Have a look at 6 Best Carboys for Beer Brewing 
Fermentation is a vital process in home brewing. It dictates the overall quality of the brew, and whether or not what you will finally have in your keg will be exactly what you had wanted. In homebrewing, carboys are some of the tools you will find in the homebrewer’s kit.
They are large vessels made of plastic or glass, with long narrow necks and small mouths to keep foreign particles away from getting into the beer. For a long time, they have been used for the secondary fermentation, but their use for primary fermentation is increasing, owing to the subtle benefits they come with for this vital brewing process.
Why use Carboys?
In the absence of carboys, fermentation buckets would be used. The first benefit that carboys have fermentation buckets is that it allows users to see exactly how the fermentation process is progressing. This makes it possible for brewers to keenly monitor to monitor the fermentation process and to take out any guesswork that may lead to undesirable brewing results.
Additionally, the design of the carboys ensures that outside contaminants are kept away from the brew, and this further increases the chances of ending up with a quality brew. Also worth noting is the fact that carboys are relatively smaller compared to the fermentation buckets and this allows no headspace in the container to allow for oxidation which is normally a huge concern during the fermentation phase of the beer making process.
1. Northern Brewer – Big Mouth Bubbler Plastic Carboy
The Northern Brewer Big Mouth Bubbler Plastic Carboy boasts of a revolutionary wide mouth designed to not only protect the brew from bacteria and spoilage but also make the cleaning process easier. The carboy is made of 3” thick anti-flex ribs, with a smaller base diameter to save on space, and is nearly indestructible. It is also transparent to let you observe how the fermentation process is coming along.
• Virtually indestructible
• Smaller base diameter
• Allows for siphon-less transfer
• Features airtight design to avoid oxygen contamination
• The lid may pop off during the fermentation process
Why should you buy it?
The carboy may be made of plastic, but come with every feature of a glass carboy, including a spigot for a siphon-less transfer. Its compact design ensures space economy and the wide mouth makes cleaning it a breeze. Get it if you want the quality of a glass carboy but at the cost of a plastic carboy.
2. Northern Brewer – 6 Gallon Glass Carboy
The Northern Brewer 6 Gallon Glass Carboy is what you need when you want to breeze past the fermentation process and be guaranteed of a quality brew. You can use it to ferment beer, kombucha, cider, wine or any other thing you may wish to ferment. It comes with a sturdy design that will not only allow for great fermentation but also protect your brew so that you are never worried about oxygenation or contamination.
• Does not hold any odor
• Designed to allow for easy sanitation
• Does not form scratches when scrubbing
• Made of glass, hence, require handling with care
• Easily breaks if you don’t pack it tight
• It is relatively heavy
Why you should buy it
Get this if you want a versatile carboy that will allow fermenting not just your beer, but also the wine, cider, and kombucha without compromising the quality.
3. Homebrew Ohio 1 Gallon Fermenter
Are you a small time homebrewer and you need a fermenter ideal for your low consumption needs? If so, then you have every reason to consider this 1-gallon fermenter from Homebrew Ohio. It is like a glass jug, but one fitted with a drilled rubber stopper as well as a twin bubble airlock. It is the perfect choice if you are looking forward to fermenting small batches of wine or beer.
• Ideal for fermenting small batches
• Comes fitted with a rubber stopper to keep out oxygen
• Transparent to let you observe the fermentation process
• Very effective in fermenting small batches
• Not ideal for big-time brewers
• The airlock may not be not 100% airtight
Why you should buy it
Get this 1-gallon fermenter if you are small time brewer or you are just starting out in your journey in home brewing.
4. 5 Gallon Glass Carboy
The 5 Gallon Carboy is ideal for both beer brewing and for making wine. It comes with a very small mouth with a #7 stopper to help keep out air as well as other contaminants that may affect the brewing process. If you are looking for a carboy to use in ageing wine, then this is one of the best you will find the market, especially if you are considering large batches.
• Completely transparent to let you observe the fermentation process
• Ideal for making wine and fermenting beer
• Comes with a small mouth and a #7 stopper
• Not ideal for smaller batches
Why you should buy it
The 5 Gallon Carboy is ideal for homebrewers looking forward to fermenting beer and aging wine. It is made of thick glass and comes with a fairly tight stopper and a thick glass that will give you very good results in the fermentation process.
