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Beer Bottle Drying Rack

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Picture of Beer Bottle Drying Rack
One of the most labor intensive parts of home brewing is the bottling process. Since I have to wait two more days to do the actual bottling I decided to make a tool to simplify the process.

This bottle drying rack was made from leftover scraps (making it effectively a free project) and can hold 72 bottles.

Materials:
1/4" Hardboard
Scrap wood for legs
 
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Step 1: Layout

Picture of Layout
02 - Layout lines.JPG
Here is my scrap sheet of hard-board. I don't know the dimension, I just started by setting some bottles on it to get an idea of the needed spacing. I can 6 to a row putting them 4 inches on center. I used a straight-edge and pencil to draw a grid of layout lines.

Step 2: The Holes

Picture of The Holes
04 - All holes.JPG
Time to try out the holes.

I drilled a test hole in a piece of scrap wood using a 1 3/4" hole saw. Perfect fit.

Using a fast drill and the hole saw I drilled 72 holes in the hard-board using the layout lines from the previous step.

Step 3: The Legs

Picture of The Legs
06 - Leg pieces.JPG
07 - Leg assembled.JPG
Time for the legs.

We're basically building a little L shape to prop the hard-board up off the floor so the bottles can drain (and remain sanitary). For this I use two pieces of scrap wood. The are actually shelves from the IKEA as-is department. 10 cents each and the turned out to be too small for what I purchased them for. This turned out to be an excellent use for them!

I cut each into 5 equal pieces, pre drilled holes, and screwed them together.

Step 4: Assembly

Picture of Assembly
09 - Completed Rack.JPG
Assembly can be just a bit touchy but if you check for alignment carefully, locating your legs shouldn't be too much trouble. I chose to attach the legs using four screws each.

1. Position the legs.
  • Flip over the hard-board and place the legs where you want them.
2. Trace the outline of each leg with a pencil
3. Drill a pilot hole through the hard board inside of your pencil marks.
4. Flip the board right-side-up and carefully position the feet exactly withing the pencil marks.
5. Attach each leg with one screw.
  • Locate a pilot hole you drilled in step 4.
  • Drill down through this hole into the leg.
  • Screw the leg and board together using this hole.
  • Repeat for each leg, one screw only.
6. Inspect that your legs are still properly aligned.
  • The single screw should hold the leg in place but allow for fine tuning.
7. Secure remaining screws
  • Once alignement has been verified, drill pilot holes and drive in the remaining screws.

Step 5: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion
10 - Rack full of bottles.JPG
This rack works great. Just put some old newspaper underneath it to catch the drips, and use it to dry your bottles without worrying about something falling into an open bottle and contaminating the beer.

kimmieallen4 years ago
I'm going to try to use bottles for legs by setting them underneath the board and threading the neck upward through the hole at each corner. Since the base of the bottle is longer than the neck, this should work!
I was too lazy to make legs, so that was my thoughts too :) Works great, no problem with the water.
fastracking2 years ago
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2be9945103 years ago
When walking past dust is kicked up. Best to cover bottles with cling wrap.
drewgrey4 years ago
Nice job , I actually have one just like it. It it so sanitary compared to other racks that put something in the bottle. Do you use iodine?

