Glass or plastic carboys? It's a decision every homebrewer has to make. Your beer is going to sit in them for weeks at a time, so you want to make sure you choose wisely.
Here's the pros and cons of each type:
- Classic looking. A batch of beer fermenting in a glass carboy is a beautiful sight to behold.
- Come in 6.5 gallon sizes. With this larger size, you usually don't need a blow off tube.
- Scratch resistant. You can use a carboy brush on them and not have to worry about scratching the surface.
- Dangerous. Glass carboys are known to shatter and there are many cases where they've caused severe injury.
Plastic Carboys (aka Better Bottles)
- Shatterproof. They are flexible and won't fall to pieces when bumped or dropped.
- Don't look as nice as the glass carboys.
- Only come in 5 and 6 gallon sizes, so you'll need a blow off tube.
- More scratch prone than glass. You can't use a carboy brush, but a soak in OxiClean will do the trick.
Overall I prefer the plastic Better Bottles over the glass. Their light weight and shatter-proof feature makes them much more convenient to use.
If you do continue to use a glass carboy, just be safe by
- Being very careful not to bump into anything or rest it on a hard surface (use a towel)
- Using a carboy handle
- Carrying it in a milk crate
What type of carboy do you use?