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Old 01-01-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Insulate your boil kettle!

I have been doing all-electric BIAB for a couple of months, with decent results. My hop utilization seemed to be suffering and my boils were weak. The two seem to be related , so I went in search of answers.

After asking some questions of ANoldur, he suggested I insulate my brew kettle. I went to Home Depot, bought a roll of silver bubble insulation, some foil tape, and clad the outside of my kettle in insulation. I did a brew last night with the same equipment, and my previous settings on my induction cooktop that only reached a gentle movement of the water now hit a very strong boil.

The moral is this; insulate your brew kettle, especially if you do electric. Less energy lost means cheaper beer.

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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How much was everything?

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
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I'm on propane and still do this when it is cold outside. Although it means constant vigilance so I dont melt my reflectix to my keggle.

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Old 01-01-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ColoHox
I'm on propane and still do this when it is cold outside. Although it means constant vigilance so I dont melt my reflectix to my keggle.
This has been my fear...
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ColoHox View Post
I'm on propane and still do this when it is cold outside. Although it means constant vigilance so I dont melt my reflectix to my keggle.
I've been using sections from a carbon fiber welder's blanket to insulate my mash tun. Never really needed to use it on the boil keggle. A single layer around the mash tun does really well into the mid 40's (F). Below about 35F, I wrap another piece around it (goes around 1-1/2 times). I have one more length left, so I could try it on a boil keggle, except it would interfere with my sight glass assembly.

I did glue the first layer to my mash tun keggle with high temp tolerant adhesive (from McMaster-Carr). No issues on the keggle from it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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I've been using sections from a carbon fiber welder's blanket to insulate my mash tun. Never really needed to use it on the boil keggle. A single layer around the mash tun does really well into the mid 40's (F). Below about 35F, I wrap another piece around it (goes around 1-1/2 times). I have one more length left, so I could try it on a boil keggle, except it would interfere with my sight glass assembly.

I did glue the first layer to my mash tun keggle with high temp tolerant adhesive (from McMaster-Carr). No issues on the keggle from it.
Hey golddiggie, I've seen all your comments about this. I will eventually upgrade I think.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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Hey golddiggie, I've seen all your comments about this. I will eventually upgrade I think.
I really like the stuff... Might need to get some more soon, to actually use when welding/soldering.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #8
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Insulation is great for electric and especially BIAB where your metal brew pot is the mash tun. My little 30L tamate pot heats up MUCH faster on my electric range with insulation. I use an old blanket (duvet if you prefer French or doona if you read this upside down) cut and sewn to size.

Reflectix (silver bubble-wrap stuff) is $16 to $25 (2013) at a big box store for enough to do a kettle or keggle. Use real duct tape, not Duck Tape, to survive the temperatures.

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:41 PM   #9
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Yep. I paid 15.89 for a roll of reflectix plus 8% sales tax minus 10% military discount , so I basically still paid 15.89, and I still have about 20 feet left over. I used foil duct tape. Don't remember how much that cost, because I bought it a while back for some HVAC repair. Crinkled a bit when I first heated it up, but no problems.

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:43 PM   #10
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really just depends on the BTUs you have at your disposal. No need for insulation with a 5500w element & a 20 gallon kettle.

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