth the time saved.

Now that I’m running low on bottles, I’ve decided to start collecting used bottles to use. Being rather anal, I can’t have someone else’s label on my beer. That’s just not right. The downside, as any homebrewer would know, is that even if you soak the bottles, taking the labels off is a pain.

So far I’ve stripped the likes of Sam Adams, Flying Dog, Bell’s, New Belgium, Stoudt’s, Thomas Creek, RJ Rockers, Sierra Nevada. Some were easier than others. There was one brewery’s bottles that stood out from the rest with ease of stripping: Dogfish Head.

First, they only use one piece of paper on their bottles. There is no backside piece and nothing on the neck. Second, that one piece of paper came off easier than a prom dress and left almost no glue behind. It was so refreshing after I struggled with a Bell’s bottle for a solid five minutes.

I don’t know what Dogfish’s secret is, but we need to know and spread the word to other breweries to use the same glue. That is, of course, unless it’s like super toxic or something. Even then, it might be worth it.


About Brian

I like beer.
This entry was posted in Homebrew, Practical Beer Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to undress your beer bottle – the perfect bottle for homebrewers to reuse

  1. Eric says:

    I’ve been reusing bottles for years, and after awhile you start to know which will be good and which will not be good to be able to peel off. Bell’s I now stay away from, for some reason their labels suck to take off and the glue never seems to fully come off. Some good ones though, are New Belgium and also Sierra Nevada. If you can get your hands on the 22oz bottles, they come off easily and are nice sized label. When you have the labels that come off easily, like Dogfish, it’s so easy! Otherwise it can be a real pain in the ass!

  2. Eric says:

    I meant to say that the 22 oz Sierra Nevadas are nice sized bottles. Do you soak them for awhile?

  3. hornett says:

    stay away from smithwicks…omg i boiled bottles for 15 minutes and they still wouldnt come off…paulaner, guiness, fat tire…easy as pie

  4. brewboy-IP says:

    soak in a tub of ammonia and water. that will dislodge even most of the stubborn ones.

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