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Corn

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  • Michael Eyre
    Well! If that last digest wasn t packed right full of stuff with my name on it. Good times! Thanks gentlemen, all appreciated. I think I learned about 6 years
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 28, 2006
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      Well! If that last digest wasn't packed right full of stuff with my name
      on it. Good times! Thanks gentlemen, all appreciated. I think I learned
      about 6 years worth of good info in one 5 minute sitting. And as such,
      I've got about 5.5 years of new riddles/questions. Shall we begin? ;-)

      Cary R. mentioned about corn conversion and having to cook the corn
      about an hour or so at something over 160 degrees before slightly
      cooling it and adding your barley, which should be about 20% of the
      total grist. He didn't mention anything about what /type/ of barley he's
      using.. .2 row? 6 row? Distillers malt (that I've heard only a little
      about?)? Curious about that stuff... but for my next attempt, I'll try
      this method of cooking the corn before I try to mash it. Thanks! While
      we're at it, I've searched the site and found a lot of the word
      "gelatinize" when working with corn, but I'm not sure what this process
      actually *means*. What is the corn doing when it's gelatizing that makes
      it more suitable than not gelatinizing it?

      As an aside, for my current sessions, I'm actually heating and mashing
      everything I do in a large crock pot. If you haven't thought about it,
      it's a fantastic way to heat and maintain the heat on 3-4 lbs of grain
      for whatever amount of time you need. I use it mostly for making gallon
      sized yeast starters for beer. The pot holds temps fairly well itself
      when up to temp, and my particular "low" crock pot setting holds at a
      146-152 degree window for me. I anticipate doing a bunch of small
      batches like this until I figure out actually how to DO what I want to
      do with it all to achieve my particular finished product. Also, holding
      at a temp like 150 or so will also keep the undesirable beasties out of
      the mash (infection) until you're ready to work on the project the next
      morning, if you do an all night mash as Cary suggests.

      Morgan mentions a little bit about temperatures that again made me think
      a bit. We're all measuring vapor temps here, right? A thermometer in the
      upper part of the pot would work for this well... but would a
      thermometer in the liquid part of the still work for us as well? Any
      benefit to having one installed down low in the wash?

      BTW, I'm getting the digest form of this, so I never see the "Links"
      thing at all on my screen. I'll try and find it online later...

      Morgan also mentions fermenting "on the grain", which is something I did
      not do. After a little web research, I found that single malt wash is
      usually sparged off the grains and fermented clear with no grains, while
      corn whisky style stuff is sometimes (not all?!) fermented on the grain.
      My only question with this is, I assume you have to mash your grains (as
      I wish to stay all grain, with no processed sugar used) like you
      normally would at 150 degrees or so for a while. Then, you dilute the
      whole mess with several gallons of water of whatever would be the
      appropriate amount for your particular recipe... and then pitch your
      yeast into this now diluted amount? In my case, this would have been 2
      gallons of finished wort/wash by using 3lbs of grains... or, do you
      pitch the yeast into your very thick mash that has only (in my case) 3
      quarts of water per pound of grain (3lbs, in my case)? From all the
      stuff I've seen on TV, the mash they're fermenting on the screen sure
      looks thick... but maybe that's just because the grains are floating on
      the top and the majority of the water is underneath the grains? That'd
      be a hell of a thing, and I'd love to try this fermentation on the
      grains, but I'd like some feedback before I begin that project. And when
      you're all done, how is the sparge performed? You'd have to heat up some
      water to sparge a thick mash, yes? Or if it was pre-diluted as I suspect
      it is, you just open the valve and hope it runs out the drain into your
      boiler?

      That's an awesome post. Love to get some feedback on this one! Thanks
      guys.

      Mike
    • Brendan Keith
      Gelatinizing the starch molecules causes them to unravel, from their initial compact form, to a bunch of outstretched strands which the malt enzymes
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 1, 2006
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        Gelatinizing the starch molecules causes them to unravel, from their initial
        compact form, to a bunch of outstretched strands which the malt enzymes
        (amyloglucosidases) can act upon and break down into simpler sugars
        (conversion), which is then consumed by the yeast to produce alcohol
        (fermentation).

