Bottle Drying Rack...

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Spoonheim, Aug 9, 2012.

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  1. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    I recently invested in a great bottle drying rack and I just want to show it off. I'm sorry the picture quality is so poor but all I have for a camera at the moment is my crappy phone. These shelves cost me about $50 at home depot and allow me to dry 96 bottles. I rinse as I drink and put them on the lower shelves. Each weekend I wash and move them up. Finally I sterilize before bottling and move them around again. What do you all think?
  2. DonDirkA

    DonDirkA Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2011 Arizona

    Clear bottles? :slight_frown:
  3. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    Yes, I prefer clear bottles so I can easily tell that they are well rinsed/cleaned. I also like to be able to see the yeast cake at the bottom to know for a fact they have carbonated.
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I think a few things. First of all, NICE RACK. *snicker*
    If the rack can handle being top heavy, I'd work from top down. I'd wash bottles and they would always drip down onto the towels/floor below. No moving/rotating bottles needed because, I usually just rinse the bottle out twice and go upside down. I wait to sanitize on bottling day. Clear bottles are a fine idea so long as you cellar your beer in a dark area. Very clever. $50 is pretty cheap for a bottling rack. Nice find.
  5. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    Yeah, would be easier your way, I guess. I like to rinse right away, wash in my spare time, and then 'sterilize' with steam on bottling day. Maybe I'm just over doing it. I'm glad you like my rack though, :grinning:

    Oh, just a side note, I saw these same wire panels on walmart's website and you could actually have an extra layer for the same price if you ordered from them.
  6. superspak

    superspak Poo-Bah (8,796) May 5, 2010 Michigan
    Supporter Beer Trader

    For me, I just do the dishes the night before bottling day. The only dirt that is ever going to show up in my bottles is hard water grime and it will be in the bottom. I rinse out every bottle after I drink it, so minimal crap ends up in the bottom even after empty bottles sit in the case box for weeks. I shake them with hot tap water to rinse on bottling day(if I see anything suspicious), and then bottle vinator with B-Brite and rack them in the dishwasher to dry a bit. The sanitizer will clean off any crap that might be in the bottom and then I bottle them. Never had any problems or infected bottles. A few of my bottles just got their 5th reuse too. Never even considered sterilization or anything, not necessary IMO because glass is so damn easy to clean and I am OCD about sanitation.
    Spoonheim likes this.
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,328) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The yeast sediment at the bottom doesn't necessarily mean the bottles have carbonated, only that the yeast has flocculated or otherwise fallen out of suspension. (Though the reverse is true... if you don't see any yeast, the bottles have almost certainly not carbonated.) Personally I would be too paranoid about skunking to use clear bottles. But if it hasn't been an issue for you, then keep doing what you're doing.
  8. Naugled

    Naugled Crusader (737) Sep 25, 2007 New York

    I don't mind clear bottle, but my beer never sees sunlight. Dark basement right to coolers.

    My question is where do you get all of those clear bottles? Did you buy them? The only good clear bottle that I'm aware of are corona bottles. Are those corona bottles?

    I have almost exclusively brown bottles, but thats because thats what most beer comes in.
  9. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    I have one of those red and green plastic bottle trees. Cheap, ugly, and effective. One time I was getting ready to bottle and my neighbor saw it through a window; he called me up to harrass me about getting ready for Christmas too early. When he found out what it was and that he would be getting bottles of homebrewed stout for Christmas, he let it slide.
  10. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    My beer sees almost zero sunlight. Even when I put it in a glass carboy I wrap that with a towel. As soon as I bottle they go into cases and into my 'conditioning trunk'. After a few weeks they go into the fridge. I pulled out the vegetable drawers so I can put beer right down to the floor, and made special brackets to hold a bbq grate to create an extra shelf. It's an apartment sized fridge that can hold 180 bottles of beer, :grinning: That capacity allows me to get up to 2 months of aging.

