BrewDate 04.05.15: Getting Organized
It’s been a couple of brews since my last BrewDate, but I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for while. I’ve consolidated all my homebrewing gear into one place and organized my tools.
Too Much Cardboard
In the few years we’ve been homebrewing, I’ve collected a lot of bottles, reusable malt containers, and equipment; much of which isn’t used regularly. Early on I made a couple of containers for storing small equipment, but large items still ate up my floor space. And our cats tried to eat the cardboard storage boxes. Luckily I was given a used wire shelving unit this weekend, allowing me to turn this:
Much better isn’t it?
Even before the shelving donation, I was planning on getting a wire shelving unit to consolidate my brewing gear. Wire is great for airflow around objects which might get put back without being fully dry and it’s easy to clean. The adjustable shelves also allow for a larger space on the bottom to accommodate carboys and buckets.
The rest of the shelves are just tall enough for my brewing kettle, box of tubing, tasting glasses, and myriad of containers related to brewing, yeast cultivating, etc. The re-organization was also a nice chance to recycle extra stuff and perhaps a third of my malt containers and several boxes have been tossed.
The second area where I had brewing boxes piled was my bedroom. Now I’ve just got a few boxes of bottles in there and I’ll be giving those away soon. When we switched to kegging, I thought we might need the bottles, but they haven’t been used at all. No need to keep them.
Sorting the Small Stuff
You may have noticed two largish wine boxes on my beer shelves. These hold my small equipment, such as tubing, the auto-siphon, bungs, airlocks, and all my old bottling gear. I actually made them some time ago, when we were newer to brewing, to replace the original cat-ravaged cardboard boxes.
I’ve been really happy with these containers. Like the wire shelving, the wood allows for some air circulation. It only took one plastic bag full of rusty bottle caps to convince me plastic was not a good storage solution. In addition, I installed dividers so the objects are laid out in a logical and accessible manner. And they fit on the new shelving nicely, so pluses all around. Keep an eye out for an Instructable about these boxes soon. I can’t believe I haven’t written one up already.
This wire shelving is only the first step as I turn my kitchen and dining room into a “pico-brewery”. I’d like to add a tray below the bottom shelf to catch drips so I can put the carboys away immediately after cleaning them. In addition, I’ll be added a couple of hooks to the side. One to hold my stirring spoon and the other for hanging tubing. At some point I might try added some shelving over the “beer-o-tron” as well, but I like having my cooking and brewing books there for now.
If you homebrew, how do you organize your equipment? Feel free to share in the comments below.