Rice Hulls & Efficiency? - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Rice Hulls & Efficiency?

Thread Tools
Old 07-24-2010, 05:06 AM   #1
Dec 2009
Minneapolis MN
Posts: 784
Liked 15 Times on 13 Posts

Ok, I just brewed my first AG wheat beer, and it was recommended to me to throw a couple handfuls of rice hulls into the mash to prevent a stuck sparge, which has gotten me thinking.

Rice Hulls do not add any flavors to beer, correct?

The reason we don't mill grain too fine is because you would get more stuck sparges, but you would get higher efficiencies. Coarser milling will result in less chance of a stuck sparge but lower efficiency.

So why don't I just always mill my grain finer and throw in some rice hulls which would in theory increase efficiency and prevent stuck sparges? This is of course assuming that my assumption that rice hulls don't affect flavor is correct.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2010, 02:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
Hammy71's Avatar
Sep 2008
, Maryland, The Tax Me State
Posts: 5,863
Liked 520 Times on 395 Posts

I only use rice hulls for stouts and wheat beers. If your making an ale with no adjuncts you don't need them. They add nothing to your brew as far as flavor. If/when you use them remember to pre-soak them so they don't suck up your yummy wort..... Efficiency is like a D$%k contest with some folks. Consistency is the most important thing when your doing AG. If your efficiency is a constant 75%....great. If your efficiency is 65% that's great too. It's when your efficiency fluctuates that your beer suffers. Consistency will allow you to adjust any recipe to make great beer.

Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 68,525
Liked 7376 Times on 5215 Posts

Well, I always heard "crush 'till you're scared" about crushing your grain! But, I'm perfectly happy with a .035" gap on my mill. I don't need rice hulls unless I"m doing a "sticky" beer, like using oats or wheat. The wheat and oats don't have husks, so they can really gum up the works and not set up a filter bed like barley does. To help with draining, the hulls "fill in" for the husks.

Some brewers (I think Biermuncher, for one) always use rice hulls, just as a matter of course. That's fine, especially if you buy them in bulk and have tons to use up.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2010, 05:24 PM   #4
Oct 2009
The Old Pueblo
Posts: 21,436
Liked 3625 Times on 3458 Posts

A stuck sparge isn't the only downside to over milling your grains. For example, if you shred the barley husks too much it will result in excessive tannin extraction. If you want a super fine crush without turning the husks into powder too, do a search for malt conditioning.

As Hammy said, at a homebrew level consistency is way more important than efficiency. I know there are things I could do to improve my efficiency a few points, but my system is fast, easy to use, and very predictable, which is well worth buying an extra 1/2# of grain every batch.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Should I use Rice Hulls on first AG? bmckee56 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 18 08-02-2009 10:11 PM
Help no rice hulls! Muss All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 16 03-16-2009 01:33 AM
Rice Hulls Kayos All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 03-01-2008 06:15 AM
Do I need rice hulls fullstop22 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 05-12-2007 11:33 PM
Using Rice Hulls? sonvolt All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 03-11-2006 03:21 PM

Forum Jump