Rice hulls in the mash: how much to use?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by MLucky, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. MLucky

    MLucky Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2010 California

    I'd like to ask the guys who use rice hulls in their mashes: how much do you put in?

    I'm getting set to do a weisse using a grist that's about 60% wheat, and the last time I made this beer the sparge got pretty sticky. I'm planning to toss in some rice hulls this time, but I don't know how much is enough. With about 11 pounds of grain in the tun, would a pound of rice hulls be enough? Two pounds?
  2. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (737) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    I would say 1/4 - 1/2 # is enough ( they are really light per volume)
    As important might be a rest at ~125*F for 15-30 min...but probably not if it's all malted wheat

    I'm brewing a Wit tomorrow so I'm in flaked wheat mode :slight_smile:
    PortLargo likes this.
  3. mattbk

    mattbk Devotee (427) Dec 12, 2011 New York

    1/2 lb per 5 gals. Never had a problem with this qty.
  4. kdb150

    kdb150 Devotee (435) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    My LHBS recommended throwing in the whole pound. I'm not sure any is necessary; I have yet to have a stuck sparge that isn't easily unstuck by blowing back up into the outflow tube from my mash tun. Occasionally I have to pull a reverse Mega Maid and go from blow to suck, but it's not difficult to unstick.
    Seacoastbrewer likes this.
  5. inchrisin

    inchrisin Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    1/2# should do the trick. Have a pound on hand. You can always stir more in anytime during lauter.
    clobby likes this.
  6. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (293) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    Some have recommended using 1/2# of rice hulls.
    IMHO...0.5# is the correct amount.
    RobNewton and Marshall_ofmcap like this.
  7. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,790) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    In the past some posters have said "a handful" and I assume they were being literal. I've used 0-0.5# in the past, only using it in batches with wheat malt, rye malt, and gummy adjunct. However, I have an unusual stretch of bad luck with stuck sparges in recent history and have started to use a .25 # in all batches
  8. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (132) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Were you brewing a lonestar clone?
    JrGtr likes this.
  9. A2HB

    A2HB Initiate (78) Oct 30, 2013 Michigan

    So sounds like the consensus was for at least a 1/2 lb per 5 gallon batch. Cool, that was what I was planning on adding to my rye dipa I'm making. And at $.50 it's def good insurance, last time I did this recipe my sparge was draining glacially slow.
  10. Brew_Betty

    Brew_Betty Disciple (388) Jan 5, 2015 Wisconsin

    I've never used rice hulls. Never had a stuck sparge. Slow sparges have been fixed by poking a few slices into the mash with the mash paddle.
  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,306) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I use a pound of rice hulls for 15lbs of grist with up to %50 wheat malt.
  12. A2HB

    A2HB Initiate (78) Oct 30, 2013 Michigan

    I've never used them either and I brewed that rye recipe about 5 times previously. Never really had any problems until this last batch, it wasn't stuck but it was pretty close. Was frustrating enough that I"m going to give the rice hulls a try and see if that makes any difference. And like I said at .50 for half a pound it seems like good insurance.

    My recipe is usually about 20% rye malt
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  13. MrOH

    MrOH Savant (911) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Add me to the 1/2# vote if it's all wheat malt. If flaked, throw in a protein rest.
    For rye beers, my best results have been with mashing the rye separately, doughing in at 100F and slowly ramping up to meet the sacc rest temp of the barley, with pauses at 112 and 124. And a half pound of rice hulls.
  14. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (426) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    When if doubt add more. To me it's cheap insurance. I've added anywhere from 1# to most recently adding the most to date at 2#; that brew was OG 1.110, 2# of which was oats.
  15. A2HB

    A2HB Initiate (78) Oct 30, 2013 Michigan

    Well the rice hulls are not working lol. Draining first running at the moment and it's going slooooowwwwww. I think the vourlaufing is what's contributing to this condition, when i pulled the first quart to run the wort came out super fast. After the third vourlauf pass I noticed the wort was coming out a lot more slowly. I think how I'm performing vourlauf is over compacting the grainbed or something. Oh well. RDWHAHB
  16. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (737) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Try only opening your ball valve only half way and slowly so that a vacuum is not created. Adding a little sparge water won't hurt either to loosen up the mash. Just because your brewing software says "X" doesn't mean you can't adjust some things. How were the rice hulls mixed in? I put mine on top of the grainbill container so that they are the first to go in...but still need to be mixed thoroughly. Sometimes, it's just a case of an over zealous helper hitting the false bottom with the mash paddle. If you haven't had a stuck sparge, you haven't brewed enough or are living on borrowed time :slight_smile:
  17. A2HB

    A2HB Initiate (78) Oct 30, 2013 Michigan

    Ok good tip on the ball valve, next time I brew this recipe I'll do that when I pull a vourlauf or sparge. I do tend to let it open full blast so I bet it is creating some suction in there.
    The rice hulls were sitting on top of the crushed grains as they were the last thing I weighed out at the LHBS. When I doughed in I did mix everything really well like I usually do so don't think that was the problem. I bet it's how I'm opening my ball valve like you said.

    Sparge is completed though and about to start my boil, still no stuck mash thus far (knock on wood!) :slight_smile:
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.