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.

1/4" Hardboard
Scrap wood for legs

Step 1: Layout

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

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

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

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

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.



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    26 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I was too lazy to make legs, so that was my thoughts too :) Works great, no problem with the water.


    6 years ago on Introduction

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    7 years ago on Step 5

    When walking past dust is kicked up. Best to cover bottles with cling wrap.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    4 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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).


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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...


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Lake Louie! Must be a Sconnie... Have you tried Mephisto's Imperial Russian Stout? Expensive but worth it.

    1 reply