Gee whiz, what are you guys doing for corn these days?

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Bramling Cross

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I noticed I was running short on flaked corn and rice so I hit B3 and tossed 10lbs of corn and 5lbs of rice in my cart and literally LOL'd (then spent some time turning the air blue) when I saw what they were asking.

No problemo, I hit the local grocery store for some instant grits...$5.99/lb?!

Okay, not looking forward to it, but I can break out the old 3-gal pot and go back to cereal mashing. #*%&%&@!! You can't be serious?! Bog standard grits are more expensive than instant grits?!!

What the hell is going on?!

I'm writing from the USA. Our economy is in large part predicated on the cheap, plentiful availability of corn. Cheap corn is one of the defining hallmarks of the US economy. Why the hell is it so expensive?

Flaked domestic corn shouldn't rival the cost of Continental pils malt. That just doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, I eventually stopped by ALDI with the intention of buying a bunch of cheap instant rice but noticed the jasmine rice for a few cents more. Yeah, it's high time I made a jasmine rice lager.

FU big corn!
 
corncob.jpg


Go team rice!

Jasmin rice lager sounds tasty.
 
Rice tastes much better in beer than corn anyway!

You won't look back my friend!
 
Anyway, I eventually stopped by ALDI with the intention of buying a bunch of cheap instant rice but noticed the jasmine rice for a few cents more. Yeah, it's high time I made a jasmine rice lager.
I like ALDI too, but found their old stores/format more to my style than the current ones, where it feels like stepping into a Black Mirror episode. :D

Currently we've been buying rice at Sam's Club or Costco. But also have gotten them at a Chinese or Indian market. Usually big 50# sacks.

At Sam's Jasmine rice runs $18 for a 25# sack.
Regular long grain is $13 for 25# and $26 for a 50# sack. Depending on store and region, they may have other varieties.

Not sure where to find flaked corn, maybe a Mexican market.
I still have a few pounds left from a group grain buy several years ago.

In the early 2000s I used to get flour from a bakery supply warehouse, dirt cheap, C&C out the back overhead door.
IIRC, they had sacks of DME and (unmalted) barley too, but wasn't brewing then. :(
 
I heard recently of people using malted corn instead of flaked. A guy in our club brought an American lager he brewed with malted corn to our last meeting and it was very tasty, probably the best beer there. I haven’t looked at malted corn but now I think I might.
 
Since there is no malting step involved in making rice or corn for brewing, I don't see any reason to not use the canned or raw product although I've never tried to use either. I do not aspire to clone Budweiser at home :) Pilsner malt forever!
 
I've never used them, and with such a "glowing recommendation", I'll strike them off my list.
I did get money back from PayPal for the items that didn’t ship and the full shipping amount, Anyone that wants to give them a whirl, be sure to use a form of payment that you can file a dispute.
 
Since there is no malting step involved in making rice or corn for brewing, I don't see any reason to not use the canned or raw product although I've never tried to use either. I do not aspire to clone Budweiser at home :) Pilsner malt forever!

I do not know the yield equivalence between flaked corn and canned corn, but the latter can be had for as little as $0.62/pound from the likes of Wal-Mart. My suspicion is flaked at even $2.39/pound is still cheaper per gravity point as there's a ton of water in canned corn. And then there's the gelatinization aspect: canned corn would definitely need to be cooked to oblivion (or 30 minutes ;)) to make the starches available whereas the flaked corn is partially gelatinized and rapidly turns into mush in the mash...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/12-Cans-Great-Value-No-Salt-Added-Sweet-Corn-15-oz/649867966

Cheers!
 
I use Briess flaked corn, comes in 5# bags. Check current price on moorbeer, that is what I pay. I use it some, but not in every batch and only as an adjunct, so if it costs a little more than cheepest corn source, but meshes well with brewing process, that is OK with me.

I'm sure there are a lot of other good ways to put corn in mash, grits, polenta, corn meal, etc. Be assured, I'd use any of them if that is what I had to brew with. The flaked corn works with no additional thought or effort when using up to 20% of mash, just run it though the mill with the rest of the grist.

