Hands on Review: IRIS 5 Quart Storage Boxes for Brewery Storage & Organization

Organizing Your Home Brewery

When I first started home brewing, I sourced several large totes to store and organize my gear and supplies.  I quickly learned that these consumed too much shelf space and were inefficient for the kind of things I wanted to organize.  Beyond that, it was hard to find things.  The sides were not clear and they were big enough that I had to do a lot of searching and digging around.

Next I moved to shoe box sized containers with clear walls.  I found these to be much better for organizing my home brewery.  They were small enough that I could use dozens of them, labeling each for easy identification.  They stacked and the lids were easy to get on and off.  I still keep a few larger totes for larger items, but much of my homebrew gear is in shoe box sized containers.

Here’s what I look for in these sorts of containers…

  • Clear – I want to be able to see in the container without opening it up.
  • 5 to 6.5 quarts or so
  • Easy snap on lids – I want lids to go on and come off easily.  For this application, I’m not looking for airtight
  • Stacking.  I want these to stack to save space.
  • Nesting.  When not in use I want to be able to nest these to save space.

Hands on Review IRIS USA, Inc. CNL-5 Storage Boxes for Homebrew Organization

The 20 boxes and lids that I received.  These stack for efficient storage when not in use.A look at the lid, these easily snap on and off.  They are clear, which is an improvement compared the other style that I use.


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A look at the containerImprint on the bottom of the container.  Reads IRIS, USA Inc, Made in USACompared to the other style I use.  The plastic on the Rubbermaid containers seems thicker.  That makes them a little beefier.  I much prefer the clear lids of the IRIS containers as it makes it easier to see contents from the top, without taking lids off.I use my Brother Labeler to print labels for each tub.  I’m fond of Brother labeling machines that have the ability to use their Extra Strength Adhesive labeling tape – search Amazon for “tze extra strength adhesive”.  Those labels have extra strength adhesive that works well in harsh environments including moist places like kegerators.  Lots of TZe Tape styles are available.  I generally use the 1/2″ Black Print on White Tape.  I couldn’t find a link to the model of labeler that I use, but if you want something similar, this search should help you head in the right direction – Search Amazon for “brother tze label maker”

My unused Keg QDs in a labeled boxTop down viewMy unused faucets in a labeled boxTop down viewStack of two containersMy unused clamps in a labeled box
Stack of 3An illustration of why the clear lid is a big upgrade.  On the right you can clearly see what’s in the tub without removing the lidSpare DuoTight Fittings – Hands on Review – stacking on my tub of (now mostly unneeded) clamps.  I mostly don’t need the clamps, because… DuoTights!

Conclusions

For me, organization helps make homebrewing more fun.  Wasting time looking for things isn’t my idea of a good time.  It’s frustrating.  This size of container works great for organizing small to medium size items around my home brewery.  I really like the size, the clear sides and lid.  I also like that the lid is easy to snap on and off.  The fact that these stack and that they nest when empty is great.  In my book, these are another example of a small upgrade making a big difference.

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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

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