Washing oat husks before use

Discussion in 'Grain, Hops, Yeast & Water' started by Simonh82, May 18, 2018.

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  1. May 18, 2018 #1

    Simonh82

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    I was going to stick some oat husks in my next order to see if I could improve the recirculation flow in my BIAB set up whilst still allowing me to crush my grain very finely. On the Homebrew Company website I noticed that it said to "wash well before use". This struck me as an odd thing to have to do for grain husks.

    Any idea why this might be and what might happen if I don't? Is it about cleaning them, or does rinsing change they way that they behave in the mash?
     
  2. May 18, 2018 #2

    suffolkbeer

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    I’d say they’ll get a good wash in the mash tun lol.
     
  3. May 18, 2018 #3

    Sadfield

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    I've only ever used Rice Husks, but I guess they're the same beast. I see it as a washing thing. Being the outside of a grain, I guess they are more likely to be covered in dust and fungus spores etc. and probably get removed pretty early on in any gran processing. The malted grains we use will go through a cleaning process before, and as part of, the malting process, so rinsing the hulls will bring them up to the same standard.

    Ha ha, yes very true, although we do end up drinking the bath water.:yuk:
     
  4. May 18, 2018 #4

    the baron

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    Hi Sadfield
    I got a bag of crushed grain from the HBC which was very very floury (they said their grain mill had not been set wrong but I have received a sack of lager malt since which is back to how it should be milled ?). I too ordered some oat husks and added 300g to a 4kilo grain bill without washing them and the mash still stuck. However I didn't see any reason to wash them as they would be well rinsed in the mash with the pump in my Ace system. To over come the stuck mash I had to stir it which released all the flour into the wort, I then boiled as normal and after the boil put a large hop bag over the pump outlet and ran it so that most of the flour was trapped in the bag which I rinsed several times. I was then able to run the wort into the FV with no problems of a blocked filter unlike the previous brew with this grain
     
  5. May 18, 2018 #5

    dan125

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    Yeah, they are quite dusty so I give them a good rinse in a colander and leave them to drain for a while
     
  6. May 18, 2018 #6

    Sadfield

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    Hi The Baron.

    In my view, there is dust and there is dust. Dust in milled grain is likely to be flour from over crushing the grain. Dust on husks is more likely to be dust from soil, fungus, wild yeast, air polution. Where does this dust go in the mash, when we retain the water that rinses it off as wort? Each to their own, but I would rather wash it down the drain.

    As a side note, husks aren't a miracle cure for stuck mashes from poor lautering technique or setup, they will however help when using gelatinous grains such as Rye and wheat in high doses.


    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  7. May 19, 2018 #7

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Have you tried grain conditioning? It allows you to have a finer crush without adding rice hulls etc. The husk of the grain isn't torn to shreds when milling and improves the filter bed enormously. I do it for every brew now.
     
  8. May 19, 2018 #8

    the baron

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    how do you do that Bigcol?
     
  9. May 19, 2018 #9

    Bigcol49

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    Hi @the baron
    This page covers the basics of the process: https://www.brewersfriend.com/2010/01/16/malt-conditioning/
    I put the spray bottle on the scale, zero it and then carefully add the correct weight of water. I use an under-bed storage box to moisten the grain and one hand to mix the grain up to get even coverage. I usually let it stand for 30 minutes before milling.
    The grain doesn't get too wet and it has never clogged up my mill. There is a significant reduction in dust flying around with this method.
     
  10. May 20, 2018 #10

    Simonh82

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    I have tried conducting grain a few times. Until I started recirculating I didn't feel it was worth the effort and I was a bit concerned about my rollers rusting. Also my brew days usual take place after the kids have gone to bed and anything that adds an extra half hour is not ideal. I may give it another go because I'm looking at other ways to speed up my brew day but I'd prefer not to save time in one area, only to loose it in another.
     
  11. May 20, 2018 #11

    BeerCat

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    I have found adding the husks once you have a stuck mash is not ideal. You need to use a lot to make much difference. Its much better to add the when mashing in. I* have never washed them as they don't seem very dusty to me.
     
  12. May 20, 2018 #12

    Saisonator

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    I found oat husks dusty but rice hulls that I have only seen from one manufacturer in vacuume packs to be dust free.
    Also the rice hulls advice on the pack is to add to the mash before loitering, no mention of washing.
     
  13. May 20, 2018 #13

    Bigcol49

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    . . . with intent? :D
     
  14. Oct 14, 2019 #14

    St00

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    Some research I've read states to rinse your oat husks before use to remove anything stuck to them you don't want to end up in the boil AND to eliminate or at least reduce any potential absorption which may occur in the Mash.

    Prevailing wisdom seems to be to use 5%-10% in the mash depending on it's viscosity, so I'll be using 7%.

    I'm looking through use of rice/oat husks for a beer with oats in and I thought I'd just add this to the thread, as it hadn't been mentioned.
     
  15. Oct 14, 2019 #15

    Rakey

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    Use plenty of them on a regular basis, never washed them, never heard of any breweries that use them washing them either, never been advised by the manufacturer of them either that they need to be washed before use. If there is anything unwanted on there it will be killed off in the mash.
     
  16. Oct 14, 2019 #16

    BeerCat

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    Contradicting myself here but the last batch were very dusty so I sieved them. Not helpful adding that to the mash.
     
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  17. Oct 14, 2019 #17

    foxy

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    The reason for the wash is crop spraying, especially the rice hulls, but I was sure I read somewhere that in the EU rice hulls had to be prewashed if using for cattle feed or chicken/animal litter.
     
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