Looking for guidance & opinions on what to buy for my setup.

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Apr 2, 2024
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New never brewed once. I bought a kegerator, and plan to use 1/6 barrels in it.

What I want to accomplish is being able to brew 1/6th barrel kegs and mixing a few smaller batches into a minni keg or two. The plan is to brew enough beer for around 2-4guys to drink in a month, and then have a new beer batch made for following month. figuring Brew about 1/6th barrel keg every month.

So my needs are a brewing setup thats easy to use with the ability to make a variety of beers. I'd like this setup to allow me to grow in my brewing adventures from simple beers like a busch light to something like a guinness stout. I do not want to mess with bottles, & plan to keg all my beer.

So what do i need?

Thinking an AIO brew setup for simplicity, and 1 1/6th barrell keg and maybe a 1 gallon and 2.5gallon keg.

Thinking maybe a grain father setup For the AIO?

I'm thinking $1500-$2000 budget.....or is that to low?
Buy a decent size pot, say 8 gallon. Brew some full volume extract recipes first and see how that goes, you'll spend very little and you'll get to learn the basics. It goes well, buy a cooler mash tun, 10gal, and a fermenter that can handle doing closed pressure transfers, you're likely still under 1k and can produce great beer this way. You'll need some other doodads, hoses, chiller, maybe a second fermenter.

You can certainly get an aio and a good fermenter and other neccessary items if you want and produce great beer that way.

You say "basic beers like Busch light" well then you're gonna need the ability to lager so temp controlled fermentation, which you'll find out is very important anyhow.

Look into ale recipes, darks are easier to brew and will hide mistakes.
Once you get a few batches under your belt you'll know what direction you want take your brewing.

Welcome to hbt!
and plan to use 1/6 barrels in it.
IMHO; Don't! Sixtel's (Sanke kegs) are problematic fot the average homebrewer so the vast majority of us who keg, do so in Cornelius (Corny) kegs. While we have a small handful of members who are successfully using them, they had to get there by DIY'ing their own cleaning/sanitizing/purging and filling gear that probably cost most of your stated budget. The only ready-made equipment is the commercial gear that'll set you back 5-figures. What type of kegerator is it? Most kegerators made and sold for sanke kegs come with crappy lines, rear-sealing Plated Chrome brass taps and PC barbed shanks and the first thing most of us do is swap out all the plumbing for EVABarrier tubing with Duotight fitting and Stainless Steel shanks as well a SS forward-sealing (much more hygienic) faucet, as well as changing out the gas-lines as the stock ones are generally O2 permeable. ...there's many threads on here about changing out lines..Here's one of them: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/changing-draft-beer-lines.730534/
While you're deciding on which equipment to get for brewing, do some reading up on beer/gas lines and kegerators and upgrade what you have so it's ready before you have beer to put in it.
Since you mention maybe an AIO, but you're not sure which direction to go, my vote would be a reasonably priced and well-proven basic BIAB system such as:
There's another very recent ongoing thread about equipment that might be useful to you:
In the meantime: Welcome to HBT!
I agree with Bailey mb. Start with an extract kit. Run a couple batches to get your feet wet before making any substantial purchases. I went from extract to BIAB to the Anvil Foundry which is still single vessel. The foundry is pretty affordable. I’ve had mine for about 4 years now.
although drinkable beer is not that hard to make., continuously brewing good beer to have a constant flow takes some knowledge practice and humility.

light beers are actually harder ot brew and definately not simple beers. light lagers even harder. as said above you should definatley first see if you can make a beer that you like.

IMO temperature controlled fermentation is the best investment you can make.

i agree you should convert your kegerator so when you do make beer you can keg it. dont use sixtels. like said above.

from you choice of beers (Busch light and Guinness stout) it sounds like you like commercial beers like lagers not craft ales. lagers take a minimum of i want to say 8 weeks from brew day to drinking (really closer to 12). it will take a decent amount of time and beer and temperature controlled lagering space to build up a pipeline to supply 2-4 guys with lager continuously. unless they are very light drinkers. lagers are also definitely more involved to brew than ales

i have enough trouble keeping myself in beer all the time and i only drink about a half to one liter per day.

this is definately doable but will take a lot of effort and learning.

like said above i would try a simple extract kit to see if you and the other guys like the beer you make before jumping in with 1-2 grand.

good luck