Double Fermented Sour Corn Mash from Scratch

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pintoshine
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Double Fermented Sour Corn Mash from Scratch

Post by pintoshine » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:43 pm

I had a really successful mashing tonight. I got an sg of 1.090 from corn mash. An hour After I pitched the yeast it kicked.

Have you ever done a double fermentation?

This one I fermented for lactic acid first.
I added water to ground, whole corn untill the corn was covered by half its height. with water.

The germ floated to the top. I punched that down for three days. On the fourth day it didn't rise anymore so the lactic acid was complete. Boy was it sour.
note: The second day it smelled like puke. This is normal. The first bacteria to start the fermentation smells really bad. The lactobacillus takes over the second day and creates an acid environment that kills the first bacteria. It just smells lightly like sour milk on the fourth day

I then added more water to keep it just thin enough to stir and gelled it at 180 for half an hour by carefully heating it from the bottom on low heat and a thick bottomed pan while stirring constantly. I cooled it to 160 and pitched the rolled, 2 row pale malted barley, about 11 percent(1 part malt to 8 parts corn) and kept it between 150 and 160 for an hour and a half. Corn converts at a bit higher temp than barley or rye.

I checked it toward the end with iodine from the pharmacy. I was bluish-purple the first couple times, brown after an hour and 15 minutes and red after an hour and a half. I would have settled for brown but red is nicer because more suger gets converted and leaves less dextrin.

I let it cool until I could touch it.

I ran it through a large, loose weave cotton bag. I poured the wash through and squeezed. The acid coagulated the trub and stopped the trub from stopping up my bag. ( homemade bag I constructed from material at the fabric store) I would have used a flour sack but I don't know where to get them anymore. By filtering now, I don't have to worry about excess tannins from the barley hulls or corn oil from the germ. Both of these make a harsh drink.

The finished SG was 1.090. This will ferment to about 12% very quickly. The final pH was 3.7 to 4.0. It's hard to tell with colored pH indicator in light yellow wash.

The converted wash tasted like a really sour version of malt extract wash.
Odd though, now it smells like peaches fermenting.

When it gets through fermenting in three to four days, the rest of the trub should settle and I will rack it off. This way I don't have to worry about it caking on my electric element.

I'll keep you posted.

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Post by Big J » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:23 am

That's a really interesting idea to do an extended bacterial fermentation first. African beer usually undergoes a bacterial fermentation before yeast fermentation, giving it quite a sour flavor. I've tried to imitate this by letting my maize and/or sorghum sit overnight, but, like you said, I just got that nasty puky butyric acid type flavor (esp with sorghum). I'll try leaving it for longer next time and see if that does the trick.

How fine do you grind your maize? To a meal or just crack it? Most people on here have been recommending 6-8 pieces per kernel. Your preference?

Cheers,
J

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Post by pintoshine » Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:50 am

I try to make flour to allow for a faster conversion. That is why I was excited that the protein coagulated so well.

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Post by Rebel_Yell » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:06 am

Very interesting. What temperature did you maintain during the souring fermentation? How did you cover the container?
I assume that you found a wild strain of lacto and yeast that formed a symbiotic relationship. Kinda like sourdough...
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Post by pintoshine » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:22 am

The temp was around 70F because that is the typical temp in my house in the late fall and winter.
I out a woven cotton towel that was not terry cloth over the stuff. Anything just to keep the dust out.
The wild yeast and lacto is already on the surface of the corn before adding water.
When I mash to 160 it kills the living things. I pitch bakers yeast after it cools.
I've never had good luck with the flavor of wild yeast. A friend advises me the strain on juniper berries has a nice taste and ferments well. I don't have any close by so I haven't tried that yet.
I have found lots of articles stating the most any sweet fruit is a good source of wild bacteria.

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Post by Husker » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:05 pm

I wonder how the 1st ferment (and resultant product) would change by using backset vs using water, or by using a mix of backset and filtered/distilled water? It may be that the acidity of the backset would not allow the bacteria to thrive.

H.

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Post by pintoshine » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:30 pm

This is the process for making the sour mash starter from scratch after all. I would simply mash with backset the second time.

I haven't ever used the backset for the first fermentation.

I did some research into the lambic process that was mentioned elsewhere. It seems to be pretty much the same, a process for capturing lacto for acidification.

I believe you are correct about the acidity detering the bacteria growth using backset.

The answer to using this in a true sourmash setting would be to reserve a little of the steep liquor and pitch with that to get the wild yeast and lacto. continuously.

