Author Topic: Rice hull question  (Read 9636 times)

Offline gymrat

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Rice hull question
« on: May 19, 2011, 04:45:25 PM »
This weekend I am going to do my second all grain brew. Am using a simple recipe of 5 lbs two row, 5 lbs malted wheat, and a pound of rice hulls to prevent a stuck sparge. My question is when figuring 1.25 qts per pound do I count the pound of rice hulls? So take 11 pounds times 1.25 qts?
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 05:18:18 PM »
I would not count the rice hulls when calculating.  Are you really going to put a whole pound of rice hulls in there?  That's a huge amount.
Joe

Offline gymrat

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011, 05:23:52 PM »
How much would you suggest?
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Offline tygo

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011, 05:54:16 PM »
On the rare occasion that I use them, I spread half an inch to and inch thick on the bottom of the mash tun.  Then I add a gallon or so of hot water to pre-heat the mash tun / pre-soak the rice hulls (and also rinse them off).  Drain that off and then continue about your mash.  If you do something like that then don't worry about figuring in any absorption from the rice hulls at all.  Like hokerer says, just ignore them for strike water purposes.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011, 06:08:41 PM »
Yeah, a pound is a ton of hull. With only 5# wheat, I think you could get away with  .25-.5#. I never really add the hulls into my grist weight, but I do dump in and extra bit of water.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 06:41:15 PM »
Yeah, a pound is a ton of hull. With only 5# wheat, I think you could get away with  .25-.5#. I never really add the hulls into my grist weight, but I do dump in and extra bit of water.

+1

I would go with .25 lbs to start. You can always add more if it still looks too sticky.
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ccarlson

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 08:27:27 PM »
If you need them, you're doing something wrong.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 08:33:34 PM »
How ya figure that?  :-\
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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 08:39:29 PM »
I've never needed rice hulls in many years of brewing, including recipes with 40-50% wheat. I used to have an occasional slow to zero run-off, but I tweaked things and corrected it.

If you're getting stuck sparges, then look at your equipment or procedures.

Offline bonjour

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 08:57:48 PM »
Rice Hulls are an appropriate and accepted practice in brewing.
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Offline euge

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2011, 01:38:30 AM »
If you need them, you're doing something wrong.

+1 They are dirty and generally worthless. This is my conclusion after brewing through 2 pounds of hulls. I've brewed up to 70% wheat without rice-hulls and no stuck mashes. I look to my crush and mash appropriately since grain varies from sack to sack. I'd look elsewhere for a sticky mash problem.



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ccarlson

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2011, 04:26:52 AM »
If you need them, you're doing something wrong.

+1 They are dirty and generally worthless. This is my conclusion after brewing through 2 pounds of hulls. I've brewed up to 70% wheat without rice-hulls and no stuck mashes. I look to my crush and mash appropriately since grain varies from sack to sack. I'd look elsewhere for a sticky mash problem.





And +1 back at you. I failed to mention crush, which is an important part of a good sparge. If your crush is right many of the empty hulls are still intact. Why add more? They may be "an appropriate and accepted practice in brewing", but I've known several pro-brewers and they don't use them, not even in their wheat beers.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2011, 05:01:22 AM »
When one of the mashes of the 'Old Cantankerous" stuck, the second got a dose of rice hulls.  About half a bale of rice hulls went directly in the mash for 10 barrels of beer.  They had those on hand, for some reason.

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Offline richardt

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2011, 05:52:53 AM »
Why would rice hulls need to be "rinsed off?"  My understanding of rice hulls is that they are flavorless and inert.

Good points by everyone.  Put me down as someone who thinks the use of rice hulls is a sound practice with practically nothing to lose and everything to gain.  If it doesn't make a difference, my brew day continues uninterrupted and my beer still ends up good.  If it does make a difference (improves efficiency by making the mash less doughy, shortens lauter time, prevents a stuck sparge), then I consider it a buck very well spent.  My free time is in short supply, and while I love this hobby, I want to brew efficiently and effortlessly.  In other words, brew smarter, not harder.

Wheat grain does not have husk material (just a thin pericarp).  In grain bills where wheat comprises a significant percentage of the grist, one should keep in mind that in reducing the percentage of barley in the grist, you are also reducing the amount of husk material which is essential for mashing and lautering.  If you don't have the husk material, then what are you using to create the porosity throughout the mash and to set the filter bed during lautering and sparging?  I grant that malt conditioning (use no more than 100 ml H20 per 11 lbs grist) and/or careful attention to milling (to preserve the husks) may offset this loss somewhat, but how low can you go before you essentially just have a bunch of flour and not enough husks?

My only slow lauter last year was on a wheat beer...  Though it is quite possible that my mill gap was too narrow and I over-crushed the grains, I nonetheless think that the addition of rice hulls would have made my day go more smoothly.

This is a timely discussion.  I'm about to do a Weizenbock with around 55% malted wheat.  I will be careful with my crush and will be using rice hulls.  I am also considering switching to a rectangular cooler instead of my 10 gallon round Rubbermaid cooler in order to further decrease the grain bed height and minimize compaction.  I'd rather make it in 5 hours than 8.

Offline tygo

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2011, 06:04:47 AM »
Why would rice hulls need to be "rinsed off?"  My understanding of rice hulls is that they are flavorless and inert.

Maybe they don't need to be but it gives me peace of mind.  The rinse water I run off isn't nice and clean like the water I'm putting in so there's something coming off of the rice hulls.  Plus I want to pre-soak them anyway to remove them from the water/grist ratio equation.
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