Das Ale Haus

Brewing and reviewing since 2012.

Homebrewing Hack – Insulation

Homebrewing hack insulationA while back, I wrote up my process on how I do a stove top BIAB brew day. Using what limited equipment I was, Ryan Mould of Mould’s Beer Blog asked about temperature loss during the mash. This was a problem that I had initially expected, but was pleased to report back that I had in fact had no problems with holding a relatively steady mash temperature.

Well, it turns out I got lucky that day. Where in that batch my temperature didn’t vary more than 3°F during the mash, subsequent brews saw mash temps drop as much as 12°F, which wasn’t going to fly. I needed insulation.

Enter Reflectix, my beer’s shiny savior (no, they didn’t pay me to say that). Where other types of insulation are too rigid to wrap, or probably wouldn’t hold up too well touching mid 100’s temperatures, Reflectix seemed like the perfect fit. I could wrap it, it wouldn’t melt, and it was inexpensive. So, I got the smallest roll I could find and some velcro, and created a jacket for my brew pot.

I’ve only used it the one time, on my latest IPA (brewed with Warrior and Falconer’s Flight that is now furiously fermenting), but it really seemed to work. Even with opening the lid regularly to take temperature readings I only lost 2°F on my mash, less than I had before. I did chalk up a 3°F loss to luck last time, and only have the one brew with the new jacket, but this really seemed to lock the heat in just based on how much warmer the grain felt at the end. I think the key here was cutting out a circle to put on top of the pot, creating a full enclosure to keep the heat in.

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Oh, and if anyone needs some insulation, I’ve got a whole lot of this stuff left. The smallest roll was only $17 – but 25 feet long. What other homebrewing hacks have you come up with?

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9 comments on “Homebrewing Hack – Insulation

  1. Lee Ensminger (@lje727)
    August 7, 2013

    Ingenious

    • dasalehaus
      August 8, 2013

      Thank ya – and if you need anything shiny for a float, I’ve got you covered haha.

  2. mouldsbeerblog
    August 8, 2013

    Great hack! The insulation is totally reusable too, right?

    • dasalehaus
      August 8, 2013

      Absolutely! And the velcro keeps it nice and tight, so it works great. Have you used it before?

      • mouldsbeerblog
        August 8, 2013

        No, never used it. Next time I brew at home I’m going to try BIAB though, so something like this would definitely come in handy

      • dasalehaus
        August 8, 2013

        If you need any insulation, I’ve got plenty extra haha

  3. dave
    August 9, 2013

    Great idea…..I also BIAB and struggled with temp loss. I don’t suppose you’re anywhere near southern NJ are you 😉

    • dasalehaus
      August 9, 2013

      I am, actually. Get in touch, twitter, email, facebook, it’s all on the about page on the left hand side, whatever is easiest for you.

  4. Pingback: [Home]Brew Review: Deep Space – Black IPA | Das Ale Haus

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This entry was posted on August 7, 2013 by in Homebrewing and tagged , , , , , .

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