How to maximize brewing for $5,000

Hypothetical situation… pretend you’re given a $5,000 grant with the purpose of brewing the maximum amount of beer, how to you spend the money?

A kegging system and kegerator need to be part of the mix.

How do you break out the rest? What do you think is necessary? Help me list out the expenditures

Depends on your space. I’d build a 15 gallon brew system. Build a walk in cooler and get about a dozen kegs.

My maximum brew size would be one gallon. I would put the rest of the money towards a new motorcycle.
I would buy a small keg and attach my STC-1000 to the frig.

I’d get 2 Picobrew Zymatics.

Ok, so let’s say I want to make 15 gallon set up and only have a kegerator.

What do I need?

A list of everything would be awesome

I’m confused. Are you talking about $5k for equipment, or does that include ingredients? Because the more you spend on equipment, the less you have to spend on ingredients and that radically decreases the amount of beer to make for that money.

For the absolute most beer to make for the money, make a Dennybrew cooler batch sparge system with a 70-100 qt cooler. Convert a keg into a keggle yourself (this will limit you to boils with a final volume of around 10-12 gallons, but if will cost a fraction of what you’d spend on a kettle). Shop for a good deal on a cheap grain mill and propane burner. Make your own immersion chiller out of 50’ of copper tubing and some hose fittings. Buy a couple of 7 gallon brew buckets for fermenting.

Then spend all the rest of the money (probably still way over $4k) on pilsner malt, sugar, magnum hops, propane tanks and a couple packs of 34/70 yeast.

Brew 12 gallon batches of 80% malt, 20% sugar with OG around 1.050. After fermentation, rack into 3 kegs and top up with boiled water. Harvest and reuse the yeast for the next batch.

Vola! Several thousand gallons of American style lite lager.

build a gravity/ pump feed system. You will need 3-30gallon pots. Convert one to a HLT one for a mash tun and one for a brew kettle. Then you need a 15 gal fermenter. Build a counter flow chiller. If you want to brew more than once a month you will need to build a bright tank. Frame in a room and insulate it with 6" foam get a used a/c unit and make it a walk in cooler. Put some taps in the wall. Sell your kegerator. Frame another area for a warm room. Apply for another grant. 20 lb co2 tank with manifold for 3-4 taps. You need at least 10 kegs. You need a bunch of bins to store your grains that you buy in bulk. Get a used fridge/freezer for your hops and yeast. Of course you need all the other stuff hydrometer, scale, mill and starter equipment.

With $5000 I’d consider some sort of industrial stove with a vented hood so I could safely brew a 5-gallon batch indoors.

How about dedicating a room inside, having 15 gal equipment utilizing serious temp control[ nat gas/electric] mashing, boiling, cooling with pump transfer[ controls, no hands] separate fermenting and storage closets with controls. That might take your 5K. Also you need a lock out system and a security guard to watch the room, and even he can’t have access.

Indoors a blichmann electric brew easy system would be nice you would need the hood for your steam though.