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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through January 09, 2007 * Olde man Lang's tip for January < Previous Next >

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Marlon Lang
New Member
Username: Marlon_lang

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 65.0.113.249
Posted on Monday, January 01, 2007 - 11:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There are still a lot of us that use bottles. Here is a tip about removing labels and cleaning.

The best container in which to process beer bottles is one that is wide with low sides. A child's wading pool is excellent.
To remove labels, soak in water with Parson's Clear Ammonia (NAYY) (1 cup per 5 gallons) for a week, then scrub with Scotch pads (NAYY), if necessary.
To sanitize, soak in bleach water (1 cup per 5 gallons) for at least one hour. Drain for 30 minutes prior to use. No need to rinse. A good bottle drain is a rack from a discarded dish washer.
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3876
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 65.29.220.144
Posted on Monday, January 01, 2007 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon, you might add a warning about mixing ammonia and bleach accidently.

Dan

--This space is STILL being left intentionally blank.-


 

Marlon Lang
New Member
Username: Marlon_lang

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 65.0.113.249
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah so, Dan-sen.
 

Steve Jones
Intermediate Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 264
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 24.159.40.129
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 12:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon said:
... To sanitize, soak in bleach water (1 cup per 5 gallons) for at least one hour. Drain for 30 minutes prior to use. No need to rinse. ;..

I'd strongly recommend against that. Insufficient rinsing of chlorine bleach can cause chlorophenols in your beer, which could lead to plastic-like flavors/aromas in your precious brew.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 6145
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.224.220
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 02:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Agreed. Star San and Iodophor (mixed to the proper concentration) are no-rinse sanitizers, but bleach most certainly is not. I recommend two rinsings if you sanitize with bleach.
 

David Lewinnek
Intermediate Member
Username: Davelew

Post Number: 294
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 209.6.23.54
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 04:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In my experience, ammonia works better on some labels than on others. Ammonia is just about the only way to get the labels off Samuel Adams bottles, but on some other bottles it dissolves the labels themselves so that they don't come off in a nice sheet.

Also, one hour in the sanitizer sounds like overkill to me. I'm no expert on the sanitizing dynamics of bleach (I switched to iodophor years ago), but I thought 10 minutes was the standard contact time.
 

Joakim Ruud
Intermediate Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 487
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 85.166.51.70
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 10:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When it comes to sterilizing bottles, nothing is simpler than covering the top with foil and baking a batch of bottles in the oven (obviously they have to be clean first), and then just put them away until you need them. They'll remain sterile indefinitely, or at least until the foil corrodes away (which should take a while!)

This way, you'll always have a large supply of sterile (not just "sanitary") bottles, and you never have to worry about cleaning bottles on bottling day. I just go to my cellar and get two or three cases of bottles that may have been sitting there, sterile, for a year or more.
 

Doug W
Member
Username: Pivorat

Post Number: 238
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 66.188.1.232
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 12:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

preferred bottle cleaning bucket, well drum is 1/3rd of a 55gal plastic drum. Favorite soaking agent? 1/3cup dry TSP with water. Removes labels in short time. Bleach soak, scrub, dishwasher x 2 times. Rise in Star San. Away we go!
 

Bob Wall
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 626
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 71.204.15.75
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 03:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just soak my bottles in my slop sink in plain hot water and peel the labels off. on stubborn ones, I just scrape the labels off with an old butter-knife. Any residual glue I scrub off with a green pad. You guys make it sound much more difficult than it really is...
Give a man a beer and he'll waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he'll waste a lifetime.
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 1369
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 86.128.167.48
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 03:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Soak in hot water and a dishwasher tablet, removes most labels. Any stubborn ones or rogue type painted ones get the stainless scrubby treatment.

Soak in bleach, rinse twice - good to go.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 6105
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 140.211.82.4
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the tip, Marlon. How does your method compare to using Oxiclean? Is it more effective? Personally, I find an hpour or so in a really hot Oxiclean solution will remove just about any label. In addition to being faster than a week soak, you also don't have the possible problems you might have with ammonia. I'm sure your ammonia method works well, but I'm curious if it's more effective than Oxiclean.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Doug W
Member
Username: Pivorat

Post Number: 239
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 66.188.1.232
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 06:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I keep forgetting the oxiclean soak, hmmmmm I need to try that one. TSP is getting harder to come by and a few local department stores have quit carrying it.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 6106
Registered: 01-2001
Posted From: 140.211.82.4
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 07:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm glad to see that my comment was so appreciated....
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Jim O'Conner
Advanced Member
Username: Roguejim

Post Number: 789
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 65.124.40.173
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 08:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joakim,

How long in the oven, and at what temp? How many 12oz bottles will fit in a conventional oven?
Jim
 

Tim Wi
Advanced Member
Username: Riverkeeper

Post Number: 684
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 170.141.68.2
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 10:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

TSP with a little bit of bleach is great.

Oxiclean soak will clean just about anything, including the mummified residue of a mouse caked on the bottom of a carboy stored in a barn for years. I just don't like the aroma... Don't know if it just sticks in my nose or if there is actually some residual aroma left after rinsing.

Tim
 

dhacker
Advanced Member
Username: Dhacker

Post Number: 719
Registered: 11-2002
Posted From: 72.4.22.214
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 10:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm pretty sure they have changed the composition of Oxy. I had some that was all white granular before, and now, little blue crystals. Probably the culprit of the nice "floral" scent expected by happy homemakers. I use it for my carboys and rinse 3 times before sanitizing with Iodophor. I can't detect any residual floral odors at that point.
 

