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Thread: Insulation on a brew kettle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Alton, IL
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    Insulation on a brew kettle

    How necessary would insulation be on a brew kettle for a seven barrel bk... other than being hot to be around... can it be manageable?
    Cheers,
    Rick Blevens
    Templar Brewing
    4449 Thatcher Rd
    Alton, IL 62002



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  2. #2
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    Feb 2010
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    Newcastle NSW Australia
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    Extremely Dangerous!! And most likely non-compliant with any local codes.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    Alton, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiminOz View Post
    Extremely Dangerous!! And most likely non-compliant with any local codes.
    Wonder why they would even sell one uninstalled...?
    Thanks
    Cheers,
    Rick Blevens
    Templar Brewing
    4449 Thatcher Rd
    Alton, IL 62002



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  4. #4
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    Nov 2014
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    Montana
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    Not recommending it, but it could be manageable. I used to have an old 600 liter (functionally 4 bbl) Letina wine fermenter as a brew kettle, had a wok style gas burner underneath. The burner had a heat shield around it to focus heat up to the kettle, but the kettle was uninsulated. It was HOT in the brewhouse on brew days , but I used it for about 2 years, and managed not to seriously scald myself. I bought it used from another brewery that had used it for a few years, and have now sold it to another start up that is on a budget and planning on using it as a hot liquor tank. I now have a nice professional insulated 7 bbl kettle from Forgeworks, and I am extremely happy with it.

    So, manageable? Yes. Recommended? I will leave that decision to you.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by backslope View Post
    Not recommending it, but it could be manageable. I used to have an old 600 liter (functionally 4 bbl) Letina wine fermenter as a brew kettle, had a wok style gas burner underneath. The burner had a heat shield around it to focus heat up to the kettle, but the kettle was uninsulated. It was HOT in the brewhouse on brew days , but I used it for about 2 years, and managed not to seriously scald myself. I bought it used from another brewery that had used it for a few years, and have now sold it to another start up that is on a budget and planning on using it as a hot liquor tank. I now have a nice professional insulated 7 bbl kettle from Forgeworks, and I am extremely happy with it.

    So, manageable? Yes. Recommended? I will leave that decision to you.

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the help!!!
    Cheers,
    Rick Blevens
    Templar Brewing
    4449 Thatcher Rd
    Alton, IL 62002



    follow me:
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    51
    I am getting ready to use a 400 gallon single wall tank with direct fire as a BK myself. I was trying to find some way to insulate the sides as well. I was thinking maybe some ceramic insulation like they use on boilers, just haven't figured out how to attach it yet.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawsfree View Post
    I am getting ready to use a 400 gallon single wall tank with direct fire as a BK myself. I was trying to find some way to insulate the sides as well. I was thinking maybe some ceramic insulation like they use on boilers, just haven't figured out how to attach it yet.
    I used to work at a refinery... wish I had access to the insulation they had laying around.......
    Cheers,
    Rick Blevens
    Templar Brewing
    4449 Thatcher Rd
    Alton, IL 62002



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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Minocqua WI
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    Brick works- 1 layer of fire brick and one for the outside to look nice.

    https://www.portstreetbeerhouse.co.u...chment/grittys
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  9. #9
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    Mar 2013
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    Alton, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Briggs View Post
    Brick works- 1 layer of fire brick and one for the outside to look nice.

    https://www.portstreetbeerhouse.co.u...chment/grittys
    Interesting!
    Cheers,
    Rick Blevens
    Templar Brewing
    4449 Thatcher Rd
    Alton, IL 62002



    follow me:
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Carmel, IN
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    59
    It also depends on how the kettle is heated. There is not really a reason why that would create a code violation if the kettle is steam or electric heated. Foam or batting wrapped around the kettle and protected from soaking and physical damage could be workable.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  11. #11
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    Mar 2013
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    Alton, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEng View Post
    It also depends on how the kettle is heated. There is not really a reason why that would create a code violation if the kettle is steam or electric heated. Foam or batting wrapped around the kettle and protected from soaking and physical damage could be workable.
    Thanks for the info! Lots of stuff to consider.
    Cheers,
    Rick Blevens
    Templar Brewing
    4449 Thatcher Rd
    Alton, IL 62002



    follow me:
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  12. #12
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    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix, AZ area
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    Quote Originally Posted by TemplarBrewing View Post
    I used to work at a refinery... wish I had access to the insulation they had laying around.......
    Hey Rick, the insulation you are talking about is readily available, as are the pins to attach it. I'll PM you some info.
    Robert "Red" Westphal
    Quality Manager/Certified Welding Inspector/Independent Stainless Steel Fabricator
    Phone: 719-661-8602

  13. #13
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    Mar 2015
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    Oregon
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    I would be interested in that info as well. Is it rockwool?

  14. #14
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    Apr 2014
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    Phoenix, AZ area
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    Quote Originally Posted by torque2 View Post
    I would be interested in that info as well. Is it rockwool?
    torque2 I PM'd you.
    Robert "Red" Westphal
    Quality Manager/Certified Welding Inspector/Independent Stainless Steel Fabricator
    Phone: 719-661-8602

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Posts
    11

    Insulation on a brew kettle

    I would highly recommend insulation on all tanks. Especially 3 bbls and bigger. I wouldn't want to lose my business over a few bucks from an accidental burn. In my opinion without insulation it's only a matter of time before someone gets a permanent scar or worse.

    Safety - with insulation the odds of a burn are much less
    Efficiency - Much more efficient with insulation. I've had results of getting to a boil 15 mins faster with insulation. If you are brewing 3 times a week that adds up to 37.5 hrs at 50 weeks! This is 2 week vacation paid for by the insulation. Without insulation the heat escaping kettle into the brewery will put a bigger toll on your AC and make bill higher for cooling the brewery. Also putting more strain on the AC unit and shortening the lifespan.

    SAFETY is my biggest concern. To me a few bucks to ensure that I don't lose my dream brewery to an accidental burn is worth the small cost of insulation.

    I hope this helps. If you need any pricing for some insulated tanks please feel free to reach out to myself or any of our other experienced brewers. For our tanks it's typically around $800-1000 for insulation.

    Cheers,

    Mike Paladino
    Brewery Design Consultant
    support@stouttanks.com
    Stout Tanks and Kettles, LLC
    https://conical-fermenter.com/
    The Craft Brewery Experts:
    Beer, Kombucha, Wine, Cider, Mead, Cold Brew Coffee
    503-372-9580 (Office)
    503-766-3206 (Direct)

    WATCH OUR FRESH HOPS VIDEO – “HOP FARM TO GLASS”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLVU...ature=youtu.be

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