Best Gallon Glass Carboy for Brewing

The 5 Best Gallon Glass Carboy for Brewing in 2021

Thinking of starting some home brewing but don’t know the best 5-gallon glass carboys to get? Much like a water cooler jug, carboys come in a range of sizes from three gallons to six gallons.

What’s great about glass carboys is that they do not allow oxygen to touch your brew and potentially end up changing the taste or texture.

Glass carboys are an impenetrable vessel to oxygen, so it’s ideal for brewing since you won’t have to worry about your brew tasting off or not reaching the right fermentation levels due to leaking air. We have a complete roundup of the best 5-gallon glass carboy options, all based on their ease of use, price, and quality.

Top 3 Best Gallon Glass Carboy for Brewing Choices

While there are plenty of fantastic glass carboys out there to choose from, these are the top three picks that have been expertly reviewed and loved by customers.

Best Overall: FastRack 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

The impressive, thick glass design and not bad price range make the FastRack glass carboy the best overall pick for expert and beginner brewers.

Best Quality: CentralBrewShop Pet Carboy

CentralBrewShop has created a wonderful five-gallon glass carboy of expert quality that rings in the best quality award on our list.

Budget Pick: Glass Carboy (5 Gallon)

If you need a standard glass carboy that won’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with this carboy from Homebrewers Outpost.

What Is A Glass Carboy?

What Is A Glass Carboy

A glass carboy is a glass bottle that looks a lot like a standard water cooler bottle that is used for making beer, wine, hard cider, and sometimes even mead. There is a range of sizes to these glass bottles, so you can easily find a three-gallon bottle anywhere up to a six-gallon bottle.

Glass carboys are great because they do not allow any oxygen to pass through their thick glass walls, making them ideal for brewing all sorts of alcoholic beverages. These bottles are typically fitted with rubber stoppers at the top with a fermentation lock to prevent any bacteria from entering your bottle during the fermentation process.

Glass Vs Plastic Carboys

If you’re not sure if a glass or plastic carboy would be best for your brewing needs, then here are a few determining facts about each.

Glass

Glass carboys are an all-time classic when it comes to fermentation and brewing. These glass jugs are loved all around for adding flavor into brews and wine. Glass carboys can even last a lifetime if they are properly cared for.

Pros

  • Oxygen won’t get in
  • Glass is harder than plastic and won’t scratch
  • Any residue inside can be rubbed off with a brush when cleaning
  • You can easily see your brew from the outside

Cons

  • These can be super heavy
  • They are more expensive
  • If these get wet, they can be difficult to move
  • They need to be kept in a dark area to prevent exposure to the sun

Plastic Carboys

Plastic Carboys

Plastic carboys are great because they are super lightweight and easy to move around. Especially when a carboy gets wet, if you accidentally drop a plastic carboy, you will likely be fine compared to a glass carboy, which can severely injure you.

Pros

  • Lightweight and cheaper than glass
  • Most have handles to them to make it easier to move
  • These usually have a wider mouth which makes pouring easier

Cons

  • Scratches easily
  • Can’t see clearly inside like glass
  • Can get oxygen in through the plastic

What to Look for in A 5-Gallon Glass Carboy

Not all glass carboys are made alike, so here are a few basic factors to look into purchasing before your new jug.

Carboy Size

The size of your glass carboy matters immensely as it will determine how much brew or how much space you have for fermentation. A three-gallon jug is great for a smaller batch or a reserved batch of beer or wine, where the six-gallon jug will give you a lot more and more room for fermentation if you need it.

While one is not necessarily better than the other, you should determine what kind of jug you need before you start the brew that way you have enough brew for your bottles and vice versa. You don’t want to be stuck with too much brew and not enough bottles, and vice versa.

Weight

It’s no secret that glass carboys are heavy. They are heavy on their own, much less full to the brim with liquid. The smaller your carboy is, the less heavy it will be to move, but you also have to remember about the size limitations.

If you don’t think you will be able to move the glass carboy on your own, maybe you should scale down, or keep your carboy in a place where you could easily put it on a dolly or something with rollers to move it when you need to.

