Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
A 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.
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?Follow @dasalehaus