Stainless Steel Fermenters vs. Plastic Fermenters: Pros and Cons

Choosing the right fermentation vessel is crucial for any homebrewer. Two of the most common options are stainless steel and plastic fermenters. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which can significantly impact the brewing process and the quality of the final product. This article will compare stainless steel and plastic fermenters, with a special mention of BrewTaurus products, to help you decide which one is best for your home brewery.

Stainless Steel Fermenters

Stainless steel fermenters are widely regarded as the gold standard in brewing, both for homebrewers and professional breweries. They are typically more expensive than plastic fermenters but offer several advantages that can justify the higher cost.


  1. Durability

    • Long-lasting: Stainless steel is incredibly durable and resistant to damage from regular use, making it a long-term investment. Check out our BrewTaurus Stainless Steel Fermenters for high-quality options.
    • Scratch-resistant: Unlike plastic, stainless steel doesn’t scratch easily, preventing bacteria from hiding in scratches and causing contamination.
  2. Sanitation

    • Easy to clean: The smooth surface of stainless steel makes it easy to clean and sanitize thoroughly, reducing the risk of contamination. Our BrewTaurus Stainless Steel Fermenters are designed for easy maintenance.
    • Non-porous: Stainless steel is non-porous, meaning it doesn’t absorb flavors or odors from previous batches.
  3. Temperature Control

    • Heat resistance: Stainless steel can withstand higher temperatures, making it suitable for more rigorous cleaning methods, such as using hot water or steam.
    • Cooling options: Many stainless steel fermenters come with built-in cooling jackets or ports for temperature control devices, allowing precise temperature regulation during fermentation. Explore the BrewTaurus Temperature Control Systems.
  4. Aesthetic and Professionalism

    • Sleek appearance: Stainless steel fermenters have a polished, professional look that appeals to many homebrewers.
    • Advanced features: Often equipped with additional features like sampling ports, pressure relief valves, and thermowells for advanced brewing techniques. See the BrewTaurus Fermenter Accessories for upgrades.


  1. Cost

    • Expensive: Stainless steel fermenters are generally more expensive than plastic options, which can be a barrier for beginners or those on a tight budget.
  2. Weight

    • Heavy: Stainless steel fermenters are heavier than plastic, making them more difficult to move around, especially when full.

Plastic Fermenters

Plastic fermenters are a popular choice among beginners and budget-conscious homebrewers. They are affordable and easy to handle but come with some drawbacks compared to stainless steel.


  1. Affordability

    • Cost-effective: Plastic fermenters are significantly cheaper than stainless steel, making them accessible for beginners or those with budget constraints.
    • Lightweight: Easy to move and handle, even when full, due to their lighter weight.
  2. Ease of Use

    • Simple design: Plastic fermenters typically have a straightforward design, making them easy to use for those new to brewing.
    • Wide openings: Often feature wide openings at the top, making it easy to add ingredients and clean the interior.
  3. Availability

    • Widely available: Plastic fermenters are readily available at most homebrew supply stores and online retailers.


  1. Durability

    • Prone to scratches: Plastic can scratch easily, and these scratches can harbor bacteria, leading to contamination risks.
    • Less robust: Plastic fermenters are more susceptible to damage from drops or impacts compared to stainless steel.
  2. Sanitation

    • Porous material: Plastic is more porous than stainless steel, which can lead to the absorption of flavors and odors from previous batches.
    • Difficult to sanitize: Thoroughly sanitizing plastic can be more challenging, increasing the risk of contamination over time.
  3. Temperature Sensitivity

    • Heat limitations: Plastic fermenters cannot withstand high temperatures, limiting the use of hot water or steam for cleaning.
    • Less precise temperature control: Without built-in cooling options, maintaining precise fermentation temperatures can be more difficult with plastic fermenters.


Both stainless steel and plastic fermenters have their place in the world of homebrewing. The choice between the two depends largely on your budget, experience level, and brewing goals.

Stainless steel fermenters are ideal for those looking for durability, ease of sanitation, and advanced brewing features. They are a long-term investment that can enhance the brewing process and the quality of the beer. Explore the BrewTaurus Stainless Steel Fermenters for high-quality options that meet professional standards.

Plastic fermenters, on the other hand, are perfect for beginners or those on a tight budget. They are cost-effective, lightweight, and easy to use, making them an excellent choice for those just starting out.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and brewing needs. By understanding the pros and cons of each type of fermenter and exploring the products available on BrewTaurus, you can make an informed choice that will help you brew better beer and enjoy the brewing process even more.