When purchasing any type of homebrew supplies, it is important to purchase quality products that are made from quality materials. Otherwise, your homebrew may be negatively affected just because you wanted to save a couple bucks. If you’re new to the homebrew world and aren’t too sure of exactly what to purchase and why, you definitely are not alone.
To help you out, I’ve assembled a list of a few of the best fermenters out there. I’ve decided to include at least one of each type of fermenter so that way no matter your budget, you’ll be able to find something that will get the job done right.
Here are our Top Picks
|Company||SS Brewing||FastFerment||Northern Brewer||Kegco|
|Volume||6+ Gallon||7.9 gallons||6.5 Gallon||6 Gallon|
|Features||ETCHED gallon markings inside||Wall Mountable||Ported Big Mouth Bubbler||Difficult to Scratch|
|Materials||304 stainless steel||Plastic||Plastic||Glass|
|Dimensions||20.5 x 12.5 x 12.5 inches||21 x 14 x 14 inches||11.4 x 22.5 x 11.4 inches||11.5 x 22.5 x 11.5 inches|
|Shipping Weight||12 pounds||9.3 pounds||1 pound||17 pounds|
|Price||See Price on Amazon||See Price on Amazon||See Price on Amazon||See Price on Amazon|
SS Brew Bucket Fermenter
The SS Brew Tech Brew Bucket is one of the best fermenters on the market. It looks professional and, like Blichmann’s Fermenator, it is also a conical fermenter. This allows for sediment to settle within the bottom cone and makes it much easier to transfer clean beer. Although SS Brewing has many similar fermenters, the Brew Bucket only comes in a 7-gallon model.
The entirety of its body and components are made of food grade stainless steel. This includes the sealable lid which also has a hole for a blow off valve and/or tubing. It also has stainless steel retractable handles that can be used to move the fermenter when it is full.
The FastFerment is an amazing option for anyone looking to brew small batches of beer. Since the FastFerment is just one size, it makes it a very simple and easy purchase that does not require any thinking when it comes to picking out a size.
The FastFerment also takes care of every single stage of fermentation in just this one easy to use unit. That means no transferring, no siphons, no secondary sanitization, etc. I told you it was easy! The FastFerment has a nifty detachable collection ball that collects the yeast and debris, which completely eliminates the transfer to a second vessel. If you’re on a budget and can’t quite swing the stainless steel conical fermenter, this is a great option for an all in one.
Big Mouth Bubbler
The Big Mouth bubble is very similar to the Glass Carboy. In fact, I would describe it as a glass carboy with added convenience features. These convenience features, in my opinion are way worth the extra cash over your standard glass carboy. Big Mouth has designed their fermenters to incorporate a spigot at the bottom of the fermenter for a siphonless design. This makes it extremely easy to attach a hose and transfer the wort to a secondary fermenter or bottling bucket.
Another great feature that I love is the dual port lid that allows for a myriad of options. The big mouth bubbler comes in two different sizes, 5 gallon and 6.5 gallon. If you’re sold on the carboy style fermenter, these are a great step up and highly suggest going with one of these.
One of the most common home brew fermenters is the glass carboy. The glass carboy is large glass bottle that generally ranges in size from 5 gallons up to 15 gallons and is definitely one of the more inexpensive options for fermentation, especially when compared to the stainless steel conical fermenters.
I find this option to be much better than their plastic counterpart because they do not hold odor or bacteria and they don’t scratch, discolor and break down over time. Make sure to pick a bubbler airlock if you’re sold on the glass carboy. This will allow the gasses to escape while still maintaining a tight air seal preventing contamination. You may also want to pick up a second equivalent if you’re planning on secondary fermentation. The glass carboy is a great way to get started brewing at home for very little money.
Northern Brewer Fermenting Bucket
The fermenting bucket is the absolute cheapest way to ferment your beer. But don’t expect much! After all, it is just a bucket! The fermenting bucket can also double as a bottling bucket, which is actually a more common use. If you’re going to go this route, make sure to go with the siphonless model. It will make several steps of the brewing process a whole lot easier on you.
This bucket also comes with the option to add a lid, airlock, fermometer and spigot for a very low price. If you are still deciding on what fermenter to grab, I would seriously consider going with one of the other options such as the Big Mouth Bubbler or the FastFerment. There isn’t a whole lot of cost difference between the choices but the benefits are great.
Blichmann Conical Fermenter
The Blichmann Conical Fermenter is one of the most popular and coveted conical home brew fermenters out there. This beast of a fermenter is made from solid stainless steel and has pretty much every option you could possibly want in a fermenter.
It also comes in a great variety of sizes ranging from a small 7-gallon system all the way up to a huge 42-gallon system. This is an obvious advantage over the glass carboy and the FastFerment that only come in smaller sizes. I find the stainless steel conical fermenter to be the best choice when it comes to home brew beer fermentation. The only downside is cost.
There are plenty of different brands and manufacturers out there deliver very similar products. However, not all are created equally. When I make a purchase, I tend to always grab the absolute best I can afford. That way, a few weeks or months down the road I am not forced to upgrade to something better. In the long run, it saves you on money and time.
With that being said, I would recommend going with the SS Conical Fermenter. I know these are a little more expensive than the other options I’ve chosen to talk about, but there is a reason. You definitely get what you pay for. If you’re on a tight budget and these are both out of your price range, I would pick up the Big Mouth Bubbler.