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Post by masonjar » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:21 pm

Shouldn't the backset be sterile though after heating to boiling for hours? I don't see how using backset would further propogate a bacteria strain.

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Post by Husker » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:45 pm

masonjar
Shouldn't the backset be sterile though after heating to boiling for hours? I don't see how using backset would further propogate a bacteria strain.
It would not. It is close to being sterile. The reason I wished to use backset, is that it does carry over a quality flavor, and it helps to keep the consistancy of flavor from batch to batch.

It might be, that the water added during the boiling/mashing, is where backset should be added, and possibly dump in a couple liters of backset into the still itself (post ferment, possibly 1-2L per 20L or so of finished mash).

The more I thought about it, I am pretty sure that backset would not allow the 1st bacterial ferment to happen properly. But after that is done, then backset can be used pretty much as much as one wants to.

I think I will try this recipe next. UJSM is a heck of a good and VERY simple recipe, but this one also sounds like it is very good (but much beyond a novice method).
I then added more water to keep it just thin enough to stir and gelled it at 180
Just how much "water" was added here Pinto? Can you quantify this for say a 5 gallon "batch".

H.

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Post by pintoshine » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:58 pm

Target is 1.1 sg
sugar is 24% by weight
volume 5 gallons
weight per gallon 8.3 lbs at 70 degrees
Initial gravity weight is 1.1 * 8.3 * 5 = 45.65
Sugar weight is 45.65 * .24 = 10.956 lbs sugar
Sugar yield corn 0.6
Sugar yield malt 0.73
Weight corn 8 parts
Weight malt 1 parts
8(.6x) + .73x = 10.956
x = 1.98119349
rounding 2 lbs per part
16 lbs corn
2 lbs malt

I try to use as little water as possible to cook the corn as I can get away with without burning it. I seldom ever get above a slow simmer heating my pot from the bottom with propane. The target volume is 5 gallons. I usually start by soaking the corn with enough water to cover its height twice. I usually use a 6 gallon beer fermenter to sour the corn. It has enough room for the corn, water and foam. It has overflowed on me from a voilent first fermentation in the summer with too much heat. At 70F it behaves.
This amount of water is not enough to cook with. I cook in a 100L pot on my cajun cooker burner. I add enough water to bring the volume to 10 gallons. Once the corn is gelled and then malted and then filtered through the munks cloth bag that I string on top of a 55 gallon plastic barrel with the top removed, the volume drops. Sometimes, the volume is 7 gallons sometimes it is only about 6. Humidity on the cooking day can change the evaporation during mashing. After it is filtered to remove the heavy stuff, I return it to the cooker to reduce the volume to five gallons. The last time that I posted above, my volume was 5 gallons with 1.090. This was 90% conversion efficiency.
I have tried to cook the corn with as little as seven gallons total volume before filtering and cooking. I had to stir till I was wore completely out to keep it from burning. I hope the explaination helps.

If you set your target lower, for a 1.050 sg the work is a lot less but the alcohol is half as much.
I included the calculation to allow anyone to set their own targets. All you need is a Degrees Balling to specific gravity chart.

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Post by pintoshine » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:53 pm

It took me considerable time, 10 years of trial and error, to repeat my uncle's recipe. The problem was I couldn't exactly remember how he made the starter when he "retired" his backset after about 10 runs. The mistake I was making was getting it to kick after it was mashed. I finally resorted to store bough yeast. A few years ago I finally figured out he was retaining a small amount of the liquid from the sour corn. He added this and juniper berries or crab apples to get it to kick.

He mashed and distilled in the same big copper pot. When he was done distilling a batch, he drained a bit more than half of the slop, and immediately added the corn meal which was mixed with cold water, stirring like mad to keep it loose. After he cooked it and let it cool to ~155, he would add the malt. He judged the temperature by sticking his hand in the wash. If he could hold his hand in he added the malt and then kept a really small fire going to keep the temerature up. He would drain the converted stuff into a barrel. Once it cooled, he would dump the yeast left in the barrel that filled the still into the newly mashed batch.

This process was about 12 hours for him. He ran eight batches of singlins and the doubled that. I can't remember the dimensions of his pot but I would guess it to be about 80 gallons. It held 40 to 50 gallons at about 2/3 full. 50 gallons if he was doubling, which was 32 gallons of 160 proof after cuts. 9 days for 32 gallons. 25 dollar a gallon.

He refered to the living yeast/bacteria mixture from the barrel as the backset.
He called reusing the distilled slop as sloppin-back.

