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Mash Ton Insulation

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Tony

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I have steel keg for a mash ton

I was wondering what others use for insulstion.

I was after something compact and water proof as im sure everyone is :p

I currently wrap it in a blanket and still get 3 deg/hr drop while recirculating the mash.
I will be re-circulating it through the HLT when i get my stand built which will keep the mash temp constant but still want insulation, for mash and HLT to save on power.
Less heat lost, less power used to heat it hey.

cheers
 

chiller

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Tony said:
I have steel keg for a mash ton

I was wondering what others use for insulstion.

I was after something compact and water proof as im sure everyone is :p

I currently wrap it in a blanket and still get 3 deg/hr drop while recirculating the mash.
I will be re-circulating it through the HLT when i get my stand built which will keep the mash temp constant but still want insulation, for mash and HLT to save on power.
Less heat lost, less power used to heat it hey.

cheers
[post="81843"][/post]​

Tony,

try one of the high density blue [insert colour] foam mats you lay on the ground when you go camping. They are about 1 cm thick.


Steve
 

Kai

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What he said. I've used them to insulate my fermenter in days past.
 

joecast

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chiller said:
Tony,

try one of the high density blue [insert colour] foam mats you lay on the ground when you go camping. They are about 1 cm thick.


Steve
[post="81845"][/post]​
what does something like that cost. im guessing you can get about the size of a sleeping bag? would most camping/outdoor shops carry them?
joe
 

ozbrewer

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i got some from dymmies for $5 each

I loose 1 deg c over 90 mins
 

Justin

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Tony says:

I currently wrap it in a blanket and still get 3 deg/hr drop while recirculating the mash. I will be re-circulating it through the HLT when i get my stand built which will keep the mash temp constant but still want insulation, for mash and HLT to save on power.
Less heat lost, less power used to heat it hey.
Just a quick question Tony, what do you mean you lose 3 deg/hr while recirculating? You state your are going to recirculate through your HLT when you get your stand sorted, but what do you mean when you say your recirculating now? Are you just recirculating your mash from bottom of tun to top of tun-ie not going through any heat exchanger?

If you are recirculating the entire mash without putting the mash through a heat exchanger it would not be surprising at all that your losing temp. If this is what your doing then there is no need to recirculate it until your about to sparge and run it into your kettle. Otherwise just one of the camping mats as stated above and a lid of some sort should provide you enough insulation for an hour mash. But you still may have to give it a bump with the flame if your only doing 5 gallons.

Can you explain your process a bit more?

Cheers, Justin
 

dreamboat

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I will throw in a curve ball here, perhaps a little off topic...

I have been talking to a guy who works in the next office, and he has access to products made by a company called Thermon.

www.thermon.com

They make a product for what they call heat tracing, which is typically used in industrial applications to keep pipelines at specific temperatures to keep things flowing or to stop things freezing in the pipes.

this product : http://www.thermon.com/Catalogs/uk/pdf_fil.../RSX%2015-2.pdf

is very close to the item which I am getting him to get for me. It is pretty expensive at around $30/m, and would need to be run off an additional temp controller, but a couple of metres of this could be set up to HOLD the temperature of the outer wall of the mash tun, ie prevent temperature drop in the mash. It does not have enough grunt to actually heat the mash itself much, but for any stainless or other metal mash tuns, the concept seems hard to beat.



dreamboat
 

BrissyBrew

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Dreamboat, I like the idea but I dont think the product is up to task, plus at 65*C max temp output, in addition only taking 85*C when off (eg if you wash it the tun out with hot water/steam clean it looks like a PITA.
 

devo

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chiller said:
Tony said:
I have steel keg for a mash ton

I was wondering what others use for insulstion.

I was after something compact and water proof as im sure everyone is :p

I currently wrap it in a blanket and still get 3 deg/hr drop while recirculating the mash.
I will be re-circulating it through the HLT when i get my stand built which will keep the mash temp constant but still want insulation, for mash and HLT to save on power.
Less heat lost, less power used to heat it hey.

cheers
[post="81843"][/post]​

Tony,

try one of the high density blue [insert colour] foam mats you lay on the ground when you go camping. They are about 1 cm thick.


Steve
[post="81845"][/post]​

I second this . I use a foam camping mat and get about a 1-2 degree shift over 90min mash. Works a treat, just make sure you insulate the top and bottom of your mash tun as well.
 

Darren

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DB,
Perhaps this stuff would be good to keep a fermeter warm in winter?
 

T.D.

