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How much rice hulls is needed, if any?

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I plan on having my first all grain brew Saturday. I am looking to brew "Change of Saisons" recipe off of MobCraft's website. I have been told by one person to use 1/2 pound of rice hulls and yet another person suggested using a full pound. After reading various threads, I find there is a wide range from zero amount to one pound depending upon how much wheat is in the recipe.

The recipe main ingredients for a 10.5 gallon batch going into the fermenter are:
14 lbs 11.2 oz Belgian Pilsner
2 lbs 5.9 oz Rye Malt
2 lbs 1.6 oz Munich Malt
1 lb 3.2 oz Rye Flaked
10.1 oz Torrified Wheat

So, how much rice hulls would you use? It is pretty cheap insurance. Though, I'm not sure if it is really needed. I just want to have a pleasant experience with my first all grain brew.
 

waldoar15

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A lot of it just depends on your system. I can get away with 2 lbs of flaked corn in mine without using any, for example.
 
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My estimate is based just on my experiences. 8 oz rice hulls in a similar recipe at 5-gallon scale has always been more than enough, even when I was mashing in a cooler.
 

Simonh82

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What's your mashing and sparging method? Stuck mashes seem to be more of a problem in fly sparge systems than batch sparge and more of a problem in batch sparge systems than brew in a bag/mash in a bag.

If you're using a bag the You should be fine without. If you are fly or batch sparging I'm sure the advice above will be good.
 

Blazinlow86

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I think it's more to do with your system then anything else. I have a recirculating eherms and always use a "handful" with any wheat recipes. Others with similar systems don't need them at all. If your unsure go with the higher-end to be safe. Asides from using up more space in your mash tun/ absorbing more wort and generally being messy you can't really overuse them.
 

cactusgarrett

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I batch sparge and have never needed any more than 0.5lb of hulls for a grist comprising upwards of 50% wheat. YMMV based on sparge technique, as other mentioned.
 
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Thanks for all the comments! Being as this will be my first all grain brew in the morning, I'm going to use 1 lb this go around.

@Simonh82, @Blazinlow86 I'm using a two kettle recirculation infusion mash system similar to Blichmann's BrewEasy system except my kettles will be side by side.
 

day_trippr

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I gotta say, for that grain bill I wouldn't use any rice hulls, never mind a whole pound (which is a hella lot of hulls).
In any case I'd soak the hulls up front and let them drain well before doughing in otherwise it's going to throw off your mash thickness...

Cheers!
 

Blazinlow86

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Sorry I some how missed the grain bill. I wouldn't worry too much about the rice hulls with that one
 
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Well, I'm still up cleaning and assembling items. I need to harvest a quart of the yeast starter and then put both the starter and the harvested yeast in the refrigerator. Hopefully, I will start brewing in 7-8 hours!

Perhaps 1/2 pound of rice hulls might be a good compromise? Again, while it may not be needed, with this being my first all grain brew, I would rather error on a conservative approach rather than dealing with a stuck mash.

When I received my grain mill, based upon Fred's (Monster Mill) recommendation, I marked .035, .040, and .045. It was suggested I start with .045 for my first batch. With a coarser grist, maybe 1/4 pound of rice hulls?
 

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I've never weighed rice hulls- a couple of handfuls is what I use when I need them. It's not a "weight thing"- it's a volume since they give you some space in the mash to avoid it sticking together.

Throw some in, but if you're crushing at .045, you probably won't even crush the wheat! Wheat is harder and hull-less, as is rye, and I crush at .030 and even then they don't all crush well.
 

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I've never weighed rice hulls- a couple of handfuls is what I use when I need them. It's not a "weight thing"- it's a volume since they give you some space in the mash to avoid it sticking together.

Throw some in, but if you're crushing at .045, you probably won't even crush the wheat! Wheat is harder and hull-less, as is rye, and I crush at .030 and even then they don't all crush well.
True...the wheat needs to be crushed separately from the rest of the grain because it is smaller...
 

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I've only ever used rice hulls when I make my Pumpkin Ale just cause the pumpkin puree makes for a real thick goopy mash. Never needed them for my Hefeweizen's or Wit's, and I crush with a credit card gap thickness .030 for all my grains. Wheat being smaller definitely do not start with .045. If you do use rice hulls, as day_tripper said, I would wet and drain them a few times to rinse them and get them presoaked.

Rev.
 
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Thanks for the follow ups! I like the suggestion of rinsing/soaking of rice hulls. @Yooper, thanks for the heads up on the gap with crushing wheat.

Yesterday, after everything was crushed, hop additions measured, water profile additions added, and 12 minutes into heating my water, my controller made a "pop" noise and the heating element light turned off. When I opened the panel, there was smoke and a smell of wires or plastic burning. The internal circuit breakers did not trip. My electrical 30A breaker did not trip either. I could not see any burning marks on any wires or anything.

I turned off all breakers and then turning them back on to see if that would reset everything. It did not work. The control panel would still light up with everything turning on except the heating element.

Since this was the first time using the controller, I wanted to test to see if anything else had problems. I decided to see if my pumps would work. Opened valves and turned on my boil pump and had it recirculating water back into the boil kettle. After a minute, I heard another "pop" and noticed all the lights turned off on the controller. Opened the controller, saw the same smoke as before and smelled the same smell as before. This time the breaker in the controller was tripped. Nothing I tried would turn it back on.

So, yesterday was a disaster. I plan on contacting the manufacturer of the controller unit on Monday. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

Thanks for listening to my venting.....
 
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