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Old 06-09-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
dustyt
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Default Everything about corn

I am literally a farmer. As such, I literally have a grain bin full of whole kernel dried corn that I'd like to leverage in my brewing hobby.

#1 My main question is can I put whole kernel corn into the boil and get anything from it? I'm an extract brewer. I don't have a grain mill. I don't think it'd matter if I did as the local brew store tells me the kernels are too big to fit through the mill. I suspect I need to at least crack the kernels to expose the enzymes (?) for fermentation to occur. I guess I could literay use a rolling pin to crack the kernels. Would that be sufficient?

#2 All the recipes and forums I find talk about using flaked corn -- which I'm sure is utilized totally different than whole kernel will be. I understand corn should lighten the color and final gravity because it ferments more completely than barley. So, i am also concerned that I don't use too much corn such that I get a "corny" taste. How many ponds of whole kernel per gallon would be too much?

#3 most recipes use flaked corn in blonde Cream ales. I'll start with that, but also wonder if what other styles can best leverage my corn bin.

#4 are there any other cautions I should be aware of when using corn.

Thanks for any of your insight!
Prost,
Cornhusker



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Old 06-09-2012, 02:33 AM   #2
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You would need to do a cereal mash.
http://www.ingermann.com/cerealmash.html

Also why not plant a row or two of barley if you want to brew with your own grain.



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Old 06-09-2012, 09:49 AM   #3
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The price of corn these days I would just sell it and buy flaked corn to brew with. Unless you want to say you grew the corn that is in your beer.
I wonder if you could malt the corn, and instead of drying it just throw it in the mash tun with the rest of your grains? It might be an interesting experiment.

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Old 06-09-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Default Everything about corn

To Ruralbrew: True. The price of corn is high today. But you guessed it: I'd like to just be able to say that "I grew this corn". Additionally, it is convenient for me to just walk across the yard and grab some corn out of the bin as is; as opposed to driving to the store to get flaked corn, or to order it on line.
Since I still do extract, I thought I could just throw the corn in with the other specialty grains. I'm just not sure if it will work at all if I don't at least crack the kernels a little first.

To Ramitt: I don't raise any other small grains like oats, barley, wheat. Hence, I don't don't have such a grain harvesting head for my combine. I only have a "row crop" head for my combine. To get a bushel of barley I'd have to plant a large patch, and it'd take hours to pick by hand. Call me lazy but I don't want to bother with that. I admit it'd be pretty cool to do though.
Cerial Mash sounds interesting. Could I do this as an extract brewer? The website you referred to discusses using corn meal, as opposed to my whole kernel corn. Are you suggesting as an experiment that I could
(1) just soak the whole kernels (in a sock) for 20 minutes at 153 degress. Then remove the corn and add my specialty grains and proceed extract as usual?
(2) Or, just add the corn with my specialty grains and steep them all together at 153 for 30 mintues and proceed extract as usual?
(3) the website talks about gelatinizing the corn meal. ??? I would think you'd have to drain off the water (wort) some how or else you'd have a huge amount of trub in a carboy later on. And it would never go through my plate chiller. I don't understand what you do with the gelatin after it gets to the gelatin stage.
I'll try to contact that author, but his article is from 1997 so I'm guessing he's moved on by now.

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Old 06-09-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyt View Post
Since I still do extract, I thought I could just throw the corn in with the other specialty grains. I'm just not sure if it will work at all if I don't at least crack the kernels a little first.
.
No, as is the corn won't do anything, you have to convert the starches in there to sugars first to have any contribution to your beer. You have to geletenize it with heat first.

Like Ramitt already said, you have to do a cereal mash. It's not difficult to do....
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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And, cracking the corn is a must, if you want it to convert from starch to sugar

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Old 06-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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I have no idea if this is any help but it might work???

When we put up silage for the cows there was gallons of nice corny flavored juice coming out of the chopper. This was when we made silage and not dried whole corn.

I am wondering if the starch in this juice could be converted using some 2 row malt. It fermented all by itself in the silo.


bosco

ps. I can still remember that sweet smell of fermented corn after a month or two in the silo, it was great. And the cows loved every bit of it

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Old 06-09-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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Farmers around here find it much easier to let ADM ferment the corn.

I think you would be better off trading your corn to a neighbor with wheat, rye, or barley

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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You will need to crack the corn, and then cook it (boil it) for about an hour. This must be stirred constantly in order to keep it from burning. It is really a lot of work, but if you want to say you used your own corn, give it a try. You will end up with something that looks like creamed corn. Once cooked you put it all into the mash tun with your other grain (after it cools to 150F). I do not know the procedure to do it with extract. I would also put a couple of tsp of amylase enzyme into the mash. Below are pictures of the mill I use to crush my grains. It is capable of cracking corn, I think that is what it was made for. If you live in a farming community ask around, someone will have something like this sitting around in a machine shed.



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Old 06-09-2012, 11:29 PM   #10
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ps. I can still remember that sweet smell of fermented corn after a month or two in the silo, it was great. And the cows loved every bit of it
One of the guys on my vintage base ball team is a, gee I don't know what to call him, a "legal moonshiner?" a "Fermentation engineer?" He works for a company that makes ethanol out of corn. We were talking about fermentantion, brewing, and distillation after the game and he talked about was talking about wild fermented corn as well. I never realized it could happen. But he said the corn is pretty nasty at that point.

He mentioned they the too do what would be a "cereal mash" but on a huge scale to get the corn ready. And that they also add an amylase to it.

He's going to bring me some of the high grav Fermentis yeast they use. They ferment at 90 degrees.

We're wondering what the yeast would be like if I fermented a batch of beer with it, but really cool.


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