Your thoughts on rice hulls for BIAB

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hotbeer

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As I move away from complete recipe kits that didn't give me a choice, I'm wondering if I need to use rice hulls or not worry about them.

At the end of my mash, I do tend to form a depression in my bag and rinse it and the grains inside with some clean 170" water to add to my total wort collected. So if I continue to do that, then maybe rice hulls are needed.

But I'm not altogether certain if that's any more effective that just dunking the bag in some clean water. In which case maybe rice hulls wouldn't be needed.

What say you? (keep the rice hulls in mind but where ever else you care to drag this topic is okay with me.)

(durn.... I thought I was in BIAB. If a mod wants to move this, I'm okay with that too.)
 

MaxStout

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The only time you might need rice hulls in BIAB is if there is a significant amount of rye in the mash. Rye doesn't have hulls to aid in draining and it has a lot of glucans which will make the mash sticky. The rice hulls allow for better drainage at mashout.
 

Beernik

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You generally won’t need them unless you are using a lot of rye or flaked/torrified grains. But they also won’t hurt anything if you want to use them.
 

CascadesBrewer

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As I move away from complete recipe kits that didn't give me a choice, I'm wondering if I need to use rice hulls or not worry about them.
I have never used rice hulls with BIAB and have not had issues with draining. Looking over my past recipes I see several with 15% to 20% stuff like rye, oats, and wheat (mix of malted and flaked). I usually do a full volume mash (or a dunk sparge for larger grain bills).
 

MaxStout

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I have done a 52% rye beer BIAB without using rice hull. It wasn't worth the trouble, but it wasn't that bad either.
You're fortunate. I did a 50% rye Roggenbier with no hulls. Mashout was a mess. Hoisted out the bag and practically nothing was draining out of the bag. Had to set it in a colander and squeeze for 20 minutes to get the wort into the kettle.
 
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hotbeer

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So in general, if I'm only using barley malts, I should be good with no rice hulls, but higher amounts of other grains, wheat, rye and oats I might need some.

Thanks. A lot of my next batches will be all barely malts. And I was thinking that rice hulls wouldn't be a necessity. Though I don't like waiting for my bag to drain. Although I'm patient with most everything else, between my mash and boil, I like to get it over with.
 

DBhomebrew

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At the end of my mash, I do tend to form a depression in my bag and rinse it and the grains inside with some clean 170" water to add to my total wort collected. So if I continue to do that, then maybe rice hulls are needed.

But I'm not altogether certain if that's any more effective that just dunking the bag in some clean water. In which case maybe rice hulls wouldn't be needed.
With regard to lauter efficiency, a dunk sparge is better than most pour overs. Best practice is to fully drain the 1st runnings, dunk the bag (cool ok), open it, thoroughly mix, pull and drain the bag.
 

AlexKay

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I've gone all-in on oats and rye (Roggenbier, Roggenbock, Hefe-oaten, Oatwine...) and have never used rice hulls for BIAB. Sometimes it drains pretty normally, sometimes it's a bit slow; the only time it's been unmanageable is when I've messed up and the pH has gone too low during the mash. For what it's worth, I use Wilser bags.
 

balrog

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Oats.

They be sticky too.

Don't try to make a blue moon clone for your wheat-allergic offspring by simply replacing wheat with oats at 40% of the grist.

Ask me how I know.

I don't think rice hulls would have saved me.

Maybe rice hulls, an extreme amount of time, and dynamite.
 

cubalz

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I have never used rice hulls in any BIAB recipe regardless of the grain bill, it has never been an issue. Even with rye or oat heavy bills, gravity takes care of it all.
 

z-bob

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I have never used rice hulls in any BIAB recipe regardless of the grain bill, it has never been an issue. Even with rye or oat heavy bills, gravity takes care of it all.
With mine, gravity did a pretty poor job of it, but squeezing and kneading the bag did okay.

I won't brew another beer heavy on pale rye malt; (I didn't taste any rye in this one) I will use the rest of my rye malt a little at a time to add body and foam to my normal barley beers, and someday I will try another rye beer using a high percentage of unmalted rye flour. Or maybe some caramel rye or roasted rye malt.
 

tracer bullet

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Agreed it's process dependent. If you recirculate during the mash, they can help. Sometimes they are needed, sometimes not. Sometimes you can call it cheap insurance.

If you don't recirculate then forget about them.
 

RufusBrewer

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Never used rice hulls but ready to a heavy rye. Do you add the rice hulls before milling or to the already milled grains?
Do not mill rice hulls. Mix the rice hulls in after grain bill has been milled.

That is the point of rice hulls, to have stuff that is large and to put some non-sticky parts between the sticky bits.
 
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hotbeer

hotbeer

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Oats.

They be sticky too.

Don't try to make a blue moon clone for your wheat-allergic offspring by simply replacing wheat with oats at 40% of the grist.

Ask me how I know.

I don't think rice hulls would have saved me.

Maybe rice hulls, an extreme amount of time, and dynamite.
How'd you know I've been toying with the idea of a Blue moon or Shock Top clone or just a Belgian wheat ale in general?

However I'm still a little infatuated with the taste of Brewdog Punk IPA . Might need to do some more. Especially since it's a real simple grain bill, and for smaller batches I do, I can get away with not so diverse a hop selection and use just two or three types.
 

doug293cz

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With regard to lauter efficiency, a dunk sparge is better than most pour overs. Best practice is to fully drain the 1st runnings, dunk the bag (cool ok), open it, thoroughly mix, pull and drain the bag.
I agree. To add to the above, it you want to squeeze (to reduce grain absorption losses, and increase lauter efficiency even more) then the efficacy of the squeezing options, from highest to lowest lauter efficiency are:
  1. Squeeze after initial drain and after sparge drain as well
  2. Squeeze after initial drain only
  3. Squeeze after sparge drain only
  4. No Squeeze
If anyone is really interested, I can do a numerical simulation of the above options.

Brew on :mug:
 

greywolf

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I went BIAB due to the mother of all stuck sparges. My 10 Gallon Igloo with braid worked well until I discovered rye. . That was enough for me. Added rice hulls until I ran out and haven't seen the need for them with this system. There's at least some rye in most of what I make now. Some a little and some are 50%. The bag just works.
 
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