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Old 08-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default Flaked maize and fermentability?

Currently my saison recipe has 8% cane sugar to help dry it out. I am wanting to replace this with something that may add a slight bit of flavor and more complexity over all to my beer. I was thinking about using flaked maize as an adjunct for this, though I'm not totally sure about its fermentability.

I realize that a 1:1 substitution will not give me what I need, I am definitely willing to increase the amount of flaked maize up enough to get me to my desired FG (1.005 is where it finishes at).

So, the starches in the maize need to be broken down and converted in the mash with malt enzymes, but how fermentable are these subsequent sugars? Are they similar to complex malt sugars/dextrins? I realize maize wouldn't contain sugars like maltotriose, but I'm not sure if the gravity units of this adjunct could eventually be 100% fermentable with adequate mashing length/rest temp. I have been mashing at 145 for 90 minutes for this beer.

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Old 08-11-2012, 01:38 AM   #2
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Flaked maize should have its starches already gelatinized, so a normal mash would be preferred for simplicity. If you use corn grits, you would have to gelatinize the starches by cooking them to at least 180. I'm just wondering why you would want to use maize in a siason. To get a different flavor? The maize will definitely lighten the color and produce a more fermentable wort. Maybe just try about 10% flaked maize and move the cane sugar to 5%?? I don't know. You could also use a very high attenuative yeast like Wyeast Belgian Ardennes (WY3522) or French Saison (WY3711). That would get you to the right FG. I believe that the sugars you will get out of the maize after conversion would be highly fermentable and you wouldn't have a problem with residual sugars from that adjunct. Just my $0.02.

Cheers!

Good luck!

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Old 08-11-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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The only thing I want to change in this recipe is the source of simple sugars - I'm just curious of how simple flaked maize sugar's can get with the proper mashing technique

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibb
The only thing I want to change in this recipe is the source of simple sugars - I'm just curious of how simple flaked maize sugar's can get with the proper mashing technique
I'm sure that you would get tons of sugars out of the maize with a regular mash.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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Careful with the maize - too much can leave behind a cloying, corn syrup like flavor. If you're doing a step mash, you could try some steeping grains at the end of your mash and pull them before sparging. I've never tried it, but should give more body and a different flavor.

The other thing I've done is add self-pasteurized fruit puree & peptic enzyme in the secondary (peptic enzyme breaks down the fruit sugars for a little extra fermentability).

Experiment and see what you like best!

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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Maize starches will convert very similarly to the starches from regular malted barley, so using the right temperature range for the mash will make a difference.

Maize in beer DOES have a cooked corn smell, similar to what you can smell/taste in a lower-end beer (think PBR, etc).

Also, maize is pretty sticky in a mash (found out the hard way over the week-end's brew session) and if any larger amount (more than 1 lb per gallon) is used, I'd recommend adding rice hulls.

MC

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Old 11-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #7
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The answer to the OP is NO - fermentability will not be greater with the use of flaked maize. The definite answer I found is located here:
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/682

Since barley enzymes are the ones converting the corn's sugars (as misplaced put it), they will not break the maize's starches down any further than they would pale malts or the like. The primary reason for using this particular adjunct is to remove some malt presence in the beer and perhaps give a subtle sweet-corn like flavor (that should never be cloying).

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Old 11-29-2012, 06:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibb View Post
The primary reason for using this particular adjunct is to remove some malt presence in the beer and perhaps give a subtle sweet-corn like flavor (that should never be cloying).
The original reason US brewers used corn was to counteract the high protein content of American 6-row barley. Now, the primary reason for using corn is economic, thanks to the hefty tariff on imported sugar (and you always wondered why Iowa wanted to have the first presidential caucuses). Soda manufacturers have to use corn syrup; breweries can just use the enzymes present in the barley to make their own during the mash. Corn does lend a flavor all it's own, but it's not one that is generally considered to be desirable.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
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Corn does lend a flavor all it's own, but it's not one that is generally considered to be desirable.
In your humble opinion I presume. I use a pound or so of grits in a lot of my ales and consider their taste addition desirable.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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My opinions are never humble, nor should yours be. That most people don't like something doesn't mean you shouldn't, with the part about what they do like being equally true. As Chuck Klosterman put it, "You can’t build your life through the desires of strangers."

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