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Old 01-16-2008, 03:07 AM   #21
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I used a cooler for 20 some AG batches with good results. I switched to a heated keggle MLT with a false bottom a few weeks ago, and I really like it. When I am not heating my MLT, I keep it wrapped in closed cell foam sleeping mat (Walmart camping section, $6) and a 1" foam cover. I have seen no heat loss until I start recirculating. It is a simple process:

1) Heat up the water in the MLT (no preheating necessary)
2) Dough in and wrap the MLT
3) Start the recirc pump @ 30 minutes, run through a simple 2 wing sparge arm
4) Put the heat on low @ 50 minutes
5) Sparge when the tun hits 168 (75 minutes), sparge with the method of your choice.

One thing that I have noticed is that the wort is very clear with the 45 minutes of recirculation. There is also the "bling factor". I love the way my 2 tiered setup looks with 3 kegs. With the false bottom and pump suction, my batch sparging is much faster than using just gravity and a manifold in a cooler. All in all, I am glad I added a pump and heated MLT to my setup. I am more confident with my temperatures, as I can always adjust, and I am not lifting gallons and gallons of 180 degree water.

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Old 01-16-2008, 07:53 PM   #22
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when using a direct fire mashtun, do any of you keep the insulation on during fire on? or do you slip it on when mashing in?

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Old 01-16-2008, 08:14 PM   #23
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You could try using a water heater blanket. You only really need to insulate the top 2/3rds of the tun as this is where most of the heat will get lost. If you don't turn the heat all the way up, you shouldn't need to remove it. I've been meaning to do this with my set up, but just haven't gotten around to it.

Another idea is to use the reflectix insulation. It's basically foil covered air bubbles. No fiberglass to catch fire. Lowes carries it and it's what I used for me fermentation closet.

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Old 01-16-2008, 08:24 PM   #24
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and that stuff is flame retardant? or just shouldnt be an issue since it is higher up?

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Old 01-16-2008, 08:40 PM   #25
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i went back and forth for the longest time. Do I do a HERMS or direct fire. I've decided that I do want to option to do step mashing, so I had to choose one method that I felt comfortable with. To me, direct fire is just a bit simpler IMO than building and running a some sort of HERMS system. .....nothing against any of you who may run one

But I'm sitting here with my plans for a Brutus Ten clone and am ready to take them to the welder tomorrow for an estimate. Hopefully it won't be too long until I can report back with my "experienced" views on direct fired MTs

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Old 01-16-2008, 08:44 PM   #26
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I just made my boil kettle into my MLT, added insulation from Home Depot and Hi-Temp tape, used it twice now with no problems loss 1 degree in a hour. I heat my strike water then add the grain....

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Old 01-16-2008, 08:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewiz
I just made my boil kettle into my MLT, added insulation from Lowes and Hi-Temp tape, used it twice now with no problems loss 1 degree in a hour. I heat my strike water then add the grain....

awesome man, that is what i wanted to hear. How much did that insulation run you?
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:08 PM   #28
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The insulation was about $20.00 and the tape was about the same, the tape is suppose to take up 250 degrees. I actually got them at Home Depot not Lowes.

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Old 01-16-2008, 09:22 PM   #29
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is that the tape on the outside of both the hlt and the mlt? I would like to use a black color if i could instead of a metallic.

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Old 01-16-2008, 11:37 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aekdbbop
is that the tape on the outside of both the hlt and the mlt? I would like to use a black color if i could instead of a metallic.
It's actually at the top and bottom of the insulation to seal it to the keg. The insulation is silver too.
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