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Old 02-27-2013, 02:45 AM   #1
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Default Saving propane/time while winter brewing

Figured I would pass on some info I came across that helped me reduce the amount of propane and time it takes to brew outside during winter. It always seemed to take forever for my wort to boil. I ended up building an insulated pot skirt out of some $12 aluminum flashing, rivets and a cheap fiberglass welding blanket. I actually got a few ideas from threads here and then stumbled upon this link below that has lots of info.

http://www.vrac.iastate.edu/ethos/files/ethos2010/Saturday/Stoves,%20Electricity,%20and%20Heat%20Transfer/Skirts%20Paper_Andreatta.pdf

When I built and tested the skirt it was a windy 32 degree day. With 6 gallons of 130 degree wort it took 16minutes to bring it to a rolling boil. I did open the lid to take a temp reading at 10 minutes and it was already at 200 degrees. I was surprised the first time I used it when it started boiling from the sides instead of from the bottom.

Normally Exhaust gasses come out from under the keggle and dissipate on the wind. The skirt captures these gases and forces them up the sides of the keggle adding heat. Additionally since the environment is cooler than the pot, it also loses heat from the sides. Adding insulation to the skirt keeps most of the heat in the pot.

The aluminum is very flimsy and requires some rebending of the bottom to keep it symmetrical and to reduce the crumpled areas that occur between brew days. I did rivet some bent aluminum standoffs to the base of skirt in an effort to maintain an equal gap all the way around. One thing I do not like about this is that I cannot see the flames on my burner.





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Old 02-27-2013, 03:07 AM   #2
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Whatever it takes

It sure looks like that aluminum shroud has become a chimney - because looking at its base it doesn't look like there's any other way for the burner exhaust to escape (other than around the frame). I guess the boiling from the sides really points to some serious heating going on inside that aluminum!

Cheers!



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Old 02-28-2013, 03:43 PM   #3
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Default chimney

Day-trippr now that you mention it it does look like a chimney.

Having the "chimney" sitting on the brew stand platform does two things. Being that it sits lower that the keggle it does trap most of the exhaust but it also prevents cooler air from being draw in from the sides and up the chimney.

One issue I have encountered is with hop additions. You know when you add hops to the boiling wort and it foams up? The hop debris that stick to the side of the keggle will start to toast so you need to stir them back into the wort. Once they are mixed back into the wort and the foaming subsides you no longer have to stir.

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Old 02-28-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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I have to say this is a great idea. I had seen your chimney in another post and built one for my pot. Adding it made a huge difference in the time to get to boil and the strength of the boil. Very easy to make and cheap too.

I made mine removable by adding some 1/2" SS bolts with wingnuts.

The only down side is the flaps at the top are sharp. As a result, you do need to be careful when moving it. I call mine "The finger slicer 5000."

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Old 02-28-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Default flaps

I agree the flaps at the top are very sharp but are not necessary. I made it that way to help keep the gap between the skirt and keggle the same. You could just as easily use some screws with nuts to keep this distance the same. I did make one out of SS that is somewhat adjustable and I used screws around the bottom.







I would not recommend making a SS one. I does look purty but the price and difficulty of construction go way up.



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