5. Kegco KC FP-CB-06 Glass Carboy
Kegco KC D System Keg Tap is designed with every feature that makes it ideal for use in busy bars and restaurants. It is compatible with all American D System Sankey Kegs, with ergonomic handles to make using it comfortable even for longer durations. The design is simple, yet packed with every feature you need for a great keg experience.
The Kegco KC D system keg tap is made of high-quality stainless steel that is resistant to dirt and chemicals, thus increasing its sanitary profile when in use. It has a clickable lever handle that moves up and down when engaging the keg, thus resulting in smoother operations. It also has a 55-psi pressure release valve to make the keg to release any excess pressure that may be trapped in easily.
• Ideal for fermenting 5 or 6-gallon batches
• Comes with straps for easy carrying
• Easy to clean
Why you should buy it
If you need a glass carboy for fermenting batches of 5 or 6 gallons, then you will find this 6-gallon batch to be ideal.
6. E.C Kraus 3 Gallon Carboy
If you are looking for a carboy ideal for secondary fermentation of wine or beer, then the E.C Kraus 3 Gallon Carboy will get the job done for you. You can easily fit an air-lock to keep out oxygen from your brew, and since it is clear, you will be able to see what is happening with the fermentation taking place inside. In addition to primary fermentation, the gallon is also suitable for long term storage and ageing of both wine and vinegar.
• Made of durable, transparent glass
• Ideal for secondary fermentation
• Suitable for bulk storage of wine and vinegar
• Only suitable for small batches
• Requires handling with care
Why should you buy it
Get the 3-gallon carboy if you are looking for secondary fermentation of wine, beer or vinegar. You can also buy it if you want bulk storage and aging of wine or vinegar.
Types of Carboys
Carboys are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 3 gallons all the way up to 6.5 gallons. However, there are only two major types of carboys-: plastic carboys and glass carboys.
Glass carboys happen to be the original form of carboys, and they are widely accepted for a number of good reasons. They are considered as the standard in the industry because of their ability to be used numerous times without showing any signs of degradation or wear.
Advantages of glass Carboys -
Impermeable to air-glass carboys have a smooth surface both on the inside and out that is completely impermeable to air. This is an admirable feature because you are able to prevent anything from sticking to the surface, and this includes odors. This makes them ideal for brewing since you can ferment or larger for a long time without worrying about foreign particles accessing your brew.
They are transparent – when brewing, it is important to observe the fermentation process so that you can understand what is happening at every stage. This is very possible when using glass carboys because they are transparent and you can see clearly through them. With a glass carboy, it will be easy for you to see the yeast cake, krausen as well as the dry hops inside.
Easier to sanitize – sanitization is a vital process in home brewing, and glass carboys are very easy to sanitize. When cleaning them, they will not form scratches which can then turn into breeding grounds for bacteria. As such, they will last longer, and you won’t need to replace them as is always the case with their plastic counterparts.
Reduced room for oxygenation – finally, glass carboys have a tapered neck which leaves little to no room for oxidation due to the reduced surface area.
In as much as glass carboys come with some enviable benefits, they also have their downsides, with the main one being their construction weight. They are heavier than plastic cowboys, and this makes handling them a challenge. When the weight is added to the smooth construction, extra care is needed when handling these vessels since any mistake may mean the end of the vessel.
Plastic carboys are the other type of carboy home brewers may consider if they are not in a position to have their glass counterparts. They come with the following advantages-:
Upfront cost – plastic carboys are relatively cheaper considered to glass carboys. They are by far the best way to ferment and house your young beer and highly recommended if you are just starting out as a home brewer on budget.
Weight advantage – they are incredibly light and easy to handle. At just 5lbs, it will be easier to move around a 5-gallon carboy, and you won’t have to worry about losing everything in the event of a slip because you will always be assured of proper handling.
Dual purpose – the design of plastic carboys allows them to be ported to allow the insertion of a spigot. This feature comes handy when it comes to bottling. Once the secondary fermentation is over, it becomes easy to bottle with a spigot directly; hence, no need to invest in a transferring bucket.
Makes hopping easy – they usually have a wider opening that makes it easy to add and extract hops. This is never possible with glass carboys.
The major downside of plastic carboys is the fact they are made of polythene, and as such, they are highly susceptible to scratching. Scratches may create breeding grounds for bacteria, and this is never good for the brewing process and the overall sanitation.
Secondly, plastic carboys are not completely permeable. This means that it can be infiltrated by air, and this may lead to oxidation process which may degrade the quality of the brew. Finally, plastic is known to degrade over time. Hence, they are not ideal if you are looking for ferment or larger for a long time.