Brewing with chicken feed

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Sadu

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I'm staying at my parent's house and they have these huge sacks or wheat and corn in the shed. I have my grainfather with me so of course I'm thinking it would be cool to make beer out of chicken feed.

The corn is basically whole kernels of dried corn. The wheat looks just like wheat malt, but unmalted of course.

I'd be looking at doing a cream ale or American pilsner or a mongrel brew, so it would be maybe 70:30 malted barley to adjuncts.

Do I need to do a cereal mash for these or will the barley enzymes take care of the conversion for me?

If cereal mashing, is it practical to do that in the grainfather or is a separate pot on the stove best?

Thanks in advance.
 

ong

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You would want to grind the corn and wheat, and cereal mash it. You might also want to read the packages and taste before you go through a bunch of effort, since often these animal feeds have other ingredients (either contaminants or nutrient/pharma additions) which might make them unsuited to brewing.
 
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Sadu

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Thanks for the replies, I looked up the website that makes the corn feed and found this...

INGREDIENTS SELECTED FROM: Wheat, Oats, Peas, Maize, Barley, Soya, Salt, Limestone, Oyster shell, DCP, Minerals & Vitamins, Vegetable Oil, Molasses, Lucerne Meal, Methionine, Broll, Lysine, Lucantin & Dried Distillers Grains.

I don't know what half that crap is, so might be safer to just head down to the LHBS for some flaked corn instead.
 

IslandLizard

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What they said. ^

If it passes the suitability test for brewing beer, you do need to keep these things in mind:
  • Dried corn is really, really hard, a regular 2- or 3-roller malt mill won't crack the kernels, but wear out the knurls and flying pieces may damage your eyes within the first few seconds. They make corn grinders for that purpose (Corona type).
  • Wear safety goggles!
  • Wheat berries can be very hard too, so watch your eyes when milling, or better yet, wear goggles. You can also send them through the corn grinder, perhaps tightened down a bit.
  • In order for the enzymes to be able to convert the starches in the milled corn and wheat they need to be gelatinized. Either boil them for 30-60 minutes or, the best way, cereal mash them. At the end of the cereal mash, you still need to heat the mash past the gelatinization temps of both corn and wheat, 149-158°F for wheat/rye, 176-194°F for corn/maize. Then add that to your regular mash, or use that cereal "soup" thinned down as your strike water.*
From BYO:
In a cereal mash you begin by heating a mash of your adjunct and small amount of your 6-row malt to 158–160 °F (70–71 °C) and holding there for about 5 minutes. Then you heat the mixture to a boil, boil for 30 minutes, and return the cereal mash to the main mash. The bulk of your barley malt can be mashed in at 122 °F (50 °C), then heated to 140 °F (60 °C). When the boiled cereal mash is added to the main mash, the temperature moves into the saccharification range. Cereal mashing requires a nearly constant stirring of the mash. Using flaked maize is much simpler.

*I use flaked corn (brew store quality). It's supposed to be pre-gelatinized through the flaking process, but the first time I used it (30% corn) my mash efficiency was nowhere near expected. So now I run it through my 2-roller mill to break up the large hard "flakes" and boil them in my kettle with 3-4 times the water for 20-30 minutes. It becomes a thin polenta-like soup. That "corn soup" then becomes my strike water, with extra water added to get to the right strike volume. Works like a charm.
Please note, again, these are already pregelatinized flakes! Yours are raw just dried kernels they need more "processing."
 

Shawn3997

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I'm staying at my parent's house and they have these huge sacks or wheat and corn in the shed. I have my grainfather with me so of course I'm thinking it would be cool to make beer out of chicken feed.

The corn is basically whole kernels of dried corn. The wheat looks just like wheat malt, but unmalted of course.

I'd be looking at doing a cream ale or American pilsner or a mongrel brew, so it would be maybe 70:30 malted barley to adjuncts.

Do I need to do a cereal mash for these or will the barley enzymes take care of the conversion for me?

If cereal mashing, is it practical to do that in the grainfather or is a separate pot on the stove best?

Thanks in advance.


Grind some up and cook it like a porridge and see how it tastes. Also, don't do what I just said until you look at the Mfr's site to see if they put growth hormones or who knows what else in it. Might turn you into a chicken or something...
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks for the replies, I looked up the website that makes the corn feed and found this...

INGREDIENTS SELECTED FROM: Wheat, Oats, Peas, Maize, Barley, Soya, Salt, Limestone, Oyster shell, DCP, Minerals & Vitamins, Vegetable Oil, Molasses, Lucerne Meal, Methionine, Broll, Lysine, Lucantin & Dried Distillers Grains.

I don't know what half that crap is, so might be safer to just head down to the LHBS for some flaked corn instead.

Looks like a fortified, nutritious meal for the chickies. It must be a mixture of those various ingredients, not just dried corn/maize.
 

divrack

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Puts me in mind of a recipe in an old old book I got from way back that had a recipe for Old Cock Ale that directed to take an old cock and beat it till it is broken and then basically chuck it into the wort..