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I am think the exact same thing Darren. At the moment I wrap my fermenters in a blanket - its very tedious, one of these mats would be much easier to manage. :super:
 

Darren

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I have been placing an old "bean-bag" over mine. Works like a treat
 

Tony

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OK

Justin.

yeah i am just recirculating the mash.

I think you are right, just i like to recirculate for the last 1/2 hr to slear the wort.

I was looking on the the "paint stirrer" post and someone had thes wonderfull black insulation around the keg but a post and an email have had no reply with info.

Dreamboat.

I work in a factory that makes glucose and we have miles of that heat tracing shit everywhere.

It is a curse.

It shorts out and catches fire, literally. I have had t oput it out with a fire extinguisher 3 times in the last 5 years.
i guess it wouldnt be that bad if it was only on every now and then but ge wiz it gives us some problems at work.

It is only designed to keep pipes warm not heat them to hight temps so i think i will just wait till i get the stand and a coil in the hlt.

till then i will just cop the loss.
cheers all.

tony
 

vlbaby

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This might be a tad of topic, but I thought i'd mention it anyway.

I found that you can insulate a mash tun as well as you like, and it will hold say 1 degC over an hour. Your thinking , my mash tun insulation is working well.
But after that hour lets say the mash has dropped from 66 to 65deg, when you stir the mash, it instantly drops another 4-5 degC.
The conclusion I came to here was that the main body of the mash had only dropped 1 deg over the hour, but the outer edges had dropped much much more. When the mash is stirred again, the temperatures equalise and the mash appears to have dropped in temperature. So basically, the mash tun's insulation wasnt as good as I had first thought.

Anyway, I thought it may help those who are building and testing a mash tuns heat holding capacity.
IMHO a keg based mash tun needs an external source of heat, eg HERMS or direct heating, because its just too hard to insulate sufficiently.


vlbaby.
 

Justin

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Hi Tony,

I suspect the black insulation you are talking about is Armaflex. I haven't read that post you allude to but I'll go and do a search for it after this but I reckon that is what it might be. It's pipe insulation but I'm pretty sure you can buy it in sheets-but I suspect its not cheap. I think it cost me $16 for a 2m length to fit over a 2" pipe.

Just on another note, half an hour is a long time to recirculate to clear the wort in an hour mash. I have no doubts this is where a heap of your heat loss is occurring. Taking your hot wort out of your insulated (or not insulated) container and then running it through your pump and pipes will easily lose you a few degrees. It often surprises me when I see herms and rims systems with heaps of hose length from the tun to exchanger back to tun, IMO you'd want those hoses as short as possible to minimise heat loss going to the exchanger and then heat loss getting back to the tun. Otherwise insulate the hoses (which isn't really practical for us HB's).

Stick a thermometer in the returning wort and see what the temp of it is after its little journey and I bet you'd be surprised. I typically recirculate my wort for 5 mins (at a very slow rate, I'd guess I'd collect 2L) and it's crystal clear by that time. Half our is way over kill in my opinion, that's all.

Cheers, Justin
 

warrenlw63

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I've seen some mashtuns made from kegs/pots where the brewer responsible puts a sleeve of a slightly wider diameter than the keg around it then just sprays expanding foam in the cavity.

If you've ever used this stuff it would be more than ideal for the job. Cheap, insulates well and is easy to trim off the excess. Little goes a long way too.

If you were to do this first you could then drill your holes for your ball-valves thermos etc afterwards.

Warren -
 

dreamboat

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I did say it was similar to the link I put in.... the one I am looking at will have a max output around 80C, and be rated for over 120C ambient.
It would also be mounted (probably with aluminium tape) to the outside of the mash tun, so cleaning will not be a problem. There is no question that in a tun with a lid on it, most of the heat losses (for a metal tun anyway) will come through from the highly conductive metal surface which is in contact with the mash - ie the sides of the tun, what this process will do is eliminate this source of heat loss altogether.
I am not trying to sell anyone on this idea, but it seemed to me when I first saw it to have valid uses in the homebrew system which I use.



dreamboat




BrissyBrew said:
Dreamboat, I like the idea but I dont think the product is up to task, plus at 65*C max temp output, in addition only taking 85*C when off (eg if you wash it the tun out with hot water/steam clean it looks like a PITA.
[post="81991"][/post]​
 

homebrewworld.com

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Yep, i use the blue mat with some type of bubble wrap underneath(see pic) around my mash tun with an 'Ocky' strap around it for good measure.

I also got some black foam tube from Clarke Rubber and slid it over my intake and return hoses on mr RIMS set-up.
Very effective, and easy on the pocket too !

brew_005.jpg
 

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