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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 04:46:44 PM

Title: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 04:46:44 PM
Is this a problem for anyone else?  I'm always running out of bottles 'cause I never seem to get back all the ones I hand out.  Not that I expect to get 'em all back - it just means more bottle delabeling is in my future.

Oh - and I HATE Elysian labels (and a few others).  Amonia does not loosen whatever super-glue they use on their lables.  I've had to scrape the labels off those bottles.  Does anyone else use a method other than an amonia solution soak to easily remove labels? 
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 13, 2011, 04:51:35 PM
I typically soak bottles in oxyclean to get the labels off.  I also keep a green scrubby and a razor scraper by the slop sink to assist with the stubborn labels and glue.

I don't bottle much any more, but when I did I would frequently run low and then get a bulk delivery of returned bottles.  Usually, they were well rinsed and cleaned, but not always.  I found you have to remind people every time to save and rinse the bottles.

And, when you run low on bottles it just means you need to drink more!
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 04:55:13 PM
when you run low on bottles it just means you need to drink more!

Oh DAMN!  ;)  lol 
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Slowbrew on May 13, 2011, 04:56:44 PM
I usually got mine back.  I always reminded them that I needed the bottles back and made sure they understood no bottles returned meant no beer next time.

Paul
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on May 13, 2011, 05:01:12 PM
For the most part, the amount of beer I give a person is directly proportional to the amount of bottles I get back.  Just tell them that they can easily tell you whether they want any more beer in the future by how many bottles they return and they can score bonus points by giving you extras.
 
Participating in a beer competition (stewarding, etc.) can score you a mother lode of bottles.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: ccarlson on May 13, 2011, 05:04:05 PM
Get a label maker and stick on labels that say " Please return to __"  Works for me.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 05:05:58 PM
For the most part, the amount of beer I give a person is directly proportional to the amount of bottles I get back.  Just tell them that they can easily tell you whether they want any more beer in the future by how many bottles they return and they can score bonus points by giving you extras.
 
Participating in a beer competition (stewarding, etc.) can score you a mother lode of bottles.

Dang!  I didn't even thing about that.  I could have grabbed a few cases from the Pro-Am I judged at last weekend!   D'oh!!!!  Next time.  
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Hokerer on May 13, 2011, 05:57:24 PM
For the most part, the amount of beer I give a person is directly proportional to the amount of bottles I get back. 

That one wouldn't work for me.  The folks I usually give bottles to return them along with 2-3 cases of additional empties.  The above logic would then say I'd need to give them a couple cases of homebrew - yikes :)
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: denny on May 13, 2011, 06:08:26 PM
I don't give away a ton of beer (hate the bottling hassle), but when I do I don't concern myself with getting bottles back.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 06:51:16 PM
I don't give away a ton of beer (hate the bottling hassle), but when I do I don't concern myself with getting bottles back.

That's sort of where I am right now too.  In fact, I only recently bottled again for the first time in years - I was just wondering what method others used to try and get their bottles back. 

I guess I'll continue to not worry about it. 


I'm just looking forward to having at least 2 homebrews on tap for my crawfish boil next month.  ;D 
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: beersk on May 13, 2011, 07:06:10 PM
I don't give away a ton of beer (hate the bottling hassle), but when I do I don't concern myself with getting bottles back.

Same for me.  They ask once in a while and I just say, whatever..doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: gordonstrong on May 13, 2011, 07:08:09 PM
I don't give away a ton of beer (hate the bottling hassle), but when I do I don't concern myself with getting bottles back.

Same for me.  They ask once in a while and I just say, whatever..doesn't matter.

I used to ask for bottles back, but then found I had to do more work to clean them than if I just kept collecting ones for myself.

Go be a judge or steward and ask to take away leftovers after the competition.  Then give them a hot water rinse that day.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 07:08:53 PM
I don't give away a ton of beer (hate the bottling hassle), but when I do I don't concern myself with getting bottles back.

Same for me.  They ask once in a while and I just say, whatever..doesn't matter.

I used to ask for bottles back, but then found I had to do more work to clean them than if I just kept collecting ones for myself.

Go be a judge or steward and ask to take away leftovers after the competition.  Then give them a hot water rinse that day.

