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Subject: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: cope1915
May 10th, 2004
8:51 pm
Anyone know of a solution that will help desolve silkscreen prints on bottles? I would like very much to reuse my Arrogant Bastard 22oz bottles for homebrew, but would only do so if I could remove the print from the bottles.

Fat Tire 22oz bottles are great for this purpose (amber, pop-top, labels come off easily, bottles are plain), but I enjoy The Bastard much more...

Suggestions for other [good] 22oz beers that have good bottles for reusing would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: ohman
May 10th, 2004
11:13 pm
I have read about this on other forums and I think you are SOL....unless you want to sandblast them.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: rkarl
May 11th, 2004
12:31 am
Drink whatever you want and grab bottles from your neighbors recycling bin
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: mike_kelly1
May 11th, 2004
12:33 am
A good 22 ozer I like is Fransiskaner Weisbeer, mmmmmmmmmm--good
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: rkarl
May 11th, 2004
12:56 am

Being curious, I just tried an experiment...

Took my favorite copper scouring pad (which rocks for label and label adhesive removing) and attacked a 22 Rogue Am. Amber bottle.. The printing and design just flaked off with some rubbing. No noxious solvents or soaking required. No scratches that I can see on the bottle either.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: cope1915
May 11th, 2004
3:07 am
Karl, thanks. I'll give that a try...
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: jonwell
May 12th, 2004
2:44 am
Bear Republic makes some of the best beer around, and the labels come riiight off Hop Rod Rye is a beautiful thing, really.


order em here- www.hitimewine.net
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: cope1915
May 26th, 2004
3:52 am
Hey Karl,

I bought some Chore Boy brand copper scoring pads (only ones I could find anywhere)...no luck removing the print from an Arrogant Bastard bottle. Didn't even phase it. Put a good bit of elbow grease into the equation, and tried with and without water.

Maybe Stone Brewery uses a more permanent silkscreen? Or maybe your copper pad has finer fibers than mine. What do you think?
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: rkarl
May 26th, 2004
11:37 am
Hmm.. I don't know.. I think the pads I have are chore boy as well, at least the name sounds familiar.

Lousy stubborn printing..
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: BryansBrew
May 26th, 2004
12:22 pm
Can it be burned off? just an idea...
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: Stumptown
May 26th, 2004
3:17 pm
I re-use my Arrogant Bastard and Stone IPA bottles all the time. The print on them doesn't bother me. I mean, I only see the botle for the 15 seconds it takes me to remove it from the fridge and pour it into a glass.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: rkarl
May 26th, 2004
4:10 pm
It looks like corona bottles are similary subborn (yeah yeah, they're for cider..). I wonder if something like Goo-Gone would work?
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: cope1915
May 26th, 2004
6:05 pm
Jim F,

Probably wouldn't bother me either - if I was the only person drinking them. I'm kind of a snob when it comes to presentation. If I'm taking my brew to a get-together, or if someone comes over to my place, I don't want my bottles to look second-hand.

A good deal of effort is put into brewing a good beer, so I don't want another brewery's name on my bottles, they didn't brew it for me...

Thanks again Karl for your efforts, if I find a way to remove the print from AB bottles I'll let everyone know. I think it's a worthwhile cause, for undoubtedly their are/will be other bottles like this.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: Kaz
May 26th, 2004
6:32 pm
How about switching the type of beer you drink to one that has paper labels. If you don't want to switch, another option is to dig through your local recycle drop off locations recycle bin, that's how I get all my wine or bottles. Also, when I first started brewing I used to go to the local distributor and buy all their grolsch (flip top bottles)back for the deposit. Now I am lazy and if I give out beer it has whatever label (paper or screened) of the beer that was originally in it.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: DConn
May 26th, 2004
6:48 pm
"dig through your local recycle drop off locations recycle bin, that's how I get all my wine"...hey, I thought you made your own wine!
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: Kaz
May 26th, 2004
6:50 pm
Yeah, but when I run out I can kill two birds with one stone. Get a taste of two of the wine that's in the bottle and a free bottle.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: DConn
May 26th, 2004
6:53 pm
ROTFL!
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: StevePierson
May 26th, 2004
7:00 pm
Commercial cider bottles, like Martinelli's, make great beer bottles. We usually serve sparkling cider at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, birthday dinners, etc. They are dark green and I have used them for several batches.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: Ziggy
May 26th, 2004
11:21 pm
So do Lurisia and San Pellegrino NON TWIST OFF bottles...
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: cope1915
May 27th, 2004
6:12 am
Hey Kaz,

I also drink Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye, and Big Bear Black Stout, both in 22oz amber bottles w/ paper labels. HopRodRye is sooooo tasty and aromatic...you can feel the hop oils on your tongue.

As you suggested I will check out a local recycling place in hopes that I'll find some 22ozers.

Left Hand Brewery also bottles their Milk Stout in 22ozers, another of my favorites. All in all, though, The Bastard makes up for half of my non-homebrew consumption, which is why I have been interested in reusing the bottles.

