Thursday, February 23, 2012

how to reuse beer bottles for your home brew

We're heading to the mountains tomorrow for a little weekend getaway with friends.  I'm packing the essentials: flannels, boots and home brews.  Since Beau moved to kegging instead of bottling, there's a real shortage of bottles around the house.  So how are we going to get the beer up north?  Per usual, I raided the recycling bin.

I started by soaking the bottles for about half an hour.  The labels will become waterlogged and be easier to rip off.  Return them to their kiddie pool for awhile and the adhesive will get easier to scratch off.  I used a leftover bread clip to spare my nails.

Eventually, the labels will come off with a bit of scrubbing (OK - some will require a LOT of scrubbing).  The labels on the brown bottles above were made of metallic paper and the adhesive was apparently super glue.  A little vegetable oil helped convince them to leave.  I used to swear by Goo Gone, but now I'm inclined to think it makes Al Gore and the polar bears cry.

Next up, the bottles went into a sink full of scorching hot water and dish soap.  They soaked for awhile before I scrubbed the residual cooties off of them.

Once they'd been rinsed and dried, Beau filled them up with home brew.  He used a bottle capper and some fresh caps to close them up.

Lastly, I slapped on some labels made by the Beer Labelizer to distinguish between the IPAs and the ales.  

Thanks to the scavenged bottles, we pulled together enough containers to have a proper taste test this weekend.  


  1. Interesting blog. I'm a chained-to-my-desk professional writer who daydreams about a vegetable garden and small business that allows me to enjoy nature. Found this based on a McCall's pattern I am considering, even though I haven't sewed in years. Anyway, have you tried peanut butter for removing adhesive? I swear by it.

    1. Really? Peanut butter? I never would have guessed but come to think of it, it is pretty oily. If only I could keep myself from eating the entire jar every time I try to clean something.

  2. hi. just dropped by to say how much i appreciate you taking time to share such wonderful posts.

    Recycling Plastic Containers