Yep.  Next time.  I totally spaced on that while judging at the Puget Sound Pro-Am.  (D'oh!)
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Slowbrew on May 13, 2011, 07:16:27 PM
I only bottle my porters and stouts anymore as I'm the only one who drinks them.  It doesn't make sense to use a slot in the keg fridge for those beers.  The problem is I bottle them in wire top bottles.  I have sent a few home with people who like a good dark beer and I always worry about not getting them back.  :'(

Paul
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 07:18:15 PM
I only bottle my porters and stouts anymore as I'm the only one who drinks them.  It doesn't make sense to use a slot in the keg fridge for those beers.  The problem is I bottle them in wire top bottles.  I have sent a few home with people who like a good dark beer and I always worry about not getting them back.  :'(

Paul

I only ever give swing-top bottles to people I know I'll get them back from. 
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Slowbrew on May 13, 2011, 07:19:15 PM
I only bottle my porters and stouts anymore as I'm the only one who drinks them.  It doesn't make sense to use a slot in the keg fridge for those beers.  The problem is I bottle them in wire top bottles.  I have sent a few home with people who like a good dark beer and I always worry about not getting them back.  :'(

Paul

I only ever give swing-top bottles to people I know I'll get them back from. 

Me too but I'm really good at worrying.   ;D
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Beer Monger on May 13, 2011, 07:31:52 PM
I only bottle my porters and stouts anymore as I'm the only one who drinks them.  It doesn't make sense to use a slot in the keg fridge for those beers.  The problem is I bottle them in wire top bottles.  I have sent a few home with people who like a good dark beer and I always worry about not getting them back.  :'(

Paul

I only ever give swing-top bottles to people I know I'll get them back from. 

Me too but I'm really good at worrying.   ;D

Drink more.  Worry less.  ;D   
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 13, 2011, 08:27:43 PM
I only ever give swing-top bottles to people I know I'll get them back from. 

You GIVE AWAY swing-tops? Hell, I don't let those suckers out of my sight! :)

As others have said, if you want bottles, judge or steward a competition. Generally, the organizers have to beg people to take glass away. Another good source is Homebrew club meetings; since people often leave bottles behind. Help clean up and you get all the glass you need.

For labels which don't yield well to hot water or being soaked in Oxyclean, use rubbing alcohol, acetone or Goo-Gone, depending on what's used to attach the labels. Personally, I love European beer bottles, since the labels are usually attached with a glue which comes right off when the bottle gets wet. They're sometimes also made from slightly thicker glass.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: zorch on May 13, 2011, 10:37:07 PM
When I've got some comps coming up, and I start thinking about bottling, I'll send out an email to all my friends to collect bottles.   A couple of weeks later I'll end up with several cases worth of dirty bottles with labels, which I just process myself.  That's enough bottles to last me the rest of the year, between competitions and gifts.

When I give beer away I just tell them to recycle the bottles.   It seems easier to me to clean a bunch of bottles in one fell swoop (and thus lay in a supply of bottles I know are clean and ready to go), rather than have dirty bottles trickle in on an irregular basis.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: richardt on May 13, 2011, 10:42:14 PM
I personally find the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottles easy to soak and remove labels with just hot water.

May I suggest that, if it takes you longer than 2 minutes to get a label off a bottle, then just throw it in the recycling bin.

On some bottles, label removal is a phyrric victory.  Be smart, and choose your battles wisely.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: a10t2 on May 13, 2011, 11:46:35 PM
I don't give away a ton of beer (hate the bottling hassle), but when I do I don't concern myself with getting bottles back.

I feel the same way. Most people who drink at my place regularly know that they're under standing orders to save clean, pop-top brown bottles anyway.

Totally unrelated, but I'm particularly coveting New Belgium bottles right now. They aren't admissible for most comps, but the smooth curve throughout the neck means that they hardly foam at all when bottled from the tap.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Joe Sr. on May 14, 2011, 02:29:40 AM
You GIVE AWAY swing-tops? Hell, I don't let those suckers out of my sight! :)

These are precious.  I'll give them to very few who I know will return them. 

But they still only get green grolsch bottles, nothing better.

The brown vintage grolsch bottles stay with me.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: tonyp on May 14, 2011, 02:38:21 AM
I never give out my 1-liter flip-tops, but I do bring a bunch with me whenever i visit a friend's house and they always leave with me! However I give out 12oz bottles freely and don't care if they come back or not.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 14, 2011, 04:10:58 AM
I end up with more full bottles coming in from homebrewers than going out.  I'll bring a keg or a growler somewhere, but that leaves with me.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: weazletoe on May 14, 2011, 04:46:20 AM
  Now that I mainly keg, I really don't care. But, When I did give bottles out, I always made sure to when I gave them the beer, to give a good lesson on how to properly rinse the bottle. I told them that the bottle being returned clean makes it a lot easier for me to fill it for "them" next time. It worked 90% of the time. The other 10% just did not get anymore beer. Not that a few bottles were a big deal, but to me it was a respect thing. I was kind enough to give them my beer, and the only thing I asked for was a bottle back. I'm sorry, but if you can't show me that little bit of appreciation, no beer for you.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: euge on May 14, 2011, 06:36:20 AM
You know, despite all my best efforts so far I still manage to buy plenty of bottled beer. My perspective is to not expect the bottles back. Hell, I don't want them back if the truth be told. :D

I save the six-pack cartons and give'em a sixxer to carry home.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 14, 2011, 10:10:59 AM
I personally find the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottles easy to soak and remove labels with just hot water.

