Carboy: The Top Containers Recommended by Experts for Brewing Beer

Carboy beer in CarboyA carboy can make brewing your own beer easier and more fun. When homebrewing, you can choose to use either a fermenting bucket or a carboy — they both have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re looking for a carboy for your first or next brew, we’ve compiled the best ones you can buy in this complete guide. Here are the top 10 best carboys for brewing beer.

Best Carboys Standout Features
Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy Has a large capacity of 6 gallons and thick, durable glass. Comes with sturdy nylon straps that make it easy to carry around. Smooth interiors so fermentation isn’t interrupted by ridges.

Northern Brewer Glass Carboy

Has an impressive 6.5-gallon capacity and is made of high-quality glass. Has a wide mouth for easier wort transfer and comes with a tight-fitting lid to avoid spills or ruined fermentation.

Homebrewers Outpost Glass Carboy (5 Gallon)

Has a 5-gallon capacity for large brewing batches. It’s also made of thick, strong glass and can serve as a storage container for other liquids.

Geo Sports Bottles 3 Gallon Round Glass Carboy

Made of impressive scratch-resilient high-quality glass, making it easy to clean. It can also be used for various applications beyond fermenting and can store both hot and cold liquids.

Vintage Shop 7-Gallon Fermonster Wide Mouth Plastic Carboy

Made of high-quality PET food-grade plastic that’s durable and long-lasting. It has a large 7-gallon capacity with a wide 4-inch opening at the top for easy transfer and cleaning. It also comes with a drilled stopper with a twin bubble airlock.

North Mountain Supply Glass Fermenting Jug Set Of 4

Small 1-gallon capacity for small batches. Each jug is made of strong, durable glass with a convenient handle on the neck for easy transporting.

FastRack 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

Has a classy 5-gallon design made from high-quality resilient glass. Significantly heavier than others as it withstands more pressure.

Home Brew Ohio 1 gal Jug

Very small 1-gallon capacity for small batches. Made with resilient, thick glass and comes with several useful accessories – twin bubble airlock, drilled rubber stopper, secure poly seal. It also has a convenient handle on top to make moving it around easier.
Beverage Factory 6-Gallon Glass Carboy Impressive 6-gallon capacity, high-quality lead-free glass that can be used to ferment other beverages. Comes with a strong nylon strap for easier transport.

E.C. Kraus 6-Gallon Glass Carboy

Has a 6-gallon capacity and comes in a sturdy thick glass. It can also be used to brew or ferment various things and comes with a narrow opening at the top for limited contact with air.

Ten Best Carboy for Brewing Beer

Without further ado, here is the list of the best carboys our experts recommend.

– Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy

Carboy dark beer in CarboyIf you plan to brew large batches, the Kegco glass carboy can ferment as much as 6 gallons of wort inside its high-quality thick glass frame. This carboy can last for years if you handle it with proper care. Thanks to its sturdy nylon straps, it’s also remarkably easy to use and carry around.

Many glass carboys have ribbed or ridged interiors that interfere with the fermentation process as the sediments get stuck in between the rough interior. With the Kegco carboy, the smooth interior surface means that you don’t have to worry about this. Intermediate and seasoned brewers would appreciate how functional this carboy is.

Northern Brewer Glass Carboy

Our expert homebrewers promise that the Northern Brewer glass carboy will be one of your best purchases yet. First, we must appreciate its impressive 6.5-gallon capacity and high-quality glass make.

The northern Brewer carboy also has an extra-wide mouth — a feature that you’d hardly ever get with a clear glass carboy. It makes it so much easier to transfer the wort and clean the inside of the carboy. It comes with a tight-fitting lid that has a hole at the center through which you can fit an airlock or blow-off valve.

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Homebrewers Outpost Glass Carboy (5 Gallon)

This 5-gallon carboy provides a large capacity for brewers who need the extra space for large batches. It is also made of thick glass, making it less prone to breaking. The Homebrewers Outpost Carboy does not do much in the aesthetics department as it has a simple design but remains functional and reliable.

This is one of those gallon glass carboys that don’t weigh much, and you’ll need to buy a stopper separately, but it’s incredibly versatile. You can use the gallon plastic for more than just beer brewing — it also serves as a great storage container for anything else.

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Geo Sports Bottles 3 Gallon Round Glass Carboy

The Geo Sports carboy offers slightly less capacity than some of its counterparts on this list, but its thick and scratch-proof high-quality glass makes it just as valuable. With a small 55mm opening at the top and scratch-proof build, it’s incredibly easy to scrub the carboy clean without worrying about scratching it.

The glass is also really durable and perfect for a wide range of brewing processes and other applications. When it comes to storage, you can use the GEO Sports carboy to store both cold and hot liquids for as long as possible, as the gas is inert and impervious to oxygen. Note that this carboy doesn’t come with a stopper, so, unfortunately, you will have to buy one separately.

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Vintage Shop 7-Gallon Fermonster Wide Mouth Plastic Carboy

For any brewer who would prefer an alternative to glass, Vintage Shop 7-Gallon Fermonster Wide Mouth PET Plastic Carboy is an excellent carboy to use. It is made of PET food-grade plastic, making it impressively stain-resistant. This pet carboy has a wide enough opening at the top of about 4 inches to allow easy access as you transfer your extract from the brew kettle. The 4-inch big mouth opening also makes it easy to clean out before and after use.

Vintage Shop 7-Gallon Fermonster Carboy has an obvious advantage over glass carboys: it will not shatter like glass under normal use. It’s also lighter and easier to carry or move around, especially when dumping trub. The Vintage Shop carboy also comes with a £10 drilled stopper with a twin bubble airlock.

