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Old 03-05-2009, 12:31 AM   #1
jmp138
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Default Insulation for Keggle

I've fashioned a keggle with weldless fittings to use as my main brew kettle for AG batches. I just tried it out for the first time this weekend and was impressed with everything except for the time it took to bring 13 gallons to a boil. I know that that much wort is not just going to start rolling on a turkey fryer, but is there some sort of flame resistant insulation I can use that will lower my lag times between draining from the MLT and boiling.

Covering with a lid and packing a towel around it helped, but it was still a solid 30-35 minutes waiting for the boil.

Thanks


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Old 03-05-2009, 03:11 AM   #2
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Pics: Reflectix pictures by BirdBear - Photobucket

This is my set-up. I've wrapped 16" (width) Reflectix insulation around my converted kegs (MLT pictured above). I position the Reflectix so that the upper edge is in-line or just above the upper-most weld in the keg. Notice that I have also cut Reflectix lids to maintain mash temps and to increase the heat in the kettle as it approaches boiling temps.

I've never had any troubles with burning or melting, though I intentionally left some space at the bottom of the keg to avoid those types of problems. The time it takes to reach boil or strike temps is cut in half (from 1hr to 30min) when the Reflectix jacket is on. I only loose 1-2 deg. F during the mash using this insulation.

Heavy-duty Velcro tape makes it easy to get the jackets on and off for cleaning and in the unlikely case of melting.

16" x 25' roll of Reflectix for $20 at Lowe's.

I hope this helps, though I can't take credit for the idea of using Reflectix. I learned it from somebody else on here a while ago. Try the search function if you need more ideas...


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Old 03-05-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jmp138 View Post
I've fashioned a keggle with weldless fittings to use as my main brew kettle for AG batches. I just tried it out for the first time this weekend and was impressed with everything except for the time it took to bring 13 gallons to a boil. I know that that much wort is not just going to start rolling on a turkey fryer, but is there some sort of flame resistant insulation I can use that will lower my lag times between draining from the MLT and boiling.

Covering with a lid and packing a towel around it helped, but it was still a solid 30-35 minutes waiting for the boil.

Thanks
I think a bigger burner would do you better than trying to insulate the BK.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:41 PM   #4
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Yeah, the primary issue with insulating a direct fired vessel is that there are very few materials that can take the heat. If someone is successfully using reflectix without it melting, I'd say the burner is really inadequate in the first place.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
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Yeah, the primary issue with insulating a direct fired vessel is that there are very few materials that can take the heat. If someone is successfully using reflectix without it melting, I'd say the burner is really inadequate in the first place.
Yeah, I have to second this. I have Reflectix on my MLT that works great. But being 2" or so from my BK during the boil causes the closest surface to become extremely hot in a short period of time. It is amazingly resilient to heat, at least as compared to plain old bubble wrap, but being in direct contact with the heated vessel at boiling temps I don't think it would withstand for more than a few minutes.
Like Bobby and the others have said, if it does, then you probably aren't applying enough heat in the first place.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:46 PM   #6
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I haven't had any issues:



just keep the insulation a few inches from the bottom of the keggle.

I found a huge difference in the heat retention after adding this stuff.. and I made a cool lid also out of it to keep the heat in..

*edit*

I just re-read your post.. yeah, don't use this when boiling.. it is on my MLT

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Old 03-05-2009, 04:55 PM   #7
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Yeah, going to have to get a bigger burner, anybody got a link for those really cool chinese made 23 jet burners. I want something thats not going to be terribly expensive but will get 10 gallon batches rolling. I know Bobby M has one that I have seen in his video, whats the word on those things?
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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Yeah, going to have to get a bigger burner, anybody got a link for those really cool chinese made 23 jet burners. I want something thats not going to be terribly expensive but will get 10 gallon batches rolling. I know Bobby M has one that I have seen in his video, whats the word on those things?
I think this is what you are looking for....

23 Tip Round Nozzle Jet Burner (natural gas) - CHINESE WOK RANGES - RANGES - EQUIPMENT
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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Don't know how many keggles you have, but we use the keg that had the strike water in it to do the boil in, that way the keggle is already preheated. We use a second one for the sparge water and start to get the wort boiling as soon as it comes out of the MLT. Helps save time and gas.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:17 PM   #10
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32 Tip Round Nozzle Jet Burner - CHINESE WOK RANGES - RANGES - EQUIPMENT

This is exactly what I was looking for, they are darn cheap and I have heard they work really well. The problem is that they are plumbed for natural gas, I cook on propane, can I get around this with some fittings?


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