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Old 08-02-2009, 03:59 PM   #1
pretzelb
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Default Bottle storage

I'm looking for tips on storing and holding bottles. I read here about someone who would store his bottles upside down after cleaning so when it came time to bottle all that was needed is to sanitize. I like that idea but right now I'm using leftover cardboard 6 pack holders or cardboard cases and leaving the bottles to dry in those containers has caused the cardboard to weaken. Eventually I will need new cardboard but I'd like to find a more permanent solution. I looked at those bottle trees, and that would solve the empty storage solution, but it would be nice to have something for holding the bottles after they've been filled too.

One main goal is to keep the work down so after cleaning the bottles can be just left upside down to dry. I fear if they are left upright they would require cleaning again as something could get into them. The secondary goal is to make storage easy so the better half isn't complaining about bottles left all over the place.

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Old 08-02-2009, 04:07 PM   #2
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This is my method, which is slightly different from what you're looking for, but might help:
I first soak my bottles in oxyclean to take off the labels, then I put them in my dishwasher (bottom shelf) and run them through with the 'hot dry' option. I then simply put them into cardboard boxes once they cool down (either 12 packs or regular moving boxes that hold ~25 bottles each) until I bottle.

When it's bottling time, I take out 55 bottles, use the vinator to get sanitizer inside of them (and around the mouth of the bottle), and hang them on my bottle tree until I'm ready to fill. I've never had a bottle infection yet, though I have only opened ~30 beers from 3 batches so far...

I assume you could do something similar, but put some plastic wrap (or even another box) on top of the bottles to keep out anything that might float in there. Personally, I figure anything that gets in there between drying and bottling day will get flushed out by the sanitizer.

The nice thing is that the same boxes can be used for storing full bottles, and since they've dried in the dishwasher, the cardboard isn't weakened.

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Old 08-02-2009, 04:09 PM   #3
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I always let my bottles dry right-side up, so the water can evaporate. Dry the outside of the bottles so you can store them in six-pack carriers without them getting crappy-- I usually just let mine wander in the wild until the outside is dry. Once they're dry on the inside, I store them upside down or right-side up, depending on my mood.

Unless you're storing them in a nasty basement, I wouldn't be too worried about anything other than dust collecting in them. Even that will be minimal given the small opening-- you'll probably have more dust on the outside than the inside. If that bothers you, then store them upside down after drying or store them upright and cap each bottle with some aluminum foil to keep out any stuff.

Even if they do get dusty inside, a quick rinse with your sanitizing solution will clean it out.

You can buy new six-pack carries to replace your old ones.

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Old 08-02-2009, 06:38 PM   #4
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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i know about the weakened cardboard all too well. The bottom of one of my six pack carries broke out last week after bottling. What a mess cleaning up 5 beers worth of beer and glass on carpet was

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Old 08-02-2009, 07:44 PM   #6
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I clean my bottles as mentioned above - OxyClean soaking - and wanted to have them upside down for drying but I didn't have the $$ for a bottle tree. I improvised by taking a piece of 1/2" plywood that was about 18" X 36" and poke it full of 1 3/4" holes. The bottles fit down in there to just about the shoulder so they don't get tippy. I have a couple 2 X 4's under the plywood and that is just enough height to give about 3/4" of clearance between the bottle and the table. I let them air dry completely then just stick them in the cardboard cases I've collected. Come bottling day it's just sanitize and fill.

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Old 08-03-2009, 01:31 AM   #7
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Wow. Neat idea. That is a cabinet with really deep drawers though. It looks deeper than normal.

As a side note, I once heard guys on the radio chatting about file cabinets. They are expensive to buy but you can't seem to sell them used. Seems like if you're lucky you can pick one up free or real cheap at a garage sale.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryC View Post
I clean my bottles as mentioned above - OxyClean soaking - and wanted to have them upside down for drying but I didn't have the $$ for a bottle tree. I improvised by taking a piece of 1/2" plywood that was about 18" X 36" and poke it full of 1 3/4" holes. The bottles fit down in there to just about the shoulder so they don't get tippy. I have a couple 2 X 4's under the plywood and that is just enough height to give about 3/4" of clearance between the bottle and the table. I let them air dry completely then just stick them in the cardboard cases I've collected. Come bottling day it's just sanitize and fill.
I had an idea like this too. I was going to expand on it and also make a parallel board with holes so I could switch between bottom or top up. But I kept planning it in my head and I don't think I have the tools for it. I had another idea with cutting PVC pipe for each bottle but I can't figure an easy way to gather all the pieces together.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemman14 View Post
i know about the weakened cardboard all too well. The bottom of one of my six pack carries broke out last week after bottling. What a mess cleaning up 5 beers worth of beer and glass on carpet was
Yea, I'm trying to avoid this. Plus I hope to get better with my brews and not buy as many 6 packs in the future so my supply of cardboard will run out eventually.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:11 AM   #10
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I let my bottles dry either in a milk crate or in the dish rack by our sink before I put them into any cardboard carriers.

I actually just picked up a vinator a few days ago and used it for sanitizing this weekend. Things went *much* faster using the vinator. I wish I had gotten one years ago. It was also a convenient place for me to throw the caps to soak while I was bottling.

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