How to pick the right Carboy for your needs
Picking the right Carboy for your use is always tricky. Do you need a larger size? Do you want a wider mouth? What are you fermenting? Are you concerned about usage over time?
There are lots of things to consider but at the end of the day most of the differences between Carboys come down to convience and personal preference.
At Annapolis Home Brew we carry Glass Carboys, Plastic (also known as Polyethylene/PET) Carboys, and Plastic Fermonsters. There are some advantages to each of these styles.
Glass carboys are smoother than plastic and are tough to scratch. The necks are easy to grab and they come in various sizes (3, 5, 6, and 6.5 Gallons).
Plastic carboys are lighter in weight and will not break. They are more perceptible to scrartches. They have a slightly larger mouth opening and are available in various sizes (3, 5, and 6 gallons).
Plastic Fermonsters are carboys that have a wide mouth opening and are lighter in weight and also will not break. They however can be easily scratched if you are not careful. They come in many different sizes (1, 3, 6, and 7 gallons).
*It is technically possible to scratch a glass carboy, but that is unusual with normal use.
What size do you need?
6.5 Gallon carboys are primarily used for wine making, it is unusal but not unheard of to use a 6.5 gallon carboy for beer making, especially when making larger batches. If your batch is 6 to 6.5 gallons this carboy is the perfect fit!
6 Gallon carboys are used with wine making and beer making alike. If you batch is 5 to 6 gallons this carboy is the perfect fit!
5 Gallon carboys are used primarily with beer making, since limited the head space is desired when making a batch of beer. If you batch is 4 to 5 gallons this carboy is the perfect fit!
3 Gallon carboys are used when making specialty wine kits, fruit wines, ciders, meads, or test batches of beer. They are especially handy if you are splitting wine batches for different yeast fermentations before blending. If you batch is 3 gallons or 2.5 gallons a 3 gallon carboy is the perfect fit!
Time to Upgrade?
Of course there is always the option for a Conical Fermenter. These come in Plastic or Stainless Steel and have their own benefits. We carry the FermZilla, the FastFerment, and Spike Conical Fermenters.