Almost goes without saying but at higher percentages of no enzyme grain, one would want to make sure one has enough diastic power. That is never a problem with my brews as I use a lot of Pilsner and lighter kilned matlts, as one for would most beers that would call for corn in mash.
 
I just got back from Aldi. Maseca has gone up in price since I bought it last; (of course it has, everything has gone up) it was $3.09 for a 4.4 pound bag.

Walmart sells Pearl Milling (formerly Aunt Jemima) yellow cornmeal for a little over $4 for a 5 pound bag.
 
I'm sure there are a lot of other good ways to put corn in mash, grits, polenta, corn meal, etc.

Well, sure, can't disagree there are plenty of options when it comes to corn. But, that said, imo flaked corn requires the least prep - virtually zero, in fact - of all the easily obtained options. All the rest require some form of pre-cooking to use in the mash which is a comparative pita.

Aside from past dabblings with the famous Cream of Three Crops the only recipe I actually use corn is my continuing endeavor to resurrect the original Ballantine IPA, where flaked corn makes up almost 30% of the grist, with most of the rest being 140 Lintner Briess Brewers Malt (very handy stuff :)) The 4th batch is conditioning as I write this while I'm enjoying the 3rd...

Cheers!
 
imo flaked corn requires the least prep - virtually zero, in fact - of all the easily obtained options.
I get much better mash efficiency by pre-boiling "flaked" corn in ample water for 30-45 minutes prior to the mash. Certainly noticeable when used at higher grist %. After the "corn boil" I add the remainder of the strike water and the rest of the grist. Same for whole kernel rice, but never used flakes.
 
Thanks everyone for the excellent suggestions!

Made a run out to the fearsome land of Northern Virginia and its many ghastly drivers to hit the H-Mart and had a thought, "Hey, they've got a pretty good Latin American aisle. Wonder what sorta corny goodness they might have hiding over there?"

I ended up grabbing this: 7 bucks for 5lbs of pre-cooked corn meal. Ingredients list only "pre-cooked yellow corn meal, enriched." I'm assuming it's pre-gelatinized so I'll skip the cereal mash on it, but I intend to boil it on my first run, just to make certain it checks out. They also had a similar pre-cooked product for 5 bucks for 5lbs, but it listed lime on the ingredients. Not sure if that's the citrus fruit kind of lime or the raises your pH kinda lime, but I decided that there are at least some limits to my cheapness.

Behold! Corny majesty at nearly half the price of what Beer, Beer, and More Beer, B3, MoreFlavor, MoreBeer, MoreWhatever (just pick a name and stick with it!) is charging.

IMG_4183.jpeg
 
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I just got back from Aldi. Maseca has gone up in price since I bought it last; (of course it has, everything has gone up) it was $3.09 for a 4.4 pound bag.

Walmart sells Pearl Milling (formerly Aunt Jemima) yellow cornmeal for a little over $4 for a 5 pound bag.
Maseca is a brand name of masa flour or masa harina. Masa harina is corn flour made from dried corn that has been soaked in a Calcium Hydroxide (pickling lime or slaked lime) solution. It is then dried and ground to flour. I mention this because the process of making the flour adds calcium which seems like it would affect mash chemistry. Personally I have only ever used it to make tortillas and tamales. It is not cooked and I assume it would need to be before mashing.

The product in the Latin American section of the grocery store @Bramling Cross mentions above likely has the same lime product in it as Masa Harina. It is commonly refered to as Cal in latin cuisine.
 
Same for whole kernel rice, but never used flakes.
When I use rice, I get broken jasmine rice for the Asian market and I simmer that in a gallon of water until it's overcooked and mushy. It goes into the mash water and all, and that gallon is part of the strike water.

Something I should try is running plain ol' cheap long-grain white rice thru the Corona mill to make a coarse flour and then boiling that. Or you could buy Cream of Rice cereal but that's probably more expensive.
 