Longevity

Glass carboys will last you a much longer time than plastic. The reason glass carboys are a better purchase is that over time, plastic carboys will develop scratches. The problem with scratches is that they will potentially cause contamination to your brew due to bacteria getting trapped within the grooves of the scratches.

If treated properly, the glass carboy will last you a lifetime. They are easier to clean because you can easily get in to clean them with a brush and you won’t scratch up the surface because glass is not as delicate as plastic. The purchase of a glass carboy will essentially pay off as it could last you a long time.

Other Carboy Sizes and Uses

The five-gallon carboy is not the only size available. Carboys can come in three-gallon sizes, five-gallon, six-gallon, and even sometimes six and a half-gallon size. Here are what these carboys can be used for depending on size.

3 Gallon Carboy

  • Perfect for smaller brews
  • Great for specialty or small batch wine or beer
  • easy to carry

5 Gallon Carboy

  • The standard size for brewing
  • Great for beer, wine, and mead
  • A bit harder to carry but larger

6 Gallon Carboy

  • Great for brews that need fermenting
  • Good for beer, wine, ciders, or mead
  • Great for large batches

6.5 Gallon Carboy

  • Has plenty of room for fermentation
  • Can brew a lot at once
  • Great for beer, wine, mead, hard ciders, etc.

How to Set Up Your Glass Carboy

Best 5 Gallon Glass Carboys

With a few simple steps, you can start brewing your very own beer at home.

Step 1: Sanitizing

You are going to want to clean and sanitize all your equipment, including the carboy and all pieces involved with it. This is so important because if your materials have any bacteria or are not sanitized properly, then your beer will taste off.

Step 2: Start Boiling your Water

Boil your water and add all the ingredients to your recipe. Stir everything up really well and then boil your mixture for at least an hour.

Step 3: Cooling the Wort

You can either use a wort chiller or you can let your wort cool off naturally if you have the time. Either way, your wort has to be very cool for the best possible results.

Step 4: Pour the Wort

Once the wort is cooled, add it into your carboy and then quickly air it by swirling the liquid inside your carboy around or by stirring it with a long fermenter.

Step 5: Yeast

You will pitch in your yeast once your wort is at the right temperature, and your overall liquid has been properly aerated for the right amount of time. Cover your brew with your airlock.

Step 6: Fermenting

Once this is all done, you can place your carboy in a dark place for ten days. Using your gravity reader, test the brew after ten days to see if you need to let it ferment longer.

Step 7: Priming Sugar

Depending on your brew recipe, your recipe is going to need sugar. Boil the appropriate amount of sugar with the right amount of water and add it to a priming bucket.

Step 8: Priming

After the sugar is placed, use the racking cane to move your beer from the carboy into your bucket.

Step 9: Bottling

Once your bucket is full, you can siphon into your beer bottles and enjoy your homemade brew!

What Can You Brew in A 5 Gallon Carboy?

What Can You Brew in A 5 Gallon Carboy

Since a five-gallon carboy is a bit larger and is the standard size for brewing, you can brew anything from beer, wine, mead, and hard ciders in it.

If you are interested in fermenting, but not necessarily for alcohol, you can also find recipes for kombucha and other fermented non-alcoholic drinks. Standardly, five-gallon carboys are used for a myriad of different types of beer.

The Best 5-Gallon Glass Carboys for Brewing

We have rounded up the list of some of the best carboys you can find to get you on your home brewing way. All of these products have high customer reviews and plenty of specifications listed to meet your brewing needs.

CentralBrewShop Pet Carboy

CentralBrewShop Pet Carboy

Perfect for at-home beer and winemaking, this five-gallon carboy from CentralBrewShop is ideal for starting to learn how to homebrew.

Specifications

  • Color: opaque
  • Material: PTE
  • Thickness: N/A
  • Price range: Under $30
  • Warranty: 30-day return

It is made from strong polyurethane terephthalate, and it is light and easy to wash and sanitize. It is taste, stain, and odor-free and won’t let any oxygen in at all.

