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Old 12-29-2012, 09:16 PM   #1
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Default "BBQ Paint" Insulation on Kettle

Insulating my 62qt SS pot to get a full boil on two gas stove burners is my first project for the new year.

I've looked into some old threads and people use towels, aluminized plastic insulation, and car firewall insulation.

One possibility I found was BBQ paint which apparently contains ceramic filler, goes up to high temp, and only outgasses on the first heating. Is this something that would be suitable for layering on the outside of my kettle to keep the heat in?

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Old 12-29-2012, 09:38 PM   #2
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There's no way paint is going to be worth it. Keep in mind that you need something that can take the heat from your burners. No chance of taking it outside?

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Old 12-29-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
There's no way paint is going to be worth it. Keep in mind that you need something that can take the heat from your burners. No chance of taking it outside?
Where I am now there's probably going to be an issue at some point. I'm renting and have a driveway available but there's a bit of trouble in my neighborhood so I'd be hesitant to stay outside. Stray animals, neighbors ODing, homeless people taking things down to the scrapyards down the road. I'm not too much of a recluse but it's just me out here in the city for now.

I am planning to move out across town at some point but it depends on my lady. With my own piece of land I *should* be able to brew out back as I want.

I have a sight gauge about two and a half inches up (engages at 4+ gallons) and I can see a heavy boil rolling up the tube but only a slight disturbance on the surface for ~6 gallons. No heat damage on the sight gauge yet so maybe I could start the insulation from there up.

I'd like to reduce heat loss in the upper half of the kettle so I don't need a lid which gives me more evaporation so I can utilize more water when mashing.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:36 AM   #4
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When you do calculations about thermal resistance you have to look at two things: thermal conductivity and thickness of the material (there is also contact resistance but that would be minimal in this case). You're right that the thermal conductivity of the paint would be rather low due to the ceramic part of it, but the coat would be so thin that the effect would be negligible.

You'd be much better off wrapping your kettle in an insulator blanket (automotive stuff is great).

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Old 12-30-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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Installing a 1500 watt heating element in the pot would probably be a good solution if you can do it safely.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:42 AM   #6
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Okay, I've seen some hood insulation which is a giant square compared to the custom-cut side insulation.

It seems like the options are pretty limited and more so if you want to go more fire-safe. Anyone around here got a hold on some space shuttle heat panels?

I've got a pack of white fiberglass insulation and plaster of paris. Could try to experiment and make something suitably resistant, flexible, and keep the irritant factor supressed (fiberglass scares people it seems).

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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So I did something bad.

I was shopping around a week ago and found aluminized car sun shades you put up in your windshield. $2 at Ocean State, a single one was enough to wrap around this monstrous kettle.

I cut it shorter and cut handles into it so it was about five inches away from the bottle of the kettle and didn't move (resting on top of sight gauge / thermometer joint). Turns out the interior is made of some kind of puffed polyethylene.

It held for a three hour boil (see my problem here?) to get down from 7 gallons to 5.5. Only a bit of the shader melted or compressed to lose the air inside the foamed plastic (I am a polymer scientist ). Watched it like a hawk and nothing ended up catching fire. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone and it didn't seem like it helped at all. My boil-off rate is still something like 0.75 gal/hour.

I'm going to have to get a propane burner... That's the only purchase right now that will make AG soooo much more enjoyable and sane. Then a fermentation chamber... and an aquarium pump aerator... and...

Amazon is selling package-damaged Bayou Classic SP10's for $35. Seems like the best offer out there.

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