        Ungelatinized starches won't convert or ferment.

        Your long hold at ~150F likely performs the gelatinization and conversion
        simultaneously.

        The Links are only visible from the Yahoo groups web page, not the digest or
        individual emails.

        A corn mash will have a far lower proportion of barley husks than an all
        barley mash, hence less tannin. Perhaps that's why they are sparged and
        corn is not.

        A fermenting all grain corn mash (in my experience) starts to smell like
        pretty rotten feet, although it distills out OK. Simply "turning on the
        tap" to sparge a thin mash might not extract all of the sugars. Lautering
        will help extract more, and yield a clearer wash. A final lauter with fresh
        water will push the last bit of sweet wort out. Depends on how much effort
        you want to exert. Google "No sparge" for more info.

        --
        Brendan Keith
        bkeith@...


        -----Original Message-----
        From: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:new_distillers@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Michael Eyre
        Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 3:50 PM
        To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [new_distillers] Corn

        ...
        While we're at it, I've searched the site and found a lot of the word
        "gelatinize" when working with corn, but I'm not sure what this process
        actually *means*. What is the corn doing when it's gelatizing that makes
        it more suitable than not gelatinizing it?

        As an aside, for my current sessions, I'm actually heating and mashing
        everything I do in a large crock pot. If you haven't thought about it,
        it's a fantastic way to heat and maintain the heat on 3-4 lbs of grain
        for whatever amount of time you need. I use it mostly for making gallon
        sized yeast starters for beer. The pot holds temps fairly well itself
        when up to temp, and my particular "low" crock pot setting holds at a
        146-152 degree window for me.


        BTW, I'm getting the digest form of this, so I never see the "Links"
        thing at all on my screen. I'll try and find it online later...


        Morgan also mentions fermenting "on the grain", which is something I did
        not do. After a little web research, I found that single malt wash is
        usually sparged off the grains and fermented clear with no grains, while
        corn whisky style stuff is sometimes (not all?!) fermented on the grain.
        ...
      • morganfield1
        Hi Mike, That s what I ment by light grain wash . I mash about 4 lbs. of corn (with powdered enzyme) in 3 gal. of water, then, when the mash is done, put that
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 1, 2006
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          Hi Mike,
          That's what I ment by "light grain wash". I mash about 4 lbs. of
          corn (with powdered enzyme) in 3 gal. of water, then, when the mash
          is done, put that in my fermenter, and add enough water to bring the
          entire volume up to 6 gal. When the corn is gelitanized, it's about
          the consistancy of oatmeal. After a successful mash, it's somewhat
          thinner, but still thick. After fermentation, most of the liquid has
          seperated from the spent corn, which sinks to the bottom. As with
          any on the grain ferment, you have to swirl it up every couple of
          days.
          Now, I think corn only has just over 50% fermentable sugars in it,
          so if your going for an all grain mash, your going to need alot of
          corn. You can also add more barley, or rye, something with more
          available sugars. There are others on this forum more knowledgable
          about all grain brewing than I who can help you out here.
          Tip one, Morgan

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Eyre" <meyre@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Morgan also mentions fermenting "on the grain", which is something
          I did
          > not do. After a little web research, I found that single malt wash
          is
          > usually sparged off the grains and fermented clear with no grains,
          while
          > corn whisky style stuff is sometimes (not all?!) fermented on the
          grain.
          > My only question with this is, I assume you have to mash your
          grains (as
          > I wish to stay all grain, with no processed sugar used) like you
          > normally would at 150 degrees or so for a while. Then, you dilute
          the
          > whole mess with several gallons of water of whatever would be the
          > appropriate amount for your particular recipe... and then pitch
          your
          > yeast into this now diluted amount? In my case, this would have
          been 2
          > gallons of finished wort/wash by using 3lbs of grains... or, do you
          > pitch the yeast into your very thick mash that has only (in my
          case) 3
          > quarts of water per pound of grain (3lbs, in my case)?
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