Bricks made by the stiff-mud or soft-mud methods had to be dried to release the moisture from the tempering stage before the bricks could be fired. The drying was done in open yards, covered yards, on pallet racks, in tunnel drying rooms, or sub-floor drying rooms. The disadvantage of the open yards, covered yards, and pallet dryers were that they could not be used in cold or wet weather.
Open brick yards were used at most soft-mud plants. They required only space and sunlight. The bricks were laid out after molding and left in the sun for about a day. Then they were piled in double rows on the sides of the yard called "hacks", which were commonly covered by planks to keep the rain off.
Covered yards were similar to open yards but had a sectioned roof that would be opened in good weather.
Pallet drying rooms were covered frames for holding the pallets, which were loaded with the bricks from the machines. This type of drying was used by many soft-mud and some stiff-mud yards because of its low cost, economy of space, and the protection it provided against weather.
Drying tunnels were used in many brickyards that operated throughout the year. These tunnels were usually constructed so that multiple cars holding pallets of brick could be pushed slowly along over 1 to 2 days. They were heated by fire, steam or hot air.
Sub-floor drying rooms had brick floors underlain by heating flues that connected fireplace, or firebox, at one end and a chimney at the other end. Evenly spaced holes in the flues conducted heat to the bricks above (Ries and Kummel, 1904: 233-234). The investigations by Panamerican Consultants, Inc. (PCI) and Louis Berger and Associates, Inc. (LBA) in 1990 of the S & F plant found some indication that these types of sub-floor drying rooms had been used (LBA,1990: IX-2 and PCI, 2002: 5-3). See also the archaeological investigation section.