View attachment 849327

Go team rice!

Jasmin rice lager sounds tasty.
Grab a comfy seat, pour a beer and enjoy watching me jack this up!
https://labelpeelers.com/beer-making/adjuncts/flaked-maize-10-lb/

You can use that, then go here and request price match and it's free shipping at $75.
https://www.howdybrewer.com/products/flaked-corn-10lb

May not get the full match, or you might. Worth seeing what they'll do for you.
Good idea, but the shipping was actually more than the corn. Nuts!
I wonder how basmati rice would taste in a light lager. It has a unique flavor, but not sure if it would be compatible?
I've heard that it can be a bit tricky to tease out jasmine's flavor, a far more flavorful rice than basmati. I've goofed around with wild rice and even its much more robust flavor can be challenging to express. Granted, I was using wild rice in milds and bitters, so the flavor lanes were a lot more congested than in a fizzy yellow swill. Like you, it's been on my mind--and the California grown stuff is pretty cheap, too.
I heard recently of people using malted corn instead of flaked. A guy in our club brought an American lager he brewed with malted corn to our last meeting and it was very tasty, probably the best beer there. I haven’t looked at malted corn but now I think I might.
Thanks for that! Many, many years ago I remember the subject of malted corn coming up and most folks agreed it wasn't very good and was something that should be left (not sure if I remember that right) to the distillers. Annapolis Homebrew has been carrying it for a while now and they swear up and down that it's great--but they're selling, right? Thanks for independent confirmation. I'll give the malted stuff a try later this year. Appreciate it!
Out of curiosity I put 20lb flaked corn in a cart at RiteBrew. It would be $2.08/lb delivered to my door. Rice would be $2.26/lb delivered.
5lb of flaked corn works out to just shy of 15 bucks, delivered. Appreciate the suggestion, though! Heaven knows I use them a lot for dry yeast. Not sure how they do it!
"Maseca" tamale flour (they sell it here at Aldi) or plain old yellow or white cornmeal, but make sure it's "corn meal" and not "corn meal mix". Use either one just like grits. Maseca basically is grits ground to a flour. HTH

Looks like that's what I've landed on, but from H-mart, not ALDI. Unfortunately, ALDI doesn't do corn in the mid-Atlantic.

Thanks again for all the great suggestions. I appreciate you guys taking the time to help out a miserable, cheap, SOB.

:bigmug:
 
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When I use rice, I get broken jasmine rice for the Asian market and I simmer that in a gallon of water until it's overcooked and mushy. It goes into the mash water and all, and that gallon is part of the strike water.

Something I should try is running plain ol' cheap long-grain white rice thru the Corona mill to make a coarse flour and then boiling that. Or you could buy Cream of Rice cereal but that's probably more expensive.
Being at least as lazy as I am cheap, I learned to use instant rice because it's pre-gelatinized so I can skip the boiling. Nevertheless, I do prep it by closing my mill down to nearly its tightest setting and obliterating the instant rice into near dust. I get better extraction that way and it's marginally quicker than pre-hydrating it. Since I condition my malt, I simply withhold the obliterated instant rice dust until I've dumped the barley grist into the tun and I'm ready to start the underlet.

I'm not saying what you're doing is wrong, I used to do that too. I just find the mill obliteration method is a bit more agreeable because it's a bit quicker and I don't have to stir anything.
 
I get much better mash efficiency by pre-boiling "flaked" corn in ample water for 30-45 minutes prior to the mash. Certainly noticeable when used at higher grist %.[...]

Interesting. I rely on Beersmith3 to figure OG and when I use 30% flaked corn unprepped in the mash the predicted OG is always within a point...

Cheers!
 
Interesting. I rely on Beersmith3 to figure OG and when I use 30% flaked corn unprepped in the mash the predicted OG is always within a point...

