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Old 08-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Question about using corn

A friend of mine wants to try his hand at making a fermented beverage. He told me he wants to use corn but he wants to use fresh corn instead of dried.

Will using fresh corn affect the extraction of sugars needed for fermentation?

I was under the impression that drying of grain concentrates the sugars and would increase efficiency.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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As a heads up. This thread will likely be closed. The forum doesn't allow discussion of illegal activities.

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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I did not realize that. I reworded the question, I hope this is cool with the powers that be.

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Old 08-06-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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You want to use corn that has been dried to about 15% moisture. I am assuming you are wanting to use field corn, not sweetcorn.

There aren't any sugars in corn persay, there is starch which will need to be cereal mashed with some malt, (about 10%) by weight, then you will need to add malt in the mash also to convert the starch to sugar.

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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His idea was to use sweet corn. I guess that won't work. Is there not enough starches in it?

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Old 08-06-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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I have no experience using sweet corn, so i can't help. Sorry.

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:51 PM   #7
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Go out to your garden and pick 2 ears of corn. Eat one right off the stalk. It's so sweet you don't even need to cook it. Now hold the other for a couple of days and repeat the test. Not so sweet, is it? It does seems that the newer cultivars hold their sweetness longer than the ones I remember from my youth so perhaps this little demonstration won't be as dramatic as I think. The point being that as the ear matures (especially off the plant) more of the sugar links up into longer starches. The way to undo this is, of course, to cook the corn with enzymes present and that's exactly what brewers do when they use corn. They mix it with a small percentage of high diastatic power malt (6 row) and cook it up.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:27 AM   #8
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Wouldn't cooking the corn with the 6-row destroy the enzymes? Or do you cook the corn to gelatinize it, and add the 6row at when it cools to proper mashing temperature?

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:26 PM   #9
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I believe they do it as they would a decoction i.e. step the temperature. There are some considerations about gelatinization temperatures being higher for some adjuncts so they may indeed do it as you suggest but that doesn't ring a bell. I've never done it so I'm speaking from what I remember (or rather think I remember) from textbooks - not from experience.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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You would first bring the corn with 10% malt to 155 degrees and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour, then you boil it to cook the corn. The enzymes will assist in breaking some of the long starch chains in the beginning before they are cooked. It helps to keep the mass liquid as you have to constantly stir to keep it from scorching. If it scorches, throw it out, there is no saving the grain.

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