May I suggest that, if it takes you longer than 2 minutes to get a label off a bottle, then just throw it in the recycling bin.

On some bottles, label removal is a phyrric victory.  Be smart, and choose your battles wisely.

It seems that more eco-friendly breweries tend to go with labels which are stuck on with water-soluble adhesive.

When I get a load of empties, I throw them into a 20-gallon garbage can filled with Oxy-clean or its equivalent and let them soak overnight or a couple of days. Most labels give up after that treatment. The stubborn ones generally mostly come off if you scrape them using a table knife. Use the serrated side for initial scraping and the back of the knife for clean-up.

While I'd probably be smarter to let the really nasty bottles go, I'm too bloody-minded. I like something to do with my hands (ADHD), so I don't mind scraping bottles while I'm watching TV or doing something similarly passive.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: centpa on May 14, 2011, 06:57:59 PM
May I suggest that, if it takes you longer than 2 minutes to get a label off a bottle, then just throw it in the recycling bin.

On some bottles, label removal is a phyrric victory.  Be smart, and choose your battles wisely.

^^^^^^^ this.

I get cases of bottles from a group of folks and when I've gotten ones that are hard to do, I've sent emails saying "no more cases of Brand X."  If an overnight soak in a cooler full of hot water and oxy doesn't work, I don't use those types of bottles again.

And also, all people who get bottles from me are told that I'm a lot more likely to give refills for rinsed out bottles.  My regulars do that without asking anymore, some of them even wash them out for me.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: Will's Swill on May 14, 2011, 07:58:41 PM

When I get a load of empties, I throw them into a 20-gallon garbage can filled with Oxy-clean or its equivalent and let them soak overnight or a couple of days.

I did that once with a load of bottles that I picked up from a friend's party.  I put the trash can out on the patio overnight.  Didn't get to it the next day and then we had a sudden cold snap.  No problem, just surface ice, I just had a few embedded longnecks stuck in the ice.  Figured I'd just let it thaw.  Only the cold snap decided to hang around for a while and the trash can froze solid.  A few weeks later it thawed.  Nice trash can full of broken bottles soaking in bleach and water.  I had to use my Zapap lauter bucket as a big strainer so I could pour out the water.  Every single bottle was busted, usually with the bottom cleanly removed, and many snapped longnecks as well.  But those labels came right off!   :D
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: love2brew on May 17, 2011, 01:59:06 PM
I definitely can relate and understand your frustration with the bottles but it's tough to get them back at times.  Most of my close friends understand how long it was to initially take off all of the labels of my 200+ bottles so they're pretty good about getting them back.

Maybe take some time to explain to them what the process is like?  Good luck!
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: micsager on May 17, 2011, 04:25:55 PM
Is this a problem for anyone else?  I'm always running out of bottles 'cause I never seem to get back all the ones I hand out.  Not that I expect to get 'em all back - it just means more bottle delabeling is in my future.

Oh - and I HATE Elysian labels (and a few others).  Amonia does not loosen whatever super-glue they use on their lables.  I've had to scrape the labels off those bottles.  Does anyone else use a method other than an amonia solution soak to easily remove labels? 

I don't bother with removing labels, but have about ten different colors of caps........   I don't bottle very much though.
Title: Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
Post by: dean on May 17, 2011, 05:01:19 PM
I personally find the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale bottles easy to soak and remove labels with just hot water.

May I suggest that, if it takes you longer than 2 minutes to get a label off a bottle, then just throw it in the recycling bin.

On some bottles, label removal is a phyrric victory.  Be smart, and choose your battles wisely.

+1,000,000,000 !!!

SNPA bottles are the easiest to remove labels and the contents bring great joy.   ;D  There are few others that are just as easy but I can't recall which ones right off the top of my head.  I've got a bunch of bottles or so that I need to remove labels from, will be removing Founders for the first time so I'll see how that goes.