Joakim Ruud
Intermediate Member
Username: Joques

Post Number: 489
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 84.209.10.232
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 11:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jim, I just put the bottles into the oven, crank it up as high as it will go (290C/550F) and when it reaches that temp I turn it off and let the bottles cool slowly in there. Often I'll do it before I go to work, then let it cool during the day.

I have no idea how many small bottles will fit, I hardly ever use them :-) But I'd guess about a case and a half...?
 

Marlon Lang
New Member
Username: Marlon_lang

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 65.0.98.197
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 12:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Olde Man Lang's response to these wonderful comments: Thank you, fellow brewers.

Oxyclean is peachy-keen, neato for removing labels. But I find that Oxyclean leaves a film that must be rinsed. (See dhacker's comment, above) It is the 357 magnum of cleaners, but Dirty Harry did not use it on everything.

TSP + bleach is also fine. But again, it leaves a film and is overkill when only a pea-shooter is needed.

To Steve and BP: I have extremely soft water from deep wells, so draining works for me. The utility does not use chloramines. YMMV

Also to BP: Personally, I've had bad experiences with StarSan, associated with pre-mixed solutions losing effectiveness. I can't measure pH so I did not know that the mix had "gone bad". Don't get me wrong, the stuff is absolutely great when mixed fresh, but it is too costly compared to bleach and my very soft water. I keep a squirt bottle full to spray things with, but bleach is my work-horse.

To Joakim: Oven heating is certainly effective. I belive that above 165F for 15 minutes would be enough. But when I'm faced with processing 5 cases, bleach is faster.

To all:
All of these comments are positive and to the point. Although "all roads lead to Rome", there are many different roads, and the excellent comments posted here support that. I feel that perhaps my sincere desire to return this board to a positive, constructive, and educational forum has met with favor.
As BP would say, Brew on!
 

Greg Brewer
Junior Member
Username: Greg_r

Post Number: 68
Registered: 03-2005
Posted From: 68.253.141.246
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 02:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Regarding those pesky Sam Adams labels, among a few other brands whose labels refuse to come off easily: I found that a flexible plastic scraper my wife uses in the kitchen works fabulously for removing the labels and attendant glue. Much more cleanly and efficient than scrubbies or fingernails. My wife's scraper is brown plastic, about two inches square with beveled edges, made for scraping scratchable surfaces like countertops and coated cookware. It conforms to the bottle's shape to scrape the label off really well, better than a stiff blade.

Or you can just keg...
 

Dan Listermann
Senior Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 3888
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.23.59.245
Posted on Wednesday, January 03, 2007 - 02:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a plastic ice scraper that has developed a slight concave edge from use on bottles. It just keeps getting better.


Dan

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Paul Hayslett
Senior Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 1189
Registered: 02-2002
Posted From: 71.234.46.245
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just keep a big bucket of PBW solution in the basement. All bottles, with or without labels, get a quick rinse and are dropped in that, to be rinsed whenever the bucket gets full. That could be a week or more for the ones at the bottom. Most all labels, including Sam Adams, just slide right off at that point. Any that don't just go back in the bucket -- the glue always slips right off the second time.

The labels I hate are the ones with metallic foil, especially Bass and Brooklyn Brewery. The foil disintegrates and little bits of it stick to other bottles. That forces me to change the PBW solution, something wouldn't do otherwise until it had cleaned 8 or 10 batches of bottles. Too much work. Now that I have more bottles than I need, I just heave those into recycling.
"God bless us all, every one."
 

Christopher Allen
New Member
Username: Treeboy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2007
Posted From: 130.39.215.167
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 06:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon, Just an FYI - if you are using the city water from Baton Rouge, I believe it does contain chloramines. I called the engineer for the water dept. and he told me they add chloramines.
 

Doug Pescatore
Senior Member
Username: Doug_p

Post Number: 2063
Registered: 10-2002
Posted From: 141.232.1.1
Posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007 - 10:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oxyclean takes care of it all, except those Sam Adams labels. Just throw those bad boys in the recycling bin and be done with them. I have no problem giving my bottles a rinse it is a small price to pay for clean bottles.

-Doug
 

John Jacox
Member
Username: Johnj

Post Number: 205
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 72.187.207.94
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 02:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have enough bottles for my purposes saved up, but if I find one of a unique shape, I just put a small amount of dishwasher detergent in the bottom of a "Big Gulp" type cup, add enough hot water so that the labels are covered when the bottle is set in, then leave it overnight. In the morning the labels have slid off and you just need to rinse the outside. Oh yeah, you have to fill the bottle with water so it doesn't float. As for sanitizing, I sanitize the bottles in the bottling bucket with an iodophor solution, invert the bottles in the top rack of the dishwasher and run it through the drying cycle. I never worry about cleaning the bottles because they are ALWAYS immediately rinsed and stored inverted as soon as they are emptied.
 

Marlon Lang
New Member
Username: Marlon_lang

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 65.0.98.82
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 03:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris,
Thanks for the heads-up. I have the analysis of all the wells and this was not mentioned. Got to look into this. Do you do Red Stick?
 

Marlon Lang
New Member
Username: Marlon_lang

Post Number: 10
Registered: 12-2006
Posted From: 65.0.98.82
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 03:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris,
Thanks for the heads-up. I have the analysis of all the wells and this was not mentioned. Got to look into this. Do you do Red Stick? Geaux Tigers!
 

Christopher Allen
New Member
Username: Treeboy

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2007
Posted From: 130.39.215.167
Posted on Friday, January 05, 2007 - 01:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Marlon,
Let me know if you find out the same thing I did. I am a member of Red Stick. In fact, a while back, we had a brief discussion about chloramines during a meeting. I have only been a member for 6 months or so. Last night's meeting featured a lot of different winter ales. You should have come!