    The bottles are Sleeman's - a Canadian brewery, not sure if they export at all. They have quite a few good styles, but I think I like their 'Rousse' best. I know that Sleeman's Rousse is only available in Qu├ębec.
  11. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Am I the only one who washes bottles in the dishwasher the day before bottling? I rinse them out thoroughly after drinking the contents, then stick them in the dishwasher. In 10 years, never had an bottle-induced infection.

    I use only plop-top bottles and I find it sterilizes all parts perfectly. Also, no need for a drying rack. After the dishwasher finishes its cyle, I often let it sit unopened for a day if I don't have time to fish them out. They're dry, so I simply close up the plop tops, wash another batch (I brew 9 gal. batches), and I'm done.

    The only down-side is that it monopolizes the dishwasher and dirty dishes pile up until I release the dishwasher from its bottle washing duties.
  12. koopa

    koopa Poo-Bah (1,825) Apr 20, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    My normal bottling routine is:
    - Rinse bottle a couple of times with warm water right after it has been emptied.
    - When I have a dishwasher full of rinsed bottles, load it up and run a sanitize cycle
    - Box sanitized bottles upside down in beer bottle boxes lined with paper towels on the bottom of the box.
    - Store them this way until I need them.
    - On bottling day, sanitize bottles again with starsan and place on my bottle tree which I also spray down with starsan first.
  13. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    I would love to use a dishwasher for my bottles but I don't have one. The dishwasher at work would truly sanitize them, since it runs over 185 F, but I'm not about to haul my bottles there and then home. Steaming them in a pasta pot works fine for me.
  14. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    No dishwasher here either. Rinse bottle out thoroughly after pouring beer. Then, on or around bottling day, go to library, get audiobook, load onto ipod, place headphones on, press play, soak bottles in warm oxyclean solution, scrub with bottle brush, triple rinse with hot water, rinse with with star san solution, place on bottle rack for a few hours, proceed to bottling.
    boddhitree likes this.
  15. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    Hey, pweis909 - what are you using for a bottle rack?
  16. tngolfer

    tngolfer Initiate (75) Feb 16, 2012 Tennessee

    I run mine through the dishwasher on the 'pot & pans' cycle which washes them twice and select the 'sanitize rinse' and 'heated dry' options. No problems through 13 batches.
    boddhitree likes this.
  17. boddhitree

    boddhitree Devotee (482) Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    You're correct. I sanitize, not sterilize the bottles, and dishwashers have a built in bottle rack! Isn't sanitizing good enough, or just good enough that I've been lucky for 10 years?
  18. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    Sanitizing is just fine as long as you aren't using the bottles to do surgery. From a food safe perspective, there is absolutely nothing 'sterile' about brewing since you are intentionally infecting your product with a particularly beneficial micro-organism. :grinning:
    boddhitree likes this.
  19. tngolfer

    tngolfer Initiate (75) Feb 16, 2012 Tennessee

    I think it has to be good enough. You would need some lab-grade equipment to sterilize everything. The way I see it, we have to be sanitizing much better than the early brewers did back in the day and their beer turned out fine.
    boddhitree likes this.
  20. Spoonheim

    Spoonheim Initiate (0) Aug 9, 2012

    I was fortunate enough to see my great grandfather in action, brewing in his dirt basement. He didn't have any money for fancy sanitizing/sterilizing chemicals - not that anything more than iodine would have been available back then.

    My background is in food production/food safety (I'm a cook). The most important step is just plain old washing. You need to ensure the surface is free of deposits that could offer safe harbour for nasty 'germs'. For the most part this is taken care of by rinsing very aggressively right after pouring, but I would still recommend a good washing with good old soap and a bottle brush every third batch or so. The second level of defense is a coating with food safe sanitizer and upside down draining/drying. That should honestly be all you need. I think the dishwasher is a great idea - but I would highly recommend washing it out before doing your bottles (ie; empty the filter, run it empty one cycle to wash the racks/remove debris, and possibly spritz it down with a sanitzing solution before doing your bottles).
  21. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Spoonheim likes this.
  22. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,599) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Pretty much agree on every point.
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