Author Topic: Rice hull question  (Read 5230 times)

Offline gymrat

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2011, 07:48:23 AM »
Given that I am a beginner to AG. As I said in my original post this is only my second all grain brew. I don't know enough about this stuff to know if the grist looks sticky, nor do I know enough about this stuff to get my crush spot on just yet, so this time around I am going to use the hulls. I will use half a pound and rinse them in a strainer. Then possibly add them to my mash tun before preheating. My mill is set at .039. This will be my first time using it. Last time I brewed a kit that was already milled.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2011, 08:46:33 AM »
Sticky would be the grain is still clumping and sticking together.  Your wort should move smoothly when you stir it but not be so thin it looks like soup.  Sorry I can't think of a universally known example to use right now.

Getting your crush right takes experimenting.  Starting at .039 should give you a good crush, which is most of the grain cracked and pulverized with the barley hulls intact.  Not like bread flour.  It needs to be a bit gritty.  The hulls will act as your bed filter.

As you get more comfortable with what things look like you will (I guarantee) start tightening your mill up and will sooner or later make paste and experience your first stuck sparge.  Once you hit that point you back it off a .001 or 2 and it will be "just right". 

Your equipment will determine how fine you can crush before it gets gummed up.  That gummed up point is where rice hulls will help the most.

Good luck and have fun.  It's almost guaranteed to be beer when you get done.  8^)
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2011, 09:13:11 AM »
It really does depend on your crush.  The finer it is, the more you will benefit from using rice hulls.  That being said, I agree with letting experience be your guide as you try different mill settings going forward.
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Offline richardt

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2011, 09:17:19 AM »
I can only speak for the BC malt mill.  Let's assume you have a BarleyCrusher (BC) malt mill.  Just set it on the line, maybe just a touch narrower.  Also, look at the various grains you're using; some of them (like wheat) are smaller than barley.  You may want to mill them separately.  I've had a pro brewer tell me to just aim for a "crack them in half" look.  It preserves the husk better.  They tend to get plenty flour-y regardless.  A very light spray (no more than 100 ml of H20 per 11 lbs of grain) of water on the base grains may help make the husks less friable.  This is known as malt conditioning.  It does tend to swell the grain a bit, which improves the crush w/o narrowing the mill gap or shredding the husk.  I once tried the malt conditioning but over did the watering--got corn dog rollers.  I just went back to widening my mill gap and haven't had stuck sparges (but haven't done wheat beer since, either).  I think excessive narrowing of the mill gap in pursuit of better efficiencies is unnecessary when one can just mash a little longer and focus more on controling the temps and pH and water profiles.

Offline weazletoe

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2011, 11:45:07 AM »
I've never done a wheat withoutr using hulls, so I can't say I haave experience otherwise. That being said, I'll also never do a wheat without hull. They cost like 10 cents for fifty pounds, or something like that. I don't see any risk in using them. I may be fine without them, but it's not worth the risk to me. I had on stuck spage, not using wheat, and that was bad enough. I can't imagine what a pian it would be with wheat. Not worth the risk to me. Calls me a wuss, call me a bad brewer. I don't care. I love rice hulls!  :D
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Offline malzig

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2011, 05:42:00 AM »
I don't like the idea of adding more husks (and tannins) than I need.  Malt Conditioning should remove any need for rice hulls, up to at least 50-60% Wheat Malt.

I think rinsing the rice hulls is used to pre-wet them, so they don't absorb mash water, as much as to wash them.

Offline gymrat

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2011, 09:40:29 AM »
I ended up going with 1/4 pound. it covered my false bottom with about an inch thick layer. I am not sure what good that did as I am sure it got stirred in to the rest of the mash. Oh how I love the smell of the grain when the strike water hits it :)
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2011, 12:09:13 PM »
After having to empty the contents of my  mash tun and clean it out not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times, I have decided I won't do another wheat beer until I have a better handle on what I am doing.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2011, 12:26:37 PM »
After having to empty the contents of my  mash tun and clean it out not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times, I have decided I won't do another wheat beer until I have a better handle on what I am doing.

Wow, what sort of system are you using to lauter?  I use the "dennybraid" and I've done numerous 50-60% wheat brews with no rice hulls and no stuck sparges either.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2011, 01:17:49 PM »
A round 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler with a 9 inch false bottom.
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2011, 01:30:26 PM »
My SG is 1.043 corrected. Is that good or bad for 10 lbs of grain?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2011, 01:52:10 PM »
For a 10 gallon batch, that's awesome efficiency, about 120%. ;)

For a 5 gallon batch its about 60%, below average but not terrible for your first batch.
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Offline dano14041

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2011, 02:23:44 PM »
After having to empty the contents of my  mash tun and clean it out not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times, I have decided I won't do another wheat beer until I have a better handle on what I am doing.

Wow, what sort of system are you using to lauter?  I use the "dennybraid" and I've done numerous 50-60% wheat brews with no rice hulls and no stuck sparges either.

As I follow this thread, I am wondering how many stuck sparges were on false bottoms vs "dennybraid".

I haven't made a wheat beer, but I have made a few rye ales at 40% rye and never had a  problem. (using a "dennybraid")
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2011, 02:43:59 PM »
I once added rice hulls onto the water before the malt and it resulted in a stuck mash.  (I have a stainless false bottom in a converted keg.) 
We discussed this in another thread a while back.  As I recall others with similar systems didn't have this issue.  But, for me I find it better to mix the hulls in with the grain and then add it to the water.  The hulls are there to act like husks and should be mixed in thoroughly.  They are not meant to be part of the false bottom.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Rice hull question
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2011, 03:42:15 PM »
If you need them, you're doing something wrong.

First of tell that to Gordon Strong!!  I don't think he's doing anything wrong.  His new book addresses the fact that he is a big proponent of rice hulls, even when not using sticky adjuncts.

That being said, my stouts always stick.  I started adding rice hulls after a terrible brew day, and have never looked back.  A lot of flaked barley and oatmeal sticks my system.  If you don't have to add them, good for you.  As a beginner like the OP is, I would highly suggest it for smooth lautering.  They definitely come in handy at my brew house!!
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