NaTeB17 years ago
I probably sound like a nag but isnt ply wood really like a sponge for bacteria & fungus? The design is an excellent idea but after spending all that time washing bottles why risk it? You should seal it, I dont know how tho maybe laminate or make one with plexi.
u can get 4x8 sheets (or less even) of treated plywood that is mildew/bacteria resistance at home depot i believe.... its easier then doing it yourself
I'd skip the treated plywood. It is treated with all kinds of nasty stuff (arsenic being one) which you don't want anywhere near consumables (beer).
wood is no longer treated with arsenic and hasn't been for a while (except in some commercial and marine settings. I think that if you are using it as a drying rack and the liquid is not running back into the bottles then green wood would be a good idea. If this still bugs you then use plastic tubs with holes cut the same way. The biggest problem i've had is trying to figure out a space to put drying bottles as i have limited room.
Hello, I wouldn't really worry about the fungus. The bottles are going to dry fast and the wood will dry just as quickly. Fungus will not have time to grow. As long as the board is not soaking for days at a time I don't see a problem. Remember it is important to be clean and sanitized but, this is not surgery. You will never be sterile. You just want to avoid the wild yeasts and bacteria. Keep things clean and sanitized and you will be okay.
guy905 years ago
thanks for the upload
guy905 years ago
One of these would be handy! For those worrying about plywood serving as a sponge, which can happen, how about using some food grade plastic, or for me, I'm going to use a storage tub, because these usually have a rim, which would make supporting the legs easier.
zipperboy6 years ago
I am speaking from considerable brewing experience, and I highly recommend the double batch mix and match. What the heck is that you ask? Buy two different cans of malt. The more different the types of beer the better. In my case I used an Irish Stout with a German light lager. Prepare both batches. I used recycled white plastic pails, pick something that held a non-oil based product for ease of cleaning. Note; avoid pickle buckets. Take half of each batch and mix them back and forth. Be careful as the pails are heavy and the fluid sticky. In my case I used iceing sugar, and used a more expensive champane yeast to bring the alcohol content up to between 6 and 7 percent. This gives the finished beer a nice kick and an excellent and clean dry finish on the palate. I also favor the natural carbonation approach, however if you like a more commercial beer flavor by all means use forced carbonation. I called the mixed beer Stager, which was appropriate as it kicked hard. It was as dark as Pepsi, but had a medium light flavor and was not that heavy on the gut. Do not drink too early, as proper aging is important to both flavor and carbonation if you are using yeast to creat it. Oh, and the head on the mixed (STAGER) beer was smooth and creamy. Similar to Guinness, but not quite as whip creamy in texture. Happy brewing, Phil aka Zipperboy aka adventureboy7
theproles6 years ago
For those of us with limited space, it might make more sense to halve the length of the rack. You could then stack the halves one on top of the other. Hmmmm...
Valche7 years ago
Beautiful! I love making use of materials on-hand, and I also enjoy NOT struggling with the bottling process when my friends and I brew. On that note, what would you recommend for a novice brewer such as myself? We last brewed a Belgian wheat ale, which was tasty. I'd love to get your thoughts. Favorited.
waynemov7 years ago
I agree that the bottling is the most time consuming part and so am switching to kegging, however the price of kegging systems is more than i want to spen so i am working on a diy system with minimal cost. ill post an instructable when done.
hehehe my uncle's getting me a free fegging system me so happy Aaron
i meant kegging lmao
cofosho7 years ago
Lake Louie! Must be a Sconnie... Have you tried Mephisto's Imperial Russian Stout? Expensive but worth it.
barney_1 (author)  cofosho7 years ago
Indeed, I brew here in Madison, Wisconsin.
Patrik7 years ago
Hmm... it occurs to me that a piece of chicken wire might work too...
i reckon chiken wire would sag too much and might scratch the pretty bottles :-) Aaron
dizzydave7 years ago
you may want to put some type of finish on this (clear polyurethane would probably do the job) so that the wood doesn't start to fall apart. If you're putting wet bottles on there, eventually it will disintegrate.
barney_1 (author)  dizzydave7 years ago
I certainly agree with you that this will not hold up forever. I don't think the hard-board will take a finish very easily so I'm going to take my chances. I do notice that it seems to dry pretty quickly after I've used it.
browndog7 years ago
This is great in its simplicity. I've been eyeing the bottle trees at the homebrew shop for a while, but couldn't justify the space they take up. I could build something like this that would store flat, and do it out of scrap. Now I know what I'll be doing this weekend.
Mr. Rig It7 years ago
Nice job. If you reused wood like you said you did then you should enter this into the green contest. You are also reusing your bottles for another round of brew, also good for the contest.