Author Topic: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?  (Read 2673 times)

Offline Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1988
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2011, 12:19:15 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
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline Beer Monger

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 484
  • ---Michael Dieterle--------- ---Seattle, WA
    • View Profile
    • Beer Monger - Adventures In the Wonderful World of Beer.
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2011, 12:31:52 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   
Beer Monger's Blog
Follow my Beer Monger page on Facebook!

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

Offline thomasbarnes

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2011, 01:27:43 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.

Offline zorch

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2011, 03:37:07 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.

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2011, 03:42:14 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.

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3573
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2011, 04:46:35 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.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
seanterrill.com/category/brewing
twomilebrewing.com

Offline Joe Sr.

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2946
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2011, 07:29:40 PM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tonyp

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 640
  • If it ain't broke you aren't trying hard enough...
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2011, 07:38:21 PM »
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.
Live from the Jersey Shore!

Bottled:
Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


Phrases for Creatives, #22:
"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter."

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8195
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2011, 09:10:58 PM »
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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline weazletoe

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
  • Mecca, Ohio
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2011, 09:46:20 PM »
  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.
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7598
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2011, 11:36:20 PM »
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.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Be Sure To Vote Jonathan Fuller for Governing Committee!

Offline thomasbarnes

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2011, 03:10:59 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.

Offline centpa

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2011, 11:57:59 AM »
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.

Offline Will's Swill

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
  • Secretly likes wine...
    • View Profile
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2011, 12:58:41 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
Is that a counter-pressure bottle filler in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Offline love2brew

  • Retailers
  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • www.love2brew.com - Homebrew Supply
    • View Profile
    • love2brew
Re: Getting bottles back from beers you give out?
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2011, 06:59:06 AM »
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!


www.love2brew.com  -  Check out our new articles updated every day!