Fermenter Types





People have been asking us the differences between all of the fermenters that we sell in the shop so I thought I would write this months tutorial on the various types of fermenters and some PROs and CONs about each.


Plastic Buckets


Plastic Buckets are the known “Entry Level” Fermenter……..At least thats what I thought until I heard John Palmer himself say that he still uses them. 


– Cheap!. We sell these fermenters in the shop for $19.99 and if you buy 2 you will only need one lid and one    airlock.

– Easy to clean and sanitize

– Easy to transfer and fill bottles

– Great for top cropping of yeast for use in your next batch

– Easy to lift and place in your fridge for laggering


– Degrade overtime and should be switched out after 7 – 10 batches.

– Scratch easily which can harbor bacteria and contaminate your beers


Glass Carboys

Carboys are very popular among the Home Brew Community. They come in different sizes for primary (Usually 6.5 gallons) and secondary (Usually 5 gallons) Fermentation. We sell these Carboys in the shop for around $40. Carboys also come in plastic versions but we don’t sell them at our shop.


– You can watch your fermentation which can provide hours of entertainment!

– Glass does not degrade

– Easy to clean and sanitize a glass surface

– Can fit inside a fridge for lagering


– Glass is easy to clean but a pain in the carboy because its hard to get too.

– Very breakable! Dave recently dropped one in the shop and we are still cleaning up the glass

– Hard to Harvest Yeast

– Heavy and awkward to carry

– Difficult to transfer to secondary or rack into bottles



Chonical Fermenter’s come in stainless steel and high grade plastic. Some even come temperature controlled and in my opinion are by far the best way to ferment beer…..but wait there is a catch!


– Sampling and Yeast Harvesting is as easy as opening one of the two valves.

– The ability to dump your flocculated yeast without transfering to another secondary vessel.

– Easy to clean and sanitize

– Easy to rack your beer to a keg or bottles without much risk of contamination


– Cost! A good stainless steel fermenter ranges from $400 to $3500.


Food Grade Bags

Sorry to say we don’t know much about fermenting in a bag nor do we have a photo of it. Our good friend and neighbor Tab Brewer swears by them and says it s the only fermenter he uses and his beers seem to always turn out great. Maybe we will have more to come as we learn…….

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