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Offline thinbluebbq  
#1 Posted : Saturday, August 09, 2014 8:29:40 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 8/9/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1

"Hello, all. New to the forum. I am switching over from propane to electric so I can run better in the garage, etc. I just got a band heater and I heard from folks on staff at Brewhaus that some folks use the band heaters and some insulation to prevent heat loss. I have a question about that if the group can help.

I found foil backed insulation from Reflectix and Frost King at local home improvement stores. Both manufacturers rate their temp to 200 degrees. I know the boil point of wash is less than water, but I was concerned 200 degrees might not be enough to prevent fire on the kettle. So what are you guys using for insulation? I found water heater insulation wraps and if that is what the group is using then I will get some as long as there aren't issues.

Also, I assume that you wrap the kettle above and below the band heater right? I would think the band heater gets too hot to cover with insulation, but I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Looking forward to testing things out next week when my band heater arrives."
Offline buggabooha  
#2 Posted : Thursday, February 26, 2015 6:39:33 PM(UTC)

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Joined: 2/26/2015(UTC)
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Hello thinbluebbq; I have also wondered this very question. Hopefully, by now you have found a solution, but if not, I have a recommendation. If you are serious about distilling, whatever you distill, then you should definitely insulate the kettle or pot. The heat should be transferred to the liquid in the kettle so that it can change phase and be efficiently distilled. If heat is transferred to the surroundings; it is wasted heat. Period. You probably already knew that. Distilleries use vacuum evacuated jackets for insulation because they are awesome. Either way, insulation is excellent.
When performing industrial operations like distillation, it is a generally a good idea to take it seriously. Do not bother with home supply stores because they generally deal with the typical atmospheric temperature range (<200F). Not too often will any building materials or etc. have a better temperature rating than 200F. There are very few examples. Go with automotive supplies! The temperature rating on items usually far exceed what distillers need, and gives that extra feel of safety. Never ignore common sense, though. Heat wrap for headers is a great, flexible solution for what YOU need. Temperature ratings usually push 2,000F degrees. If you are ready to spend 50 bucks on 50 feet of highly resistant heat tape, then you are serious about insulating. That is great for safety and efficiency. This may also lower your required heat input, since far less will be wasted to the surrounding environment. However, I cannot make any recommendations for the column, though. I have not tested the effects of insulation on the column. My wild guess is that only 3/4 of the column should be insulated (bottom to top) because of the reflux action and such. Good luck, be safe, and remember: safety, safety, safety.
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