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jelsas

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Anyone have a good system for storing empty/sanitized/cleaned bottles?

I just cleaned out my brew "shop" (the unfinished corner in my basement) and found 5+ cases of de-labeled bottles and 2+ cases of bottles still with labels in various states of moldiness -- all in random paper & plastic bags, milk crates, 6-pack containers stashed between fermenters... I need a better system. Preferably something more sturdy and moisture tolerant than cardboard cases.

(on the bright side, i came across almost a case of a coffee stout I thought I'd run out of in September :mug: )
 

Dr Vorlauf

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I use the plastic storage bins ( Wal Mart ) with the tops that seal ( 2 of them ). I sanitize both bins and lids with a star san solution ( I do one first then dump into the second bin and do the same ( I leave the solution in the second bin as a dip bath for my clean bottles ). Then I take the clean bottles that I want to store and dip them in the Star San and shake to treat the entire inside and place them facing down into the first sanitized bin... repeat for all. This keeps the bottles semi sanitized for a long time with a leave on sanitizer.

I leave the bottle storage bins top 1/2 of the way off for storing bottles to let them dry thoroughtly. I use the same procedure for my pre bottling sanitization. Sounds complicated but is really fast.
 

mrfocus

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Try finding a rubbermaid box in a good size (either the size of a case or bigger), you may want to try using a desiccant, as it will absorb the humidity, as long as the container is decently sealed. Other than that, you should clean them quite well before you store them, and be sure to rinse adequately before storing them. You may want to tell us your procedure, since I know I don't have problems with storing cleaned bottles in the cardboard cases as long as they are really well rinsed.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I don't know how the drinking scene is in PA... but here in Wisconsin we drink enough for returnable bottles still to be popular. I go to my local liquor store and buy cases of empty returnable bottles (Point Special is best) for $1.20 a case. They come in a very nice study box and the labels are easy to get off. If this is an option for you, I would suggest getting some of those boxes.

After I have my bottles sanitized I cover the top with aluminum foil wrapped tight around the crown. First I sanitize the foil then I just leave them till I need some bottles.
 

Gammon N Beer

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jelsas said:
Anyone have a good system for storing empty/sanitized/cleaned bottles?

I just cleaned out my brew "shop" (the unfinished corner in my basement) and found 5+ cases of de-labeled bottles and 2+ cases of bottles still with labels in various states of moldiness -- all in random paper & plastic bags, milk crates, 6-pack containers stashed between fermenters... I need a better system. Preferably something more sturdy and moisture tolerant than cardboard cases.

(on the bright side, i came across almost a case of a coffee stout I thought I'd run out of in September :mug: )
I have set aside a couple of areas for bottle storage in my basement.

- The first is an area where all bottles needing de-labling and close inspection are stored. These tend to be bottles friends gave me or bottles that came with my micro brewery purchases. When I gather at least two cases, I go through a process to remove the labels, wash, rinse and inspect each bottle. I then place the bottles in my brewery.

- The second is where I place all the well rinsed bottles I just drank my home brew out of. These bottles do not need de-labeling, I have already inspected the bottles and I have rinsed them well soon after consuming the home brew stored in them. When I get a case or two of these, I will give them a quick wash and rinse. They are then placed in my brewery.

When I am preparing to bottle, it is the bottles stored in my brewery that I gather for sanitation and bottling.

I have already washed my bottles long before bottling day. On bottling day all I do is sanitize and fill.
 
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jelsas

jelsas

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rubbermaid sounds like the best idea... i'll be heading out to get some bins this week.

thanks all. sounds like I really need a better system... too many bottles sit around for too long before anything gets cleaned.
 

kinison_fan

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Boerderij Kabouter said:
...buy cases of empty returnable bottles...
.
.
I second that recommendation-I've got 6-8 cases (12 and 16 oz bottles) and they are heavy, durable cardboard, probably twice as sturdy as disposable bottle boxes. They also stack well.

In PA, the best place to get them would be the beer distributors, at least I think they still carry them-its been a few years since I got them.
 

Jumbo82

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I recently bought a couple new glass carboys and found that the cardboard boxes they come in each hold 50 12 oz bottles stacked horizontally. Wouldn't work for bottle conditioning, but they are nice for empties.
 

cheezydemon

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I just have to mention this.

I rinse my bottles twice at the sink before I take them to the basement.

I sit them on a shelf.

I get however many I need on brew day and stick them in my dishwasher with a tiny bit of detergent.

I bottle straight out of the washer.

Out of thousands of bottles I have had 2 that I suspected of being contaminated.
They gushed horribly, but upon calming down (in a large glass) they tasted just fine.

This may not work for everyone, but if your water is apparently clean like mine, it will save you tons of trouble and sanitizer.
 

joejaz

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I use 22 oz. bottles, plastic milk crates fit eactly 24 bottles with no rattling. The 12 oz. bottles rattle too much, had to separate rows with cardboard. The problem is I haven't seen the actual milk crate size in stores so I just ask arround who has the old crates.
 

RichBrewer

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I don't keep a ton of bottles but what I do is delabel, throughly clean, and then dry my empties. Then I store them upside down in six pack carriers. When it is time to bottle I just sanitize and I'm ready to fill.
 

CBBaron

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I just store my bottles upside down after rinsing in 6-pack carriers and/or case boxes. My basement is very dry so I don't have a problem with any mold unless I leave some beer residue in the bottles. I would not trust any bottles I have not sanitized just before bottling so I don't bother with that step until bottling day.
Craig
 
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