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Mashing with Corn

 
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dougtorre



Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Buchanan, NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Mashing with Corn Reply with quote


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Hi Everyone,

First time posting here. Apologies in advance if I miss protocol, etc I have to say this site is amazing and super helpful. I think Kai has done an excellent job building a fantastic community here and created a valuable resource for us all.

now my challenge:

I have an electric setup with 50 Gallon blichmann boilermakers and have been experimenting with corn. I haven't seen much out there in terms of advice so I thought I would post some of my experiments here.

Anyone who has experimented with corn will know how challenging it is due to two reasons.

1. lack of a hull. Like wheat, corn has no hull which makes circulation through the brewery a challenge
2. higher temperature of gelatinization of the starch from corn (180F) inactivates the enzymatic action in malt

So inevitably, this causes things to jamb up and not circulate through the system, classic stuck sparge. I am testing with small size batches of 23# of Corn and 2-4# of Malt. I've gotten close but thngs always bog down and stick. In my last attempt, I used a refined high temperature Alpha Amylase enzyme which fixed issue number 2. The grain stayed broken down and didn't turn to a sticky cement/glue, but it still jammed up the false bottom badly.

Here is what I plan to try next. Any advise or ideas are welcomed. Kai suggested trying rice hulls as they seem to help with wheat (also a hull-less grain). So I plan to add in 10-20% rice hulls (by weight) to my next batch as a test.

If that fails, I may try to add the grain to paint strainer bags, but my guess is that in this setup it will be tricky to get any efficiency in those bags. Still I am willing to try it.

If that fails, I may build a different type of false bottom copper pipe with slits as I have heard that may work better.

Cheers! -Doug
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TheGecko



Joined: 10 Mar 2014
Posts: 52



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've experienced problems mashing with corn too. I've been able to accommodate wheat, rye, etc... but corn just kills the circulation.

The only way I've been able to really avoid getting is stuck is "mashing" the corn separately in a cooler, and then adding the corn wort to the main MLT.

I realize that's kind of a PITA work around, but man, much less of a PITA than getting stuck during the mash.

Good luck though! Let us know what you try, and the results, please.

Cheers,
Drew

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Drew
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dougtorre



Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Buchanan, NY


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Drew,

The rice hulls were also a total failure for me. In the end, I had to use enzymes to keep the mixture nice and fluid. Adding high temp enzymes and mixing well worked fine to keep things from getting stuck with even 80% corn meal.
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug,
What percentage of corn are you using?
This is just a thought.
Start your mash with just the corn and 1 lb of barley.
Raise the temperature up as high as you can get it 190F or so. The enzymes in the barley will help to start breaking down the corn and thin out the mash as you work your way up in temperature. The 190F will start to gelatinize the corn and make the starches available to the barley enzymes once you've cooled the mash back down. After the corn has set at 190F for about 30 minutes, add the rest to the mash water and bring the mash temperature back to the 150F area. Add the rest of the grist and mash as normal.

Corn is very high in beta glutanes (?? I think that's what they are) that are very sticky, the high temperature will help to break them down.

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David

Kal Clone Controller
20 gallon Spike Brewing 3-Kettle System
SS Brewtech 14 gallon fermenter w/ gycol chiller
4 tap keezer with Nitro Tap
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dougtorre



Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Buchanan, NY


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David,

As I wrote in the post, I was using close to 80% corn in my mash. The enzymes in the barley will deactivate long before the mash reaches 190 and the corn starts to release its starch and gelatinize. Thats why one requires high temperature enzymes to make this work. I found that this one (Termamyl SC is a heat-stable alpha-amylase enzyme added to cereal cooking for faster, consistent liquefaction and thinning of starch in mash) worked fine at the higher temps and by adding just a small amount, things worked perfectly.

Trying to brew with large amounts of corn (and I would expect also rice) requires a temperature stable enzyme that still works in the 200F range you need to extract the starches. I found I could get my MT up close to 200F but that 190-195 was adequate.

I hope this helps others as I was quite successful using this method after a lot of failed attempts trying to extract just using malted barley alone.



David_H wrote:
Doug,
What percentage of corn are you using?
This is just a thought.
Start your mash with just the corn and 1 lb of barley.
Raise the temperature up as high as you can get it 190F or so. The enzymes in the barley will help to start breaking down the corn and thin out the mash as you work your way up in temperature. The 190F will start to gelatinize the corn and make the starches available to the barley enzymes once you've cooled the mash back down. After the corn has set at 190F for about 30 minutes, add the rest to the mash water and bring the mash temperature back to the 150F area. Add the rest of the grist and mash as normal.

Corn is very high in beta glutanes (?? I think that's what they are) that are very sticky, the high temperature will help to break them down.
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug,
I didn't read your original post closely enough. I was proposing a method to mash without supplemental enzymes. The first batch of barley will help start to breakdown the corn as the temperature rises, and yes the enzymes will denature at about 160F. After the corn is geletanized at the higher temperature the mash temp must be lowered to the typical 150f range and the bulk of the barley malt is added.

I have mashed 100% corn in my herms system with supplemental enzymes. Yes it is a sticky mess but I was able to recirculate the whole time, but it was slow and did require some stirring.

I used the following protocol:
SEBstar HTL = High temperature alpha-amylase
SEBamyl GL = Glucoamylase

Liquefication Step
Start with warm water (100-120F)
Add milled grains, and SEBstar HTL
Heat to 175-190F Hold for 60-80 minutes
this step breaks the starches into middle length chains (Dextrins)

Saccharification Step
Reduce mash temperature to 135F
Add SEBamyl GL Hold for 60 minutes
this step breaks the dextrins into simpler sugars

Sparge.

_________________
David

Kal Clone Controller
20 gallon Spike Brewing 3-Kettle System
SS Brewtech 14 gallon fermenter w/ gycol chiller
4 tap keezer with Nitro Tap
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dougtorre



Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Buchanan, NY


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David,

That makes more sense. Thank you for clarifying you were adding enzymes as well.

I initially tested with the SEBstar enzyme as well but it wasn't as effective as the other enzymes I switched too. (I think the batch I got from the supplier wasn't very good and hear others may have had a similar experience).

In any event with good high temp enzymes (and some small amount mechanical mixing) things worked quite well for me. and I followed a very similar process to your recipe below with great results.

In various runs I could hit an OG as high as 1.095 but 1.085 was my typical.




David_H wrote:
Doug,
I didn't read your original post closely enough. I was proposing a method to mash without supplemental enzymes. The first batch of barley will help start to breakdown the corn as the temperature rises, and yes the enzymes will denature at about 160F. After the corn is geletanized at the higher temperature the mash temp must be lowered to the typical 150f range and the bulk of the barley malt is added.

I have mashed 100% corn in my herms system with supplemental enzymes. Yes it is a sticky mess but I was able to recirculate the whole time, but it was slow and did require some stirring.

I used the following protocol:
SEBstar HTL = High temperature alpha-amylase
SEBamyl GL = Glucoamylase

Liquefication Step
Start with warm water (100-120F)
Add milled grains, and SEBstar HTL
Heat to 175-190F Hold for 60-80 minutes
this step breaks the starches into middle length chains (Dextrins)

Saccharification Step
Reduce mash temperature to 135F
Add SEBamyl GL Hold for 60 minutes
this step breaks the dextrins into simpler sugars

Sparge.
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