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Old 10-03-2012, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Using Popcorn instead of Flaked Corn

OK, so I'm making a Classic American Pilsner with popcorn instead of flaked corn for kicks. I heard a Brewing Network episode with Sun King Brewery and decided this would be a perfect experiment for a halloween party coming up at the end of the month. I'm prepping everything to get ready for my brew day on Friday - so I air popped two pounds of popcorn... this produced about 40 quarts in a 60 qt cooler. I used my hands to break the popcorn up a bit which brings it down to about 25-30 quarts of popped popcorn. I'll mash in with this, and then 8 lb of two row and a pound of flaked barley at 149 for 90 minutes. Single hopped at 60 minutes with two ounces of Saaz. I'm also using Wyeast 2112 California Lager at 57 degrees which is the bottom end of its fermentation threshold. I will probably drop that down to 55 once it gets going strong to keep any fermentation flavors low.

The only concern is that I have a lot more "material" in my mash tun because of the popcorn. Does anyone have any ideas what the absorbtion rate will be on this? I usually use a 1.5 qt per pound ratio for my mash water but I think it may not be enough for this brew. I am going to make a "test" mash with a smaller amount of popcorn and water and try to measure the absorbtion and will post back, but if anyone has done this I would appreciate any input you can give. I assume lautering may be rough... but I'm willing to give it a go for the sake of experimentation.

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Old 10-03-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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OK, so I'm making a Classic American Pilsner with popcorn instead of flaked corn for kicks. I heard a Brewing Network episode with Sun King Brewery and decided this would be a perfect experiment for a halloween party coming up at the end of the month. I'm prepping everything to get ready for my brew day on Friday - so I air popped two pounds of popcorn... this produced about 40 quarts in a 60 qt cooler. I used my hands to break the popcorn up a bit which brings it down to about 25-30 quarts of popped popcorn. I'll mash in with this, and then 8 lb of two row and a pound of flaked barley at 149 for 90 minutes. Single hopped at 60 minutes with two ounces of Saaz. I'm also using Wyeast 2112 California Lager at 57 degrees which is the bottom end of its fermentation threshold. I will probably drop that down to 55 once it gets going strong to keep any fermentation flavors low.

The only concern is that I have a lot more "material" in my mash tun because of the popcorn. Does anyone have any ideas what the absorbtion rate will be on this? I usually use a 1.5 qt per pound ratio for my mash water but I think it may not be enough for this brew. I am going to make a "test" mash with a smaller amount of popcorn and water and try to measure the absorbtion and will post back, but if anyone has done this I would appreciate any input you can give. I assume lautering may be rough... but I'm willing to give it a go for the sake of experimentation.
There is a guy on this forum that mentioned brewing his CAP with popcorn. Malticulous is his ID on the forum. Here's one of his recipes: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f62/popcorn-cream-188132/

I don't think that popcorn would absorb more liquid than other grains, but I could be wrong of course.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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Use an air popper to avoid grease and oil in the mash.

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Old 10-03-2012, 12:42 AM   #4
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I did use an air popper. My test also turned out a little scary. 2 cups of water for 3.5 ounces of un-popped popcorn - yielded 1/4 cup of runnings... if my math is right that means I'm going to need an additional 2.5 quarts of water to make up for the loss.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:06 AM   #5
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I did use an air popper. My test also turned out a little scary. 2 cups of water for 3.5 ounces of un-popped popcorn - yielded 1/4 cup of runnings... if my math is right that means I'm going to need an additional 2.5 quarts of water to make up for the loss.
Did you test at brew temps? I usually don't find much evidence of flaked grains at the end of mashing. I also usually do a beta-glucan rest when I use adjuncts like this.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:20 AM   #6
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Yep, tested at 149. I Plan on stepping from 122 to 149.

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Old 10-03-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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A little OT, but why the flaked barley and what mash schedule are you looking for?

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Old 10-03-2012, 05:22 PM   #8
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Flaked barley for some body and head retention. I'm going to dough in up to 122 and hold for 15 minutes, then add hot water to raise the temp to 149 and hold for 75 minutes.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #9
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Flaked barley for some body and head retention. I'm going to dough in up to 122 and hold for 15 minutes, then add hot water to raise the temp to 149 and hold for 75 minutes.

KAMEE, That is very similar to my CAP, although I hold at 147/148 for 40 minutes.
Why don't you try brewing it without the flaked barley once, to see where your system, gets you, I might be worried about a little to much body with the flaked barley, alternatively you could raise your mash temps into the mid 150's for a short rest too.

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Old 10-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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Well, that's a good point, but I do like that extra body. Two pounds of corn is going to lighten it up a lot. I'm loosely basing the recipe on a CAP, but really, it's going to be a crowd pleaser. However, I'm going to do some expat emendation goin forward. Ill make a real CAP in another month with the popcorn and a true lager yeast and will remove the flaked barley for that. This brew needs to be turned around by the end of the month for a party, so I'm using a different yeast making this more of a cream ale than a lager.

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