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Given the limited space of an apartment, where do you store your homebrew before drinking?

Do not consider budget to be a factor.

This is the eighth question in a series of discussions about small-space brewing. Please keep the discussion limited to cellaring.

See also: Equipment Storage | Mashing | Steeping | Boiling | Chilling | Fermentation | Packaging

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I too bottle the beer and keep it in beer crates. In that way all the bottles stay standing the right way up and they take less space than the would if i kept them without the crates. Of course i have them in a small storage room we have where the temperature is 60-70ºF (16-21ºC). Though the bottles are mostly brown, so the beer doesn't skunk easily, and in addition the room doesn't get any direct sunlight during the day, I prefer to cover the crates with a blanket or towel, just to be sure.

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Does the bottle colour have relevance then? –  Mild Fuzz Dec 22 '13 at 20:59

While I have no means to store beer for longer than a few months, and don't "cellar" beer in a traditional sense (buying commercial microbrews for aging), I do bottle condition my brews in a closet that stays just below 70ºF for about 6-7 months out of the year.

This is likely a unique case to my apartment/climate.

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I'm lumping bottle-conditioning in with cellaring.

I live in New York and so space is at a premium, but what I'm most concerned about is explosions in the bottle-conditioning process. This is an imperfect solution, but I went with jumbo boxes from the Container Store.

Pros:

  • Stackable
  • They each hold about a batch worth of bottles
  • They're waterproof, with waterproof lids, so explosions are contained
  • They're clear, so you can see if one of your bottles has exploded and clean up

Cons:

  • They're waterproof, so any moisture in there when you place the lid is probably going to contribute to mold or mildew on the outside of the bottles
  • They're clear, so you risk light-struck beer if you don't keep them out of direct light.

If I had it to do again, I'd probably go with RubberMaid Brute totes. The 14-gallon size is about the same as the Container Store jumbo boxes, and they're more sturdy for roughly the same price.

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Have you had many explosions? –  jessecurry Jan 17 '13 at 22:44
    
Zero, actually. :) –  Rich Armstrong Mar 5 '13 at 21:34

I have a section of my pantry that I use to ferment, once fermentation is complete I rack to corny kegs and store them under an end-table. About 8 kegs can fit under the end table, with two other kegs in my kegerator.

I seem to be brewing more than I can drink, so I'm probably going to have to clean out a closet in the near future. I have one closet with 6 cases of bottled beer on the floor.

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I started off brewing in a dorm room. If you bottle in 12 oz bottles it is more work, but they'll fit under a bed (or at least the one we had). You can easily fit batches of beer under there. Another good option is the bottom of the closet and stack things on top. For both, I like to keep them in the 24 bottle boxes you purchase new ones from.

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