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Old 12-04-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
andrew300
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Yesterday I made a wheat beer with 50/50 wheat malt and 2row. I also threw in a half pound of rice hulls. My mash thickness was 1.25 qts/lb and my equipment is a 10 gal cooler with a false bottom from Northern Brewer. Everything went well until I tried to run off the first running. I got absouletly nothing so I blew air, stirred, poured it out and tried it again and still did not even get a drop. I gave up on this batch and went to go make a pale ale. I used about a half pound of wheat malt and my first runnings were very very slow. I got it all out and added the sparge water. This got totally stuck so I gave up again. I really do not know what the problem is and I need some help. I crush my own grain with a barley crusher at the factory settings and also have done numerous all grain batched without any of these problems. Do I just need to add a ton of rice hulls whenever I am using wheat? Please help me out. Thanks.

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
Tiber_Brew
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Have you tried taking the valve apart and seeing if there's any obstruction in there?
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:48 PM   #3
andrew300
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Yup, no obstruction.

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
Tiber_Brew
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when you stir the mash at dough in, do you gently stir for a while, or give it a couple hard turns and cover?
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On tap:
1. American Pale Ale 2. Michigan IPL 3. Helles 4. Kentucky Common 5.[Nitrogen] Oat Blonde
Primary:
1. Oatmeal Stout 2. Oatmeal Stout 3. none 4. none 5. none 6. none
Secondary:
1. Brett Ale 2. none 3. none 4. none 5. none
Bottled:
About 28 gallons of beer & 2.5 gallons of mead
Kegged & conditioning:
Rye Barrel aged DIPA, Helles, Kentucky Common

Current batch #: 227

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:56 PM   #5
hotbrew
 
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Well you have the right idea with using a buttload of rice hulls with wheat.

Do you fly or batch sparge?

When you open your valve on your MLT, do you open it all the way? or do you let it trickle out at first? If you open it too much and too fast, it can pack the grain down resulting in a stuck spage.

Next time, try stirring the mash a little more before you sparge, that might help the distribution of the wheat in the grain bed.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
andrew300
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I typically stir for a couple minutes after doughing and the I stir at about 30 minutes and just before I run it off. I batch sparge and open the valve very slowly. I will try it again with more rice hulls. What is the largest amount of rice hulls that I can put in without getting any tanin or flavor extraction from them?

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #7
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As far as I know, you can put a whole pound in there without any tannin or flavor extraction. A whole pound would be overkill, even with my wheat beers, I only put in a handful or two. The only way you would get any tannin extraction would be from sparging too hot or otherwise raising the grain bed temp above 172F for more than a few minutes. Which you shouldn't be doing anyway.

Otherwise i'm stumped, you shouldn't be getting any stuck sparges with a false bottom. Unless somehow some grain gets under the false bottom and clogs things up that way. But if you're not seeing any grain come out of the valve then i doubt that's the problem.
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