Pros

  • Made of strong PET
  • Light and easy to wash
  • Odor and stain resistant
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Is not made of glass
  • Can scratch if not careful

FastRack 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

FastRack 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

A sturdy five-gallon glass carboy, this is perfect for using to make wine or beer. You can easily ferment all types of brews within this sturdy glass carboy expertly made by FastRack.

Specifications

  • Color: Clear
  • Material: Glass
  • Thickness: 0.5 inches
  • Price Range: Under $60
  • Warranty: 30-day return

Since it is crystal clear, you can easily see the progress of your beer and wine. While it’s great for beer, many love to use this carboy for wine as well.

Pros

  • Five gallons
  • Glass
  • Crystal clear
  • Great for making beer or wine

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Beautyfamily 5-gal Glass Carboy

Beautyfamily 5-gal Glass Carboy

This glass carboy is ideal for making beer or wine. It is a five-gallon fermenter made entirely of glass , so it is crystal clear inside which means you can easily see what your brew is doing in every step.

Specifications

  • Color: Crystal Clear
  • Material: Glass
  • Thickness: 1.0 inches
  • Price Range: Less than $50
  • Warranty: 30-day return

Also, since this is pure glass, there is no risk of any oxygen or bacteria seeping in overtime.

Pros

  • Made of glass
  • Five gallons
  • Good for both beer and wine
  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

2 X 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

2 X 5 Gallon Glass Carboy

With a five-gallon capacity, you can easily make so much of your favorite homebrew or wine. A fantastic glass carboy designed by Tenesa, this jug has a glass construction to it that will not scratch over time. This jug needs a #6.5 rubber stopper to be used or a small universal carboy bung.

  • Color: Crystal Clear
  • Material: Glass
  • Thickness: N/A
  • Price Range: Less than $100
  • Warranty: 30-day return

Because it is made of glass, this carboy is great for secondary fermentation of beer, wine, cider, or mead. This will be a heavy carboy, so you will probably need a carboy carrier to easily transport this carboy from place to place.

Pros

  • Five-gallon capacity
  • Made of glass
  • Ggreat for fermentation
  • Can make beer, wine, mead, or cider in it

Cons

  • Heavy
  • May need a carboy carrier for help with transport

Glass Carboy (5 Gallon)

Glass Carboy (5 Gallon)

Made by Homebrewers Outpost, this five-gallon glass carboy is ideal for brewing beer or wine. Because it is made of glass, you can easily check in your brew and see the fermentation process and how it changes every few days.

  • Color: Crystal Clear
  • Material: Glass
  • Thickness: N/A
  • Price Range: Less than $60
  • Warranty: 30-day return

You can easily store all kinds of fermented products in this, and you will need a #7 stopper or carboy hood to complete this setup.

Pros

  • Pure glass
  • Five-gallon capacity
  • Great for all fermented liquids
  • Can brew beer and wine

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Can be harder to move when full

FAQs

Question: What Sizes do Glass Carboys Come in?

Answer: The standard size is five gallons. Other sizes include three-gallon, six gallons, and 6.5 gallons.

Question: Can I Use a 5-gallon Carboy for Primary Fermentation?

Answer: Yes. A five-gallon carboy is a standard when it comes to brewing beer and wine and is ideal for any type of primary fermentation.

Question: Why do they Call it a Carboy?

Answer: The word carboy stems from the Persian word qarabah which means big jug. It is referred to when describing any glass jug that has a large body with a smaller neck.

The Bottom Line

Now that you have a rundown of some of the best glass carboys for brewing, you can be well on your way to brewing up some of your favorite beer, wine, mead, or ciders.

Each of these products is great depending on the size of the batch of beer or wine you’d like to make. But if I had to pick one, I’d go with the FastRack 5 Gallon Glass Carboy.

Did you find this article helpful? We hope you did. Do you have any experience with home brewing and using glass carboys? We’d love to hear from you! And be sure to check out our other helpful guides like the best homebrewing equipment!

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