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Old 01-03-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
Tamarlane
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Default Batch Sparge...Are Rice Hulls Necessary?

I batch sparge using in a 10 gallon Home Depot cooler. I usually add 8-16 oz when mashing large amounts of wheat, rye, etc. So last week I brewed a dunkelweizen with 51% wheat malt. I forgot the rice hulls but hit 81% efficiency with no stuck sparge or what not. In fact I didn't even realize I had forgot until I though about it a few days later. So I thought I would throw it out to the experts - is there any point using rice hulls when batch sparging? Or did I just dodge a bullet?

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Eh, I think it really depends from brew system to brew system. What works for one may not for another so they are just a nice safety net. Out of curiosity what kind of mashtun do you use.

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
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In my experience, batch sparging is less likely to get stuck. I believe it is because you stir after every water add and resettle the bed. Fly sparging, the bed just keeps packing down.

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by inhousebrew View Post
Eh, I think it really depends from brew system to brew system. What works for one may not for another so they are just a nice safety net. Out of curiosity what kind of mashtun do you use.
^this^

It all depends on your lautering system.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:02 PM   #5
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^this^

It all depends on your lautering system.
Round ten gallon cooler with a braided hose
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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Round ten gallon cooler with a braided hose
I've only used rice hulls for a pumpkin beer with pumpkin in the mash. Haven't had any stuck sparges or clarity issues. Cooler and braid here, too.

I rarely use wheat though...
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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I'm also a braid guy. I've had problems with pumpkin and wheat. I've noticed that I can go without rice hulls on 25% or less wheat, but I have to run-off fast after stirring the sparge. I vourloff really fast (kind of half a$$) and start draining before the grain bed settles. If I let it settle it will run very slow and possibly even stop. I should mention I use a Corona mill and I get a lot of flour in my crush. So, I guess it's safe to say that it also depends on your crush.

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Old 01-03-2013, 11:14 PM   #8
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I bought a (100#?) bale of rice hulls from a brewery because I brew a lot with Rye Malt. Regarding stuck sparges, it seemed to be hit or miss without the hulls. It kinda got expensive to buy hulls in 1# or 2# bags, so a asked about it at the brewery. $15 for the bale, I will never run out! Hahahahaha!!

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Old 01-03-2013, 11:22 PM   #9
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I bought a (100#?) bale of rice hulls from a brewery because I brew a lot with Rye Malt. Regarding stuck sparges, it seemed to be hit or miss without the hulls. It kinda got expensive to buy hulls in 1# or 2# bags, so a asked about it at the brewery. $15 for the bale, I will never run out! Hahahahaha!!
Wow! How big is that bag? Rice hulls are pretty light. Whatever works I guess.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:59 PM   #10
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I bought a (100#?) bale of rice hulls from a brewery because I brew a lot with Rye Malt. Regarding stuck sparges, it seemed to be hit or miss without the hulls. It kinda got expensive to buy hulls in 1# or 2# bags, so a asked about it at the brewery. $15 for the bale, I will never run out! Hahahahaha!!
If I'm gonna store something that big, it'd better be fermentable!
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