I was looking for a better way to store my glass carboys for brewing. I like to hang stuff like ladders, 2x4 storage, pipe storage in the rafters in the garage and i thought that may be a good solution for the carboys too. They hang a bit low but as long as you put them towards the walls or in corners or over rifrigerators, you don't run into them too often. Hanging them also makes them more secure than just setting them on shelves or on top your fridge. This also allows them to drip dry without the water puddling. I've been using these for over a year now without any problems or breakages. I can't account for every material you may use so be careful.
You dealing with glass carboys and power tools. Keep them away from eachother while building. the carboys are dangerous enough as is. Be carful when hanging them and especially when getting them down. A ladder or step stool is the best bet if you can't reach your ceiling. There are plenty of horror stories about people almost dieing from broken carboys. Please be careful. Do no hange full carboys. This meathod is meant for empty ones to hang for drying and storage. Not for full ones for transfering liquids.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Double Loop #3 Chain with 90lb. load limit (yes overkill but if it's worth doing right, it's worth overdoing)
PVC pipe union - 3" for a 3 gallon, 4" for a 5 gallon and 6" for a 6.5 gallon
1/4"x1" bolts, Nuts, washer and lock washers - 3 each for 3 gallon 4 each for others
S-hooks to match the size of the chain - 3 for 3 gallon and 4 for others
2 threaded quicklinks (optional, shown in second pic)
carabiner or clip of some sort for top. Make sure it fits the chain or quicklink if your using one
Ceiling hook to install in garage to hang hanger from. Not the cheap realy thin ones.
Marker and ruler for layout
mini-bolt cutter or diagonal cutter for chain
pliers for S-hooks
box wrench and phillips head for bolts
awl or small finish nail setter to help the drill bit not slip
Drill and bits (1/4" bit)
Step 2: Layout and Design
There are a couple of ways to lay out your markings to drill. I chose for my smaller carboy hangers to use only 3 verticle chains and for my 5 gallon and 6.5 gallon to use 4 chains. For most of it you can probably just eyeball it. With the coupling set with the hole facing up, i chose to place the bolts about half way up the verticle. This is easily found on the inside since the coupling has a lip to stop the pipe from going all the way through. You can measure this on the inside and then make a mark on the outside to be drilled later.
To space the holes out, there are a couple of choices. First you can use the ruler to find the longest dimension of the pipe coupling and mark both ends. This will make sure your bolts are on opposite sides and then eyeball a 90 degree and mark the next set. Another way would be to place a piece of paper under your coupling and trace the circle. Cut that out. Fold it in half and then in half again to get a 1/4 sized pie wedge. When you unfold it and lay it back under your coupling, you should have your bolt pattern perfectly spaced out. Eyeball is find for the spacing but the verticle should really be measured so your carboy isn't hanging cattywampus.
Step 3: Drilling
Clamp the coupling down to a table to drill. Make sure it's clamped good so it doesn't roll away from you and so it doesn't spin the coupling on you. Use the awl or the nail set to poke a starter dent to help the drill bit track. Don't hit hard with a hammer since you'll probably crack the coupling. Use a 1/4" bit for the hole. The bolts may be tight but the plastic is soft enough you can screw them in if needed. This tight fit will help them stay put in the future too so don't ream out the hole.
Step 4: Chain-up
4 - 28" lengths for verticle chains
1 - 40" for circumfrence chain
2 threaded quicklinks (optional)
4 - 27" for verticle chains
1 - 36" for circumfrence chain
2 threaded quicklinks (optional)
3 - 22" for verticle chains
1 - 30" for circumfrence chain
Depending on which one or how many your making as to how much chain you need. The chain i used, has a smaller side and a larger side to each link. I put the bolt through the smaller loop of the link. So the way it goes is bolt, washer, chain, into the PVC and then lock washer and nut. Sorry i don't have many pictures of the steps but it's fairly self explanitory and i built all these about a year ago. Make sure the nut is good and tight and that the washer isn't slipping through or off the chain on the outside.
Once you get all 4 (or 3) attached to the PVC, it's time to put the carboy (opening facing down) on the pipe coupling. Next, clip the tops all together on top the carboy so the chains stay up while your working the next steps. The circumfrence chain I placed about 2/3 up the side of the carboy. Once again this is just eyeball. I tried to place it high enough so the carboy wouldn't accidentally spill out but low enough the it wouldn't slip underneith it either. Clip the S-hooks on the verticle chains where your going to put the circumfrence chain (C-chain from now on). For the C-chain, start with the first link on the first S-hook but dont' close it yet. Wrap the C-chain inside the verticle chains all the way around and back to that first S-hook and close it to hold it. Then you can count the links and space out where the other S-hooks link to the C-chain.
Now that that is done, you can attach the threaded quicklinks if your using them (see the fourth pic in this step if for what i'm talking about). I took two verticle chains and put a quicklink on and then the other two and put a quick link on. This seems to help with keeping the chains organized and makes it easier to chain up the carboy. The caribeener or clip your using clips to the two quicklinks or just the top of the four chains if your not using quicklinks.
Step 5: Wrap-up
That's about it. Fairly simple but very useful. Install the hanging hooks into your garage rafters (2x8's or bigger not just into the drywall ceiling) and hang your carboys up to dry. Don't use the really chinso flimzy bike hooks at least for the bigger carboys. Spend the extra $.50 and get the decent ones. Same goes for the carabiners too. You don't have to get the really expensive climbing ones but at least get a decent one out of the chain and rope section of the hardware store not the crappy key chain ones. I also use these when i've just sprayed them with sanitizer before brewing and hang them in the laundry room or clip them to the shelf in the laundryroom to keep them from falling off the dryer.