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Old 08-01-2009, 11:05 PM   #1
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Default Insulating Keggles

What type of material do you use to insulate the mash tun keggle? I see the same type that is used for hot water heaters but want to know if there are any real dangers with that stuff.

Please post at will.

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Old 08-02-2009, 12:15 AM   #2
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Reflectix bubble insulation @ Home Depot - I did a twice around wrap with foil tape top/bottom/side.

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Old 08-02-2009, 01:45 AM   #3
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No real danger, other than melting or rapidly deteriorating the insulation. The various insulation materials used by most homebrewers are NOT meant to handle 212F, including Reflectix which is only rated at 180F. Yes, the horror.

I installed and recommend Buna-N Closed Cell Foam Rubber. It has a higher insulation value than Reflectix, very easy to work with, and is rated to 220F.

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
No real danger, other than melting or rapidly deteriorating the insulation. The various insulation materials used by most homebrewers are NOT meant to handle 212F, including Reflectix which is only rated at 180F. Yes, the horror.

I installed and recommend Buna-N Closed Cell Foam Rubber. It has a higher insulation value than Reflectix, very easy to work with, and is rated to 220F.
Genius! What a great idea. I only want to insulate my Mash Tun which is only heated by the RIMS heater.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:16 AM   #5
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After looking at Mc Master CarrI have found a number of foam rubber style insulations that are good to 200 degrees or over.

McMaster-Carr Flexible Low Temperature Polyethylene Foam Rubber Insulation Temperature Range: -160° to +200° F

McMaster-Carr Ultra Flexible Foam Rubber Insulation Temperature Range: -20° to +220° F

There are a number of adhesives that can be used with these products that have the same temperature ranges.

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Old 08-02-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
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For propane/NG fired vessels, I'd recommend mineral wool. Electrically heated vessels are easier to insulate with foam. Either a wrapped rubber foam, or a sprayed/poured PU foam. The PU foam is a little more difficult to install, but has a much better insulation value.

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Old 08-02-2009, 04:27 PM   #7
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I've had 3 layers of reflectix/foil tape on my keggle for 2 years now (I do direct-fired step-mashes too). It's warped a little, but no big deal. It finally started coming apart at the seams after a batch yesterday, so I just put another layer of reflectix on. Now I have 4 layers, so that sould keep my mash temp pretty well.

There isn't too much you can put on for a reasonable cost that will withstand heat from an open propane burner. The temps from that will go way over 220°F... especially when they shoot up through the drain holes. The way I solved this was to put foil tape over the drain holes. That's why my reflectix has lasted so long. The only thing to be mindful of is that those drain holes helped ventilate under the keg skirt. So, I'm careful not to let propane gas build up under there before lighting it.

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
I've had 3 layers of reflectix/foil tape on my keggle for 2 years now (I do direct-fired step-mashes too). It's warped a little, but no big deal. It finally started coming apart at the seams after a batch yesterday, so I just put another layer of reflectix on. Now I have 4 layers, so that sould keep my mash temp pretty well.

There isn't too much you can put on for a reasonable cost that will withstand heat from an open propane burner. The temps from that will go way over 220°F... especially when they shoot up through the drain holes. The way I solved this was to put foil tape over the drain holes. That's why my reflectix has lasted so long. The only thing to be mindful of is that those drain holes helped ventilate under the keg skirt. So, I'm careful not to let propane gas build up under there before lighting it.
I could be wrong but I don't think the original poster is direct firing his mash tun. If he is not direct firing, I would guess that the foam rubber would be a better insulator. If he does direct fire his mash tun he should take your advice and use reflectix tape.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
No real danger, other than melting or rapidly deteriorating the insulation. The various insulation materials used by most homebrewers are NOT meant to handle 212F, including Reflectix which is only rated at 180F. Yes, the horror.

I installed and recommend Buna-N Closed Cell Foam Rubber. It has a higher insulation value than Reflectix, very easy to work with, and is rated to 220F.
how thick would you recommend, 1/2" or more? i'm referring to the buna.

thanks
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:11 AM   #10
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Ya, 1/2" is sufficient.

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