Bottle Dryer

by Tom Romalewski

I have seen the plastic bottle drying towers sold in homebrew stores, but I like the one that I built better.

It consists of 2 sheets of 1/2 inch plywood, 15" x 24" separated by six 1 inch dowels, each about 5" long. The top plywood sheet has a 4x6 grid of 2-1/2 inch holes cut into it with a hole saw. The bottom sheet is solid plywood. Below is a side view with a couple of bottles sitting in the holes. This bottle dryer holds 24 bottles, but varying the size of the plywood and holes will change the capacity. You can customize the dimensions to fit your size of bottles. All the wood pieces were painted with several coats of polyurethane prior to assembly to make the entire structure fairly impervious to water damage. As the bottles drain, I prop up one end of the dryer to let any accumulated water run off the bottom sheet of plywood.

I only use 16 oz. Grolsch bottles for my brewing and this handles them nicely even with the ceramic stoppers attached. This drying rack will let the bottles drip-dry upside down and not let any "nasties" fall inside them. It also does not touch the inside of the bottle so there is no need to sterilize the dryer.

After I wash and dry a case of bottles, I just loosely clamp the ceramic stopper in the mouth of the Grolsch bottle to keep out any dust. I store the rubber gaskets separately. When it is time to bottle, I soak a case at a time with a bleach solution, rinse thoroughly and let them drip-dry for a few minutes. The (boiled) gaskets then go on the ceramic stoppers and are lightly closed until each bottle is ready to be filled.

   ____   ____
   |  |   |  |
   |  |   |  | <-----------------------  bottles
   |  |   |  |
===\  /===\  /===    ===    === <------  top sheet of plywood with holes
    ||  |  ||         |
        |             | <--------------  1" dowels
        |             |
================================ <-----  solid bottom sheet of plywood