After hearing a few complaints on the look of my bottle collection for homebrew (what’s wrong with 12 or 13 Festa Brew boxes lining one of the walls of the basement anyway) as well as misplacing a few dozen full bottles within the empties, it was time to come up with some type of solution. Virginia sent a big hint, a link to another blog where they built their own wooden beer crates.
I wasn’t overly happy with their design, nor was I completely satisfied with others I had seen on the web. My goals were to build a crate that was functional and looked half decent. For functional, the crates needed to hold 24 of either my 500ml bottles or 22oz bottles, while keeping light away from their precious contents. So, armed with ideas, Alex and I downloaded Google SketchUp and proceeded to work out the details. We were pretty happy with the results and decided that we would need six crates to hold both full and empties.
I decided on 1″ x 6″ spruce for the sides and bottom and 1″ x 12″ laminated pine for the end plates. We fastened everything together with the air nailer and reinforced the bottom with some 1.5/8″ wood screws. The last thing I wanted was to trust 24 full 22 ouncers to 1.1/2″ brads. A quick “BEER” stencil completed the crate. Alex was particularly happy with the stencil as he thought it made it look like a “real” crate. Now, with 23L of Ordinary Bitter settling out in the carboy, I think it’s time to start planning my next batch to fill up these crates maybe a nice oatmeal stout ready in time for the cool winter nights of January.