Unfortunately, we can’t all spend $50+ dollars on a shiny glass carboy. Where does that leave the fellow with a mighty thirst but empty pockets? You might consider buying a plastic carboy. Better Bottle makes a BPA free 6 gallon carboy for about half the cost of a comparable glass carboy.
The Better Bottle plastic carboy costs an affordable $25 at Kegerator.com. Shipping is listed at $8.99. The shipping costs are free is you order over $79.
How to Easily Clean a Carboy
The method shown in this video is to fill the bottle about 1/5th the way with water. Then a cloth is dropped into the bottle and the lid is added. With the rag and water in the carboy, shake it while flipping it upside down. While this isn’t super easy, it isn’t too painful. More importantly, it will have your carboy clean and ready to put back into action.
Need A Cheaper Option?
Many a homebrewer forgoes the use of a carboy, using a cheap plastic fermentation bucket with a lid instead. Here is one online for $16. You should be able to find them a little cheaper than this. For an item like this a brick and mortar store might be your best bet for the absolute rock bottom price.
The downside with the plastic bucket is that you can’t watch the yeast action. The biggest advantage is that they are easier to clean than a carboy. I’d also recommend using a bucket made of a discernible plastic. You don’t want to find yourself with a porous bucket or even worse, a bucket made of plastic with impurities.
Interesting Pages Around the Web About Cheap Carboys
- Reddit has an extensive thread on this topic. As with any Reddit thread, it is important to keep in mind that roughly half their users are either crazy or dim.
- HomeBrewTalk has many good threads on this topic. If you are looking to learn more about homebrew, I highly recommend joining or at least lurking on their forum.
- The thread on GotMead recommends looking around Craigslist, flea markets and antique stores. These latter two options sound like a lot of work and potentially a lot of gas unless you enjoy those sort of environments already.
If you have additional suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment. Money is relative depending upon our current situation in life. I personally enjoy finding a cheaper alternative that can reliably and safely do the job.