Cheers!
Yup. Dr. Smith nailed that one, but Lizard is 100% correct. Dude knows his way around a mashtun, so I gave it a try and you can get some absolutely stupid efficiency numbers in Beersmith by pre-boiling (100+% on my reliably 88-92% mash efficiency fly rig). Obviously, pre-boiling is time consuming, energy intensive, and involves stirring (a task that I abhor), so I settled on a halfway point: I started closing down my mill and obliterating, as best I can, my flaked products. You don't get anywhere near the efficiency gains that you get by pre-hydrating, but you'll see a bump.

[Edit] Another nice thing about Lizard's method, is that it gives you a modest step in your mash if you start the boil after you strike. It's not going to help a whole lot, but when you're using corn you're typically driving for a fermentable mash, so it's nothing to sniff at.
 
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... the only recipe I actually use corn is my continuing endeavor to resurrect the original Ballantine IPA, where flaked corn makes up almost 30% of the grist, with most of the rest being 140 Lintner Briess Brewers Malt (very handy stuff :)) The 4th batch is conditioning as I write this while I'm enjoying the 3rd...
That's interesting, I never thought of trying to make Ballentine IPA, or knew it had corn in it. Once upon a time, I drank a lot of the stuff, but that was before I started to brew, so I rarely thought about such things. It's flavor definatly changed sometime in the late '80's, and not for the better, same with regular Ballentine Ale. In fact, one had to buy the premium IPA to get ale similar to the old regular Ballentine, then the IPA degraded below that level too.

If you figure out how to replicate the flavor, let me know. Makes me wonder how hard it would be to get the water profile for 1980's Cranston RI municiple water. [; Me and my pals that drank Narragansett beer always firgured that might be responsible for that brewery's distinct (and not necessarily great) taste. Still there was somethng about it that one got used to an fond of. Of course we all knew to stay away from Hefenreffer, "the green death"
 
I noticed I was running short on flaked corn and rice so I hit B3 and tossed 10lbs of corn and 5lbs of rice in my cart and literally LOL'd (then spent some time turning the air blue) when I saw what they were asking.

No problemo, I hit the local grocery store for some instant grits...$5.99/lb?!

Okay, not looking forward to it, but I can break out the old 3-gal pot and go back to cereal mashing. #*%&%&@!! You can't be serious?! Bog standard grits are more expensive than instant grits?!!

What the hell is going on?!

I'm writing from the USA. Our economy is in large part predicated on the cheap, plentiful availability of corn. Cheap corn is one of the defining hallmarks of the US economy. Why the hell is it so expensive?

Flaked domestic corn shouldn't rival the cost of Continental pils malt. That just doesn't make any sense.

Anyway, I eventually stopped by ALDI with the intention of buying a bunch of cheap instant rice but noticed the jasmine rice for a few cents more. Yeah, it's high time I made a jasmine rice lager.

FU big corn!
I get maize from the LHBS for $2.25/lb.
 
Malt and adjuncts seem to be cheaper in Europe than the US.
When buying bulk for sure.
However, you get much better deals on US hops of course.

I can get a 5kg (11 pound) bag of flaked maize for about 11 dollars or even a 20kg sack for about 34 dollars.
1kg bag costs about 3 dollars though.

Best value I have seen is this though

https://www.raiffeisenmarkt.de/derby-powercorn-maisflocken-1030251

25 dollars for 20kg - probably also OK for brewing :)
 
Well, sure, can't disagree there are plenty of options when it comes to corn. But, that said, imo flaked corn requires the least prep - virtually zero, in fact - of all the easily obtained options. All the rest require some form of pre-cooking to use in the mash which is a comparative pita.

Aside from past dabblings with the famous Cream of Three Crops the only recipe I actually use corn is my continuing endeavor to resurrect the original Ballantine IPA, where flaked corn makes up almost 30% of the grist, with most of the rest being 140 Lintner Briess Brewers Malt (very handy stuff :)) The 4th batch is conditioning as I write this while I'm enjoying the 3rd...

Cheers!
My grandfather used to drink Ballentine IPA before I was born. I would love to brew that. Any chance you’d be comfortable sharing that recipe?
 
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