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Upgrade to Carboy

Hello all,

I’ve recently got into the hobby and started out with the Brew.Share.Enjoy starter kit so I have the fermenting buckets. I want to upgrade to a carboy as I would prefer to see the fermentation happening rather than cracking open the bucket to check each time and for taking gravity readings. I was hoping to get some opinions on which option to go with as I have been looking between glass and plastic. Also between the Big Mouth Bubblers and the standard small mouth. Each one seems to have its pros and a cons.

Pros: Easy to clean, don’t have to worry about scratching during cleaning
Cons: Heavy and prone to breaking

Pros: Lighter
Cons: Must be careful when cleaning

Small Mouth:
Pros: No huge lid/cap issues
Cons: Harder to clean

Big Mouth:
Pros: Much easier to clean, has siphonless option (which I like) to reduce contamination chances
Cons: The universal lid does not seal properly

I don’t have a specific preference between glass or plastic just looking for the best option that will cause less headache down the road.


I think you’ve got most of the pros and cons.

I have a bunch, and tend to use the big mouth bubbler, plastic. Easy to clean, and I like to watch. I don’t sweat the lid not sealing well.

The only thing I might point out is the siphonless option makes me nervous. That spigot has a lot of parts and nooks and crannies that can harbor infection if you don’t disassemble and clean it thoroughly. I’m probably overreacting to it, if I’m being honest, but I am always wary of things that are hard to clean.

Speaking of hard to clean, I’ll say the plastic small mouth carboys are my least favorite, and I only ever use them as a secondary. A crusty krausen ring would be a nightmare to get off. Yes, you can soak for a while, but not being able to get in there to scrub at it would drive me nuts.

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There are some strong opinions on the glass vs. plastic topic. I would suggest going to the plastic BMB if you will need to move your carboys to different areas. The more a carboy needs to moved and the greater the distance involved introduces some extra risks for damage.

I have used glass with no problems for the past 5 years. I started with the narrow mouth and have also used a glass BMB. I have had zero issues with either (thankfully for me, I know others have). My buddy brought over a plastic BMB for a split batch brew session this past summer and it was very flimsy, but that may have been an older version? I do recommend a blowoff tube for either option however.


Get some buckets. Carboys are hard to clean. Watching? If you really get into this hobby you will a multitudes of fermentation going on. Spend your money on kegs.

Thanks for the info and opinions!

Me do use carboys for second fermenting. These i dont move around. Untill transfer to beer keg. Some say use these for. Conditioning. Do think they are not so hard to clean but be carefull. Its glass. Had one crack. Primary fermenting. Use the big mouth bubbler. Easy to clean. But make sure you close them correct. They have a issue creating a. Seal. I syphon my beer. To the secondary. Fermenting.

Google the “FerMonster”, I like mine. It’s like the BMB but with a screw on lid.

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