You could combine the two. It's like how they do in fancy deconstructionist restaurants these days..
 

madscientist451

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Puts me in mind of a recipe in an old old book I got from way back that had a recipe for Old Cock Ale that directed to take an old cock and beat it till it is broken and then basically chuck it into the wort..

If you are going to "beat an old cock", you could change your screen name to
"cock beater" or "cock handler".
These days. "go big or go home" is a popular saying, so perhaps substituting a big cock for and old one would make a better recipe.

beer-big-cock.jpg
 

IslandLizard

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INGREDIENTS SELECTED FROM: Wheat, Oats, Peas, Maize, Barley, Soya, Salt, Limestone, Oyster shell, DCP, Minerals & Vitamins, Vegetable Oil, Molasses, Lucerne Meal, Methionine, Broll, Lysine, Lucantin & Dried Distillers Grains.

I don't know what half that crap is, so might be safer to just head down to the LHBS for some flaked corn instead.

I don't see anything in there that's dangerous to us, but depending on the amounts it contains, may turn your beer into a bit of a cock up:
  • Salt and Molasses can leave their presence known, while Vegetable Oil may interfere with foam production.
  • Limestone and Oyster shell can make the beer taste minerally, and play some havoc in your mash in large enough quantities. But they would be indispensable in an Oyster Stout.
At least it doesn't mention Fish Meal, so you're good to go.
 

AngryCøckDblBock

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I just HAD to make an account JUST to comment on this thread. It's more or less what I've been looking for. A few month ago my girlfriend and I went out to her folks and the backyard was overgrown with 6row Barly of some sort and some kind of wheat from where they had some chickens last yest and the chickens preferred scratch grain thrown about over the layer pellet placed in the drain pan feed pan they had for them. I picked as much as I could that was ripe and dried down, filled an entire large McDonalds bag with the heads. I planned to spread it around the yard here to grow my own grains for making flower and beer with. However I negligently set the bag on the porch, which the kittens tore up and the chickens came and ate. 😣 bummer. But ever since I've wanted to try out the idea of using a scratch grains mix or a livestock sweet feed mix fir making beed. Where I live I think the closest Brewers supply is Chattanooga or Nashville. I don't think even Knocville has one. So I arrived at this thread. And I was not disappointed.

I've never done any brewing before and don't have any of the fancy equipment. But in my research I've found you don't really need it to make a decent beer or wine or mead. After all, they didn't have any of that fancy equipment till the past 50-70 years and beer brewing goes back almost 5000 years. I was just tossing around the idea and looking to see if anyone else had tried it and if so how it turned out.

As far as those ingredient. Limestone and oyster shells are calcium carbonate (basically tums. In another forum I saw both recommended for yeast nutrient), DCP is Dicalium phosphate (fertilizer? Another yeast nutritional supplement. Basically an alternative to DAP which is Diammonium Phosphate), lucerne Meal is is Katunga Lucerne Meal (from what a gather a vitamin E and protien rich legume. So shouldn't hurt), I couldn't find anything on "Broll", Methionine is naturally occurring in high concentrations in beer (why beer is a slug and snail magnet. They're addicted to methionine and studies have shown even given the same food with methionine removed from it they'll starve to death rather than eat it), lysine good, a supplement that supports eye and vision health.
The "lucantin" is this here. Basically it's an almost naturally occurring dye. It occurs naturally but it being extracted or synthesized to be used as a dye may not be natural. Basically it helps pigment the yolks of the eggs a darker redish orange color and gives a healthier color to the skin of broiler chickens. So if you're worries about dye in your beer stay away, otherwise I don't think it should be too harmful. Here's a link.

Looking at the ingredients I would certainly use it. The question though... is you never know which of the ingredients are GMO and GMO ingredients could serve to kill the yeast. And there are many ingredients that don't have to be listed on animal and livestock feeds that can be harmful, but because the FDA and USDA hasn't set a requirement of what is considered a "safe" level for the animals ir a requirement that they be listed... there could be many not good things lurking in the dark shadows.

To me though? Death and taxes. You can't win no matter what you do. might as well make some cheap beer to go along with it all.

I might give this a go using some herbs or spices or other ingredients as hops substitutes to get a hop like flavor (not a fan of happy beers myself) and a few other ingredients to see what I get. I'm probably Connally start small with a couple 5gal buckets and see how it goes.

Should I try separating out some of the barly to malt (germinate) before giving it a go? Or has anyone tried using pineapple and raw honey as malt enzyme substitutes?
And I'm a little confused about malts and toasted Mal fats. Like I understand what they are and how to toast grains. But I thought once germination started you wanted to dry them out to stop the sprouting process but didn't want to heat it beyond a certain point to keep from killing or altering the structure of the enzymes?

I'll be 100% honest. Trying to figure out a way to make my own beer with a little cost as possible, and a trip to the grocery store and feed store. There is a way to do it. I just gotta figure it out.
 
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