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Old 03-01-2009, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default basmati rice - cereal mash?

SO...a while back I bought about 25# of Basmati rice, because SWMBO prefers basmati & we eat lots of rice round the place...

now SWMBO has decided that basmati is unhealthy, and brown rice rules the roost at our house.

I still have about 20# of basmati.

Clearly, it MUST be turned into beer!!! woo hoo!!! as spring approaches, I'm feeling the need for nice "american pilsner" (IE: a blonde ale with real flavor)

Now, I've never done a cereal mash, can someone point me in the right direction?

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:47 PM   #2
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just cook the rice like normal.. then mix it into your normal mash

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Old 03-01-2009, 11:59 PM   #3
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I'm curious about this too. Would you have to go through a step infusion to break down gummy stuff in the rice? What about having enough diastatic power in your mash to break down all the starch in the rice? What's the best way to make sure you have a good starch conversion?

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Old 03-02-2009, 12:08 AM   #4
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i use flaked rice in my bud clone and the only other diatastic grain is pilsener malt(2row) and i routinely get 80%+. i have to believe that doing it with cooked rice would work the same way if your worried about the starches from the rice(this is what causes the gumminess of cooked rice) you can throw in a handful of rice hulls per pound of adjuncts.

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Old 03-02-2009, 03:43 AM   #5
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I did a cereal mash last night for a CAP. I did 2lbs of rice and about 10oz of 2 row with a good amount of water. Bring to 158 and hold for 45, then bring to a boil for about 60-75 minutes. It was definitely sweet and sticky, but not "gummy". You will probably need to add water a couple times, and stir like hell or else it will burn and stick to the bottom. I did a triple decoction and ended up getting about 90% efficiency.

I used rice hulls but still got a stuck sparge, however, I attribute that to my SS braid needing to be replaced with something better.

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Old 03-02-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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Okay, folks, time for The Truth Bat. I'm frankly tired of seeing these errors crop up.

People, there is no earthly reason to add malt to your separate cereal mash.* Holding the mix at an amylase-active temperature before boiling is just as pointless.

The whole point of boiling the adjunct grain in a second vessel is because the process of boiling liberates convertible starches from the protein matrix.

In other words, there is nothing to convert until quite a lot of boiling has taken place. If you add malt and hold the cereal mash at a conversion temperature, you're wasting time, effort and barley malt. Because there's nothing to convert. Yet.

Avoid the homebrewer's temptation to overcomplicate a process!


Boil your adjunct grains for an hour. Add the entire mix to the mash tun during dough-in.

Think of it like this: You don't eat these grains until after you boil them, because the enzymes in your intestines can't get anything worthwhile out of them until they're boiled. Malt enzymes are the same way: they can't get at the starches until you boil the grains. So, if you eat these grains, all you need to do is cook it like you would to eat it. That's it! Really! The same holds true for corn/maize, quinoa, spelt, amaranth, whatever - you need to boil it to liberate starches from the protein matrix, so the enzymes can attack the starches and convert them to sugars.

Perhaps we can stop the confusion by ceasing to call it a 'cereal mash'. After all, it's cooking, not mashing.

As for conversion power, brewers of Light American Lager use 6-row malt because it has slightly more diastatic power than 2-row. Not much; 160°L vs 140°L. Still, when you're trying to convert a mash that's 50%+ unmalted adjunct, you need every bit you can get. All that is to say that, unless you're approaching 50% adjunct, plain ol' two-row has plenty of power to convert your adjunct cereals and then some.

This message brought to you by The People Who Are Stunned At How Much Extra Work Other People Make For Themselves Through Erroneous Assumptions And Who See How Silly Notions Become 'Necessary' After The Notions Go Round The Internet A Few Times.

* A bit of husk matter in the cereal might help to keep it from becoming a sticky mass of glop, but why bother? You're going to be adding it to - and presumably mixing it well with - a whacking great tub full of husk matter! You don't have to lauter the adjunct alone. If you simply must worry about stickiness, add a fistful of rice hulls or something and carry on. RDWHAHB, fer Crissakes.

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Old 03-02-2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Just going by what I had seen around - I didn't come up with that process on my own.

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You don't eat these grains until after you boil them, because the enzymes in your intestines can't get anything worthwhile out of them until they're boiled.
Not true, you don't eat them until you boil them because it would hurt your teeth and not taste good. Your enzymes can certainly digest uncooked grains.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by phissionkorps View Post
Just going by what I had seen around - I didn't come up with that process on my own.
Noted. That's why I tagged the message as "Brought to you by..."

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Not true, you don't eat them until you boil them because it would hurt your teeth and not taste good. Your enzymes can certainly digest uncooked grains.
Okay, bad metaphor. Sorry.

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Old 02-24-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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Cereal mashing does refer to using malt as a percentage of the adjunct. Commercially it is done to make it easier to pump - I do it because it is easier to stir and avoids scorching. 2 quarts water per pound of cracked corn. Tell me you can boil this without a cereal mash and without a steam kettle, cause I sure as sht couldn't.

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