So I did something bad.
I was shopping around a week ago and found aluminized car sun shades you put up in your windshield. $2 at Ocean State, a single one was enough to wrap around this monstrous kettle.
I cut it shorter and cut handles into it so it was about five inches away from the bottle of the kettle and didn't move (resting on top of sight gauge / thermometer joint). Turns out the interior is made of some kind of puffed polyethylene.
It held for a three hour boil (see my problem here?) to get down from 7 gallons to 5.5. Only a bit of the shader melted or compressed to lose the air inside the foamed plastic (I am a polymer scientist
). Watched it like a hawk and nothing ended up catching fire. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone and it didn't seem like it helped at all. My boil-off rate is still something like 0.75 gal/hour.
I'm going to have to get a propane burner... That's the only purchase right now that will make AG soooo much more enjoyable and sane. Then a fermentation chamber... and an aquarium pump aerator... and...
Amazon is selling package-damaged Bayou Classic SP10's for $35. Seems like the best offer out there.