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Old 04-21-2009, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default Insulated Keggle MLT Users _ Advice needed

I recently acquired three pretty beat up sanke kegs and was hoping to put one to use as a kettle and one as an MLT. After reading what seems like hundreds of threads I'm still not totally sold on the insulated keggle as a MLT. I'm not interested in direct firing it at this point and would like to keep things on the cheap side, although I don't want to pigeon hole myself should I want to do a HERMS/RIMS set up in the future.

Here are my questions

1: What insulation do you use? Do you cover side, top and bottom?

2: What sort of temp drop do you experience in say, 20 degree weather and 70 degree weather?

3: Is a false bottom necessary? It seems like the way to go, but it's a little spendy for me at this point.

I guess I'm thinking if I'm going to drop the cash on a FB, I should make sure a cooler and braid wouldn't suit me better in the long run. I've got a 5 gallon igloo (had it around) now but it's just not going to work.

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Old 04-21-2009, 02:44 AM   #2
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If you are not direct firing then you might want to go woth a cooler as they will be much better insulated than an insulated Keggle. Unless you are uber insulatiung the whole thing, but then that will cost more than a cooler.

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Old 04-21-2009, 04:03 AM   #3
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Batch size plays a role here, if you fill that keggle w/ hot mash the insulation becomes less critical. But for smaller batches you will most likely lose heat a bit quicker. For 5 gal. batches, go cooler.

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Old 04-21-2009, 04:33 AM   #4
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I do 10g batches and even insulated lose a lot of heat. I direct fire and use the alum bubble wrap stuff.

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Old 04-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Batch size plays a role here, if you fill that keggle w/ hot mash the insulation becomes less critical. But for smaller batches you will most likely lose heat a bit quicker. For 5 gal. batches, go cooler.
Ah yes, forgot about that. I also have a 5 gallon bev cooler around for small batches so I should be doing mostly 10 Gallons in the keg.

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Originally Posted by Denny's Evil Concoctions View Post
If you are not direct firing then you might want to go woth a cooler as they will be much better insulated than an insulated Keggle. Unless you are uber insulatiung the whole thing, but then that will cost more than a cooler.
I've read that some people lose too much heat, but I've also seen folks say a little insulation and a blanket go a long way. How many layers of the wrap do you use? Do you have an insulated lid? How many degrees to you lose over what period of time?
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:03 PM   #6
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Case in point, I just read a few threads at NB that said a sleeping bag pad wrapped around it after heating the initial strike water would lose only a couple degrees over an hour... all of the opinions on this are making my head spin.

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Old 04-21-2009, 11:19 PM   #7
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In the summer time when ambient temps in my garage reach 95F after heating my strike water, 2 layers of reflectix (added AFTER the flame is turned off) holds temps really well. Keep in mind that I heat my strike directly in the MLT and overshoot by 2F so the vessel and insulation pulls no heat. I think I lost 3F in a 6 gallon batch and 2F in a 12.

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Old 04-22-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
In the summer time when ambient temps in my garage reach 95F after heating my strike water, 2 layers of reflectix (added AFTER the flame is turned off) holds temps really well. Keep in mind that I heat my strike directly in the MLT and overshoot by 2F so the vessel and insulation pulls no heat. I think I lost 3F in a 6 gallon batch and 2F in a 12.
How long a period of time for those heat losses?
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #9
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60 minute mashes are the norm for me. I wrap the doubled up reflectix around the sides and I have one layer that fits on top of the keg that fits into the handle skirt. My lid goes on top of this.

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Old 04-22-2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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I'm thinking that since most of the action happens in the first 30 minutes or so this should suffice. I'd really like to be able to utilize this method until I have the "need' and funds to upgrade to a HERMS/RIMS set up.

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