I understand the jargon has generated many names for the same things. I believe you guys call the slop backset. What do you call the left over yeast that is propogated from one batch to the next? Beer brewers regularly add the settled yeast back to the next batch. They refer to it as repitching from sediment.

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Post by goose eye » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:29 pm

they do good to get 30 a gallon for corn sellin by the jug round here.
they can get a long case - 6 gal - for $100 if they by 10 cases.
aint no money in corn except for the man runin the shothouse
so im tole

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Post by pintoshine » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:52 pm

This was near 40 years ago in the middle of a lot of dry counties.

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Post by Husker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:00 am

pintoshine
I hope the explaination helps.
Very very much so, thanks!
pintoshine
This amount of water is not enough to cook with. I cook in a 100L pot on my cajun cooker burner. I add enough water to bring the volume to 10 gallons. Once the corn is ......
This is where I think adding backset (slop left over after a prior distill) should be done (but possibly only part backset, and part water, depending upon the volume added).

I think once mashing is done, you have filtered off the gel, and things have cooled, then adding back in the dregs from your last batch (the "spent" yeast) would be the way to kick off this batch.

Doing this provides consistancy:

1. The backset from your last distill will keep the flavor robust, and more consistant from batch to batch.

2. The yeast will have thrived in a very similar "environment" (your last batch), so it should be acclimated to this mash. However, if your last batch was NOT up to your quality, then it may be best to try a different yeast strain, until you get proper quality. THEN continue using "that" yeast colony (the dregs) and keep it vibrant.

H.

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Post by Rebel_Yell » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:18 am

That there done gots me itching to grind some rye.
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Post by Husker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:54 am

Would you have any insightes to someone thinking of using malted corn? Changes in quanities needed, changes in flavor, etc. Of course I could buy malted barley from the local brew shop, but was wondering what corn malt would add/take away from the process.

H.

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Post by pintoshine » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:39 am

Tater and fourway gave me a really good tutorial on malting corn. I haven't implemented it yet but am dying to try.
I think once mashing is done, you have filtered off the gel,
When I'm through mashing there is no gel left. It liquefies almost immediately after adding the malt. All I filter out is the solids left. The rest is a light golden color, cloudy liquid that tastes good enough to drink and usually smells like peaches.

I have been following, the rye posts also and there was some commentary about how the gelled stuff liquefies really fast.
I am thinking we may all have in our own way put all the pieces together for a truly great all grain mash bill and process, form beginning to end.

And it seams it works with corn, rye, barley or whatever grain we need.

The only thing missing now is some reference on what percent sugar each grain can supply. I am especially interested in malting corn because that would lead to the old school 100% corn whiskey.

I'll see what I can find. In the mean time I have a great link to malting corn.
http://xb-70.com/beer/chicha/ch_malti.htm

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Post by Husker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:54 am

I think once mashing is done, you have filtered off the gel,
When I'm through mashing there is no gel left. It liquefies almost immediately after adding the malt. All I filter out is the solids left. The rest is a light golden color, cloudy liquid that tastes good enough to drink and usually smells like peaches.
My mistake on the gel. I read gel in the original post, and somehow that got stuck in my head. I figure things will not totally clear up, until I do this proceedure once at least. However, your 2nd recipe post (the more detailed one), certainly should put most people on the straight and narrow to success.
I am especially interested in malting corn because that would lead to the old school 100% corn whiskey.

I'll see what I can find. In the mean time I have a great link to malting corn.
http://xb-70.com/beer/chicha/ch_malti.htm
The 100% corn was the reason for my post, along with the cost of corn, and the good feeling one would get from doing it "all yourself".

H.

Edit: There are also many helpful instructions on malting on the parent site (under Preparing_Wash/Grains/Malting menu)
Last edited by Husker on Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Rebel_Yell » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:54 am

Yep Pintoshine. You just might be thinking what I'm thinking.
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Post by Husker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:08 pm

pintoshine
The only thing missing now is some reference on what percent sugar each grain can supply. I am especially interested in malting corn because that would lead to the old school 100% corn whiskey.
Try this one (main site again).

http://homedistiller.org/grain/wash-grain/yield" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Post by pintoshine » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:43 pm

I agree that your link to the yields is helpful. If only it had the yield of malted corn.

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Post by Husker » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:02 pm

pintoshine
I agree that your link to the yields is helpful. If only it had the yield of malted corn.
I agree. Lack of corn malt is a glaring omission. Possibly someone should contact John, and see if he has this data (if someone here on the site does not).