Thanks so much!
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: BigMike2
May 27th, 2004
3:29 pm
My business is custom printing and ad specialties, I do a lot of glassware, ceramic mugs and bottles. There are several ways they screen labels on glassware. Two are the most common;
One is with a two part ink that is screen or pad printed on the glass. It is cured over time or baked at about 300 degrees to speed the cure. It is somewhat abrasion resistant and will hold up fairly well in a dishwasher and similar cleaning chemicals. It is mostly used for short usage items like commorative champagne glasses for a wedding where it will be used once and then put in a curio cabinet until they get tired of dusting it, very light usage in other words. This is the one you can scrub off with your copper pad.
The second is a ceramic "ink" that is printed and then baked in a kiln at around a million degrees which melts the ceramic and actually makes it become part of the glassware. This one is very tough and will hold up to almost anything that does not damage the glass itself. It is used for bottles that will be re filled many times or when they want a higher quality feel. Most of your souvenir mugs and glasses are done this way, at least the good ones like a pint glass from a reputable brewery like Sierra Nevada. No scrubber, whether it is stainless steel or copper, and no humanly capable amount of elbow grease will scrub the design off.
As for the bottles that have the baked on design, I make it a point to try to grab different re-cappable bottles when I see them. I just use blank caps and mark them with a sharpie so I know what brew is in there. It's a great conversation starter when someone visits and has a few brews. They'll start joking about the history of some of the old timers, all scratched and battle scarred, refilled countless times and been in more pubs than we could ever visit, witness to countless crappy pick-up lines and bar fights. Isn't it fun to get people drunk!?
m2
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: homedad
Jun 6th, 2004
5:22 am
My brother had a sandblasting kit hooked up to his aircompressor one day, and I blasted a few dozen corona bottles in about 1/2 an hour. It didn't look as good on a brown bottle, but it works. I was making mead, and my brother drank a lot of corona, so it all came together.

If anyone you know has connections to an auto body shop, or builds hotrods like my brother, 1/2 hour isn't too much to ask for some beer in trade.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: TMac
Oct 13th, 2015
5:05 am
I know this is a super old post, but I thought I'd take a moment to revisit it.

Like cope i've been sweating and stressing over the stubborn silk screen on my bottles (and hand-me-down lock-top jars I use for fermenting pickles and garlic, I don't know why a pickle jar that says "sugar" on it is so frustrating to me!!). So, after a couple years of trial and error I've found two "workable" methods of getting that s*&^ off. First (like homedad suggested) is using a sandblaster. But I encountered a problem. If I wasn't careful the blast would weaken the glass enough that after a couple refills they started breaking during the wash. I didn't think that the soft media I used during that particular session would jeopardize it but rest assured, it did exactly that (note for those that want to attempt this route, glass is 4.5 to 6 on the mohs hardness scale so a soft media, 7.5 to 8.5 actually weakens the glass by beating it up, you'll need to manage your air pressure and I'd recommend using silicon carbide or aluminum oxide, they clean off the glass quicker than sand, glass or plastic, however, because their particles are as hard as they are ((about a 9 to 9.5)) they will etch deep very quickly, I used 90 grit sand my first attempt and lost four of twenty bottles, but with SC or AO I haven't lost any). Next, and most cost efficient though time consuming, I used 100 grit paper on an orbital sander and went to work. After about two dozen bottles and a small temper tantrum this graduated to 150 grit on my bench top belt sander and I worked around the entire body of the bottle (I put a wooden dowel in the mouth and kept my finger on the bottom of the bottle with just enough pressure to let it spin with the sander). I have yet to have a bottle break post sanding (and my fermenting Fido's can get mildly pressurized during fermentation if I don't relieve the pressure daily), and after roughing up the glazing I have a very distinct flat textured beer bottle that looks much, much better than another man's label.

All in all I spend about 2 minutes per bottle on the belt sander (with beer breaks I've averaged 25 an hour) so it's not quick but it's permanent and cheap! I STRONGLY suggest a dust mask, eye protection and some good leather gloves. Only once did a bottle break during the sanding process (I've sanded over 300 to date) and if I hadn't been wearing a pair of welders gloves it would have caused some serious damage to both my thumb and wrist. The gauntlet of the glove caught the wrath and the glass cut completely through the leather and into the liner. I'm quite certain my soft tissue would not have faired quite so well.

I know this seems like a lot of work, and it is, but I just thought I'd add my 2 cents so that hopefully I can spare someone else the time and expense of my earlier failures and maybe encourage some additional creativity.

On another note...

I have a stout that I brew once a year and give it as a gift to myself for my birthday (22 December) in order to survive the rest of the silly season. This beer does not get shared and I use the same Kulmbacher bottles every year. After playing with the sand blaster I think I may design an etched label for this beer. I'll just put a heavy vinyl cut-out on the bottle (came with a paper label) and then blast the rest of the glass. I got the idea from a city police cruiser that was flat black with glossy black "police" on the doors. I'm probably going to be the only one to see the label, but... It'll be cool if it works.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: Russell
Oct 15th, 2015
4:51 am
how about just making your own label to put over the one on the bottle?
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: TMac
Oct 16th, 2015
9:51 pm
That's an honest question, and I probably should! However, I'm a glutton and a perfectionist. I'm trying to make something permanent and unique.
Subject: Re: Removing silkscreen print from bottles?
Author: jtrainer
Nov 30th, 2015
5:03 am
Star San removes most of the screen print labels, such as stone. Or the screen print on a NewCastle glass and on a Sam Adams glass.


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