I’ve learned from this forum this year that stuck sparges just don’t happen even with high amounts of wheat and rye. So rice hulls just aren’t needed. Then I was traveling this weekend and grabbed the brewing books I hadn’t had a chance to finish this fall. One of the books is Denny’s and Drew’s book Experimental Homebrewing. I love the book. In it though, it makes a big deal about stuck mashes with wheat and rye. Huh. Since it’s a brand new book, I’m inclined to believe it has the latest information. So now I’m concerned I should be using the rice hulls again with my wheats. I brew with rye too, but I never use as much of that as wheat malts in my wheat beers. Since a lot of the older posts are gone, I guess we might have to rehash some of these discussions anyway. Thanks.
I think a large part is dependent on how you sparge. Fly sparging lends itself to a higher probability of a stuck mash with a higher percentage of wheat or rye. Batch sparging, not as much.
It is also system dependant. Some might have issues with a small amount of wheat or rye while others have no problems at all.
I fly sparge so rice hulls it is for wheat beers. YMMV.
I agree. I brew with a RIMS and will sometimes need rice hulls with a really big grain bill to avoid getting stuck. Always nice to have some on hand, just in case.
Nice thing is it doesn’t take much. A handful is plenty for 5gal batches.
Not to be the boogie man, but stuck sparges are real and they suck.
Rice hulls add zero flavor or fermantables, so if you think there is the probability of a stuck sparge, they are very cheap insurance.
Trust me I have had stuck sparges and they tend to suck the life out of your brew day.
But to reiterate what others have said, I have learned that your system contributes more to the problem than the ingredient.
Thanks for the responses. I’ll keep using them on my wheats since I sometimes get up to 65% of the grist as wheat malt. I was using half a pound. I’ll back that off to a handful. Thanks again.