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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Preparing corn for brewing?
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:58 PM   #1
dfassino
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Default Preparing corn for brewing?

I have a TON of corn where I live and my friend said I could have some to brew with. Trouble is I don't know what the process is to convert the corn to be able to brew with it efficiently. I just think it would be cool to brew a beer with some local ingredients. If it is something that is do-able let me know!

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Old 09-19-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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Mill it, then do a cereal mash and add that to the main mash.

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Old 09-19-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
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I have no experience with this so the following is based totally on reading (and that some time ago). I hope you will get a response from someone who knows what he is talking about.

The first problem with whole corn is that it contains enough oil to ruin your beer. The oil is in the "germ" so this must be removed. No idea how that is done.

Second, the starch matrix must be broken down in order to release the starch for conversion to sugar. In commercial brewing the corn is put into a separate cooker with a portion of highly diastatic malt. The heat gelatinizes the starch and the enzymes convert them to sugar. This separate mash is then combined with the barley mash much in the way a decoction is combined with a rest mash. A texbook on commercial American brewing practices should give you the details you need.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:27 PM   #4
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Just chew it.
Do a you tube search for chewing corn

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Old 09-21-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier View Post
Just chew it.
Do a you tube search for chewing corn
175 results of people/dogs/hamsters eating corn... what a fantasticly helpful suggestion.


back on topic...
corn kernels contain around 3.7% oil by weight. its not really fesable to extract that oil on the type of small scale we are talking about, in the same way that big production facilities do it.

it might be possible though to make a separate "corn mash", and either skim off, or just exclude, the top inch of liquid where the majority of the oil should float (being lighter than water). you would have to do some experiments and determine the best method, but it would be an interesting thing to try. if you could reduce that oil content by 90%, you would be left with around 0.3% corn oil by weight, which i dont think would have a huge impact on the beer; especially if the corn is not a large % of the total grain bill.

and actually, corn oil by weight is around 30% oleic acid, which is a great food for yeast cells. so if you get the oil content down low enough, the remaining residue should be broken down even furthur by the yeast themselves.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help! I'll give it a try on my next batch!

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Old 09-22-2011, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier View Post
Just chew it.
Do a you tube search for chewing corn
He was referring to chicha, and just kidding.
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
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In commercial brewing the corn is put into a separate cooker with a portion of highly diastatic malt.
I always wonder why cereal mashes are done with added barley. Why are the enzymes necessary if the cereal grain is then going to be added to the mash anyway (where there would be enzymes for conversion)?
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier View Post
Just chew it.
Do a you tube search for chewing corn
Try searching Chicha instead.
It will give you better results than just chewing corn.
Discovery Channel did a TV episode with Dogfish to create this Peruvian beverage a short while back. Corn is the major ingredient of this beverage.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:15 AM   #10
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From memory, the barley malt is added to cereal mashes to reduce the viscosity of the mash. Too thick, it can char if heated, or just be a pain to handle. The amylase in the malt reduces the dissolved starch molecular weight and that reduces the viscosity of the water phase of the mash.

That's my recollection from reading about this subject a couple years ago. Mind you I have cliff memory, after some time the memory falls off the cliff never to be seen again.

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