The table does have wheat and rye malts (along with all the barley's), so corn should be added if we can get the data.

H.

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Post by pintoshine » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:15 pm

Maybe this would be a good project for us to determine experimentally how much sugar we can get from malted corn. Maybe I should start a new thread.
Of course the outcome is really "How much alcohol can we get from malted corn?"

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Post by Rebel_Yell » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:29 pm

I ran across this today....
http://www.homestead.org/AltEnergy/Maki ... olFuel.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

Not exactly the answer to yield questions.
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Post by muckanic » Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:44 pm

="Husker". Lack of corn malt is a glaring omission. Possibly someone should contact John, and see if he has this data (if someone here on the site does not).
It can be roughly worked out by comparing barley vs wheat. Notice that flaked barley yields about 88% that of 2-row malt, whereas there is not a lot of difference between wheat flakes and malt. This is slightly unintuitive to me, as barley malt has husks, and flakes are supposed to be processed such that everything except the starch and the protein is discarded. OTOH, malting reduces some of the protein proportion. These numbers may be an artefact of the test (notice that no protein rest was performed, and it is unclear whether any sparging was performed). Anyways, corn is unhusked and doesn't have a lot of protein, so a reasonable bet is that corn malt yields fairly close to the flakes. One potential complication - has it been firmly established that corn starch will gelatinise at mashing temperatures?

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Post by pintoshine » Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:50 pm

I know mashing with corn is possible. I have been hearing about it for years. I have also heard it is possible to mash corn at room temp. It is said corn malt will convert and ferment at the same time.

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Post by Rebel_Yell » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:20 am

Direct production of ethanol from raw corn....
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articl ... &tools=bot

Production and Characteristics of Raw-Starch-Digesting {alpha}-Amylase from a Protease-Negative Aspergillus ficum Mutant

http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/52/5/1068

Production and Characteristics of Raw-Potato-Starch-Digesting {alpha}-Amylase from Bacillus subtilis 65

http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/54/6/1516
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Post by wineo » Sun Jul 22, 2007 8:15 pm

I think It will just take some work to figure out malted corn yields.There are alot of varibles that would change the end results.I would bet that it would depend on the strain of corn used.I read somewhere that indian corn makes the best,but cant remember where I read it.The malting process would have alot to do with it,and the mashing varibles to,so theres alot of work to be done to master the process of a almost lost art.
If we can figure out the lost ways of doing things,and share it with others, then we have saved it from extinction.So much has been lost!
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Post by mtnwalker2 » Sat Nov 17, 2007 6:14 pm

I have been interested in this thread from the start. I found stills in operation when only 6 years old. Way back in the mountains and well hidden except for the worn trail through the laurals and rhododendren caves to get there.

Now to sourmash and the lactobacilli. I have been studying how to make a fresh batch of sourdough breads. To start your own culture- wild yeasts and good quality lactobacillii, quickly and safely, is so easy. Not requireing chance elements from the local air and other earlier bacteria. Evidently, rye flour has a great strain of both yeasts and lactobacilli that work wonderfully together.

I had a brand new bag of rye berries, organic, and I just grabbed a bunch and put through my roller mill for a very course crush. Took a half cup of grain, and a quarter cup water, mixed well in a wide mouth qt. canning jar. Put a coffee filter over top and the ring. Put it in the guest bath, where the fermenters reside with a heater at 78° F- in front of the heater so warmer, around 83°. 8 hours later a few bubbles in the mess, I discarded all but a quarter cup, ounce I think by weight, and added a half cup of the rye and a quarter cup of water. 12 hours later it was full of bubbles, and had a great sour smell, like sourdough breads.
Fed it again, with the same formula, and later it produced hooch on top. Smelled great, and tasted right. Then following the recipe, I added all purpose flour to convert it to flour cooking base. It was all purpose all right, but enriched, and it killed the starter. Live and learn.

I thought this might be an excellent starter for sour mashing. the good quality lactobacillus are so fast propogateing the other bacterias don't have a chance. Fast and easy, and you can make bread too. Leftover bread is great in distilling.

Hopeing to start testing this in late Jan. '08. Any thoughts, warnings, pro's and con's will be greatly appreciated.

Looking forward to a great drink, with a sourdough bread, dipping into an oil and herb mix, while the still is chugging along. Life is fantastic.
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Post by CoopsOz » Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:10 pm

mtnwalker2 wrote:.....Life is fantastic.
Hear, Hear Mtnwalker :D
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