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Flavor to Rice Hulls....

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  • Flavor to Rice Hulls....

    Greetings to all,

    I've been brewing commercially for the past few years. In my experience, i've regularly used 50-100lbs rice hulls per 55-80bbl batch, for various styles of beers. They've been mixed into the mash mixer by hand, after saccrification has been achieved. Normally, the last 10 minutes before transfer. I've recently relocated to a new brewery and the lead brewer has voiced his displeasure with using rice hulls in the mash due to the "flavor of rice hulls in the beer". I've never experienced a "rice hull flavor" so I was surprised by his position. Has anyone ever had a discernible rice hull flavor to their beer? If so, what kid of grist ratio where you working with?

    Thank you for your time,

    Jonathan Ward
    Last edited by HumBeer; 03-07-2018, 01:48 AM.

  • #2
    No. And easy to know.

    We wash ours pretty thoroughly in hot liquor several times before addition. Those additions are with grain-in, not later. Most always in a very light beer. No taste at all. Try steeping some rice hulls in a cup of water and see whether you get flavor or not. I think your coworker might not have done this.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


    • #3
      We have a single mash/lauter, we throw them down before pre-heating the tank.That rinses it, not sure if they need to be rinsed or not though. I've never noticed any affect of the beer.


      • #4
        I've made several beers (at several places) with and without rice hulls, both rinsed and not, and I could not find a significant difference in taste. I do source "clean" rice hulls (or husks as they call them here), and I never use the very bottom of the bag (mostly small chaff). In my Hefe we were able to remove a full bag of wheat and still achieve a very close gravity while also reducing the runoff from 120 mins to 90 mins on average. That is a significant savings for us in time and a good increase in efficiency. I only use them on beers with more than 30% Wheat, Rye or other husk-less grains as we typically see 75-90 min runoff and good extract from other beers. Currently use about 8 kg for a 215 kg batch, but previously around 50 lbs in about 2000 lbs - all in beers around 50% wheat. Mixed throughout mash in.

        The only way you will be likely to convince someone is to do a triangle taste test between beers made with and without. Have a panel do the taste, not just the one person.