Most plastic carboys have interior ridges or ribbing that could interfere with your fermenting process as the yeast and sediment can get trapped in those ridges. The Vintage Shop 7-gallon carboy eliminates this common problem with its completely smooth interior surface.

The only disadvantage you may encounter with this carboy is that the stopper doesn’t create an air-tight seal if it’s wet. This means you need to ensure that it’s always dry so the seal never fails and ruins the entire process.

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North Mountain Supply Glass Fermenting Jug Set Of 4

If you’re going to be doing a lot of experimenting and testing out different recipes, you might appreciate what the North Mountain glass jug set has to offer. Each jug has a capacity of 1 gallon and is made of sturdy, thick glass, with a convenient carboy handle right on the neck for easy handling.

Each bottle comes with two sets of stoppers — metal and plastic, which comes to eight in total. This way, you don’t have to worry about buying them separately. You may have only one issue: these jugs are pretty small as they’re more suited for smaller batches.

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FastRack 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

This 5-gallon carboy of high-quality glass is classy, effective, and, most surprisingly, affordable for its size. The Fastrack carboy is sturdy and tough enough to withstand a lot of hard work if you don’t hit it or drop it. It’s also significantly heavier than many other carboys when filled up, meaning you’ll need a lot of strength to transport it and handle it.

The carboy is also clearly made with excellent craft and premium quality glass that’s so clear that you can vividly watch the entire process. The only real con with this carboy is that it doesn’t come with a stopper; you’ll need to buy one separately.

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Home Brew Ohio 1 gal Jug

The Home Brew Ohio Jug is a best seller for many reasons. Sure, it might not be as large as some of its counterparts on this list, but it’s an excellent choice for brew beginners or brewers who would like to brew a small batch.

Think of it as a fermenting kit instead. The jar is made of nice, solid glass. It comes with handy accessories, including a twin bubble airlock for proper venting, a drilled stopper made of rubber, and a trusty poly seal to ensure your jug’s contents remain intact.

Our homebrewers especially appreciate the sturdy drilled rubber stopper because it stays tightly in place. Under normal use, this glass jar is pretty durable and does not breathe out any odors or allow any contaminants to get into your brew.

Although it’s already a small container, the Home Brew Ohio jug has a sturdy handle at the top of the carboy that makes carrying and handling much easier. Our experts recommend this carboy for tabletop brewing and testing recipes in smaller quantities.

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– Beverage Factory 6-Gallon Glass Carboy

Beverage Factory Gallon Glass CarboyThe Beverage Factory 6-gallon carboy is yet another part of a high-quality fermenter kit with a large capacity. It’s also impressively versatile and allows you to ferment beer and other things like mead, wine, kombucha, and cider.

This carboy is made of super durable lead-free glass with a smooth interior for smooth fermenting and easy maintenance. It comes with a sturdy nylon carrying strap but is not shock-proof. You’ll need to handle it with extra care.

E.C. Kraus 6-Gallon Glass Carboy

Sometimes, when you’re brewing, you need as much space as possible. While a few larger options are on this list, our homebrewers find that the E.C. Kraus 6-Gallon Glass Carboy is worth trying out. With most larger-sized glass carboys, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with how large they are and worry about mishandling and breaking them.

The E.C. Kraus 6-Gallon Glass Carboy makes handling much easier thanks to its thick and sturdy glass frame — you’ll be less worried about anything unexpected happening to it. To top it all off, this 6-gallon carboy is impressively versatile, allowing you to do just about anything, including wine making, wine aging, and beer brewing.

Unlike the Vintage Shop carboy, this E.C. Kraus is not a wide mouth glass. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it limits the contact your brew has with the outside air. It’s essentially an option to consider if you need the extra capacity, but our homebrewers warn that it’s not suitable for pressurized use. This means you’ll have to work with an airlock when fermenting.

FAQs About Carboys

Here are a couple of commonly-asked questions regarding carboys.

– Glass vs. Plastic Carboys?

Glass carboys are a more premium option as they’re more durable and very impermeable to oxygen for fresher beer, while the plastic ones are more lightweight and sturdier. Glass carboys don’t scratch easily and are fairly easy to clean.

If you need something sturdier, scratch-resistant, and less prone to contamination and air interruption, then glass carboys would be better for you. A plastic carboy will work better if you prefer something lightweight, easy to move and store, and more durable than glass.

As we have seen from the statements above, both glass and plastic carboys have their advantages and disadvantages.

– Why Use a Carboy Instead of a Bucket?

Buckets are best for primary fermentation, while Carboys tend to be better for secondary fermentation and take up less space. Buckets are best for larger brewing batches and if you need to get inside the fermenter during fermentation. Your choice will depend on your level of expertise and the procedures you intend to carry out.

Conclusion

Homebrewing can be fun and easy if you have the right equipment kit. Here’s a brief recap of the best carboys:

  • Carboy Different kinds of beer in the CarboysOur top homebrewers’ picks for the best carboys are the Homebrewers Outpost Glass Carboy (5 Gallon), Northern Brewer Glass Carboy, and Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy.
  • If you‘re looking for a large-capacity carboy made of high-quality glass, we recommend the Vintage Shop 7-Gallon Fermonster Wide Mouth Plastic Carboy, Northern Brewer Glass Carboy, and the Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy.
  • If you’re looking to try out a new recipe or want to brew in smaller batches, try the Home Brew Ohio 1 gal Jug, North Mountain Supply Glass Fermenting Jug Set Of 4, or the Geo Sports Bottles 3 Gallon Round Glass Carboy.

We recommend the Vintage Shop 7-Gallon Fermonster Wide Mouth Plastic Carboy for a great, resilient plastic carboy with a large capacity.

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