Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

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Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:08 pm

Ok, so I got some 55 gallon HDPE Barrels for fermenters and I'm going to try to do some corn mash as I realized from this board that my sugar washes are never going to achieve a nice pure neutral sprits that's totall clean.

So for the recipe I'll be using:
Ferm K
Malted Barley (For Enzymes)
Water
50 lbs. Cracked Corn

This will make the required total volume to be fermented to be about 45-48 gallons. This recipe is just a generalization to help people answer my questions.

My questions are what kind of vessel should I use to boil the corn? I would perfer to use electricity as it's going to be cheaper than using a propane tank to boil 30 or 40 gallons. So if I can use electricity where should I install a water heater element in one of my 55 gallon HDPE barrels, top, middle or bottom so as to not burn the corn?

Also do you strain out the corn before fermenting or ferment on the grains? How much water should I boil with for mashing and conversion?

Thanks.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:57 pm

I use a Big Ole Pot, like they use for beer,some others use steam pots, and some double boilers.
as far as using a element in a plastic barrel Id thank you'd have a melt down.anywhere near cooking temps.
a beer keg with the top cut out whould be much better.anything approaching 50gal. is in the 300-600$ range.
mash has to be stirred so anything inside mite be in the way, but if you did use a element either external
or low density internal. I have seen some for dishwashers that mite work?

I do off the grain ferments /distilling,some others do on. so that is up to you.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:03 pm

Thanks for the info. I put heating elements in all sorts of things so I'm very familiar with what can and can't happen. But boiling temps might not be good as I just remembered HDPE is only rated to just below boiling, if I remember correctly.

I did forget about stirring, so that idea is out. I guess I'll have to get a big pot. How much water would I need to boil 50 lbs of corn with just to mash with as from brewing beer I know you don't need the full amount that's what sparging if for?
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:19 pm

most start out with 1lb to the gal. (1/2 kg to 4 L) then work up as corn/maze can git very thick.so it is best to start out thiner mash first.
I do 2lb. to the gal. but been doing it for awhile.with some grain Iv done 3 but not with corn/maze. with a mash that big Id segest someway
besides arm power to stir.you will be stiring for about 1 hour with out stoping.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby rubber duck » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:19 pm

Your not going to be sparging corn, I haven't heard of anyone doing it successfully. Corn is fermented on the grain, or at least that's the only way I have ever done it.

I don't know if using a water heating element in a plastic barrel is a very good idea. besides that I would guess a heating element would make stirring difficult and probably cause scorching. I don't really know as I haven't used electricity, but you might look into a little more.

Also why corn? Wouldn't wheat make a better vodka?
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:37 pm

corn is is hard to sparg like you do beer,(no grain bed) but as all my grain I use my method. just fill the pot back up with water,stir and drain this off.
then I use this "water"for the next "cook"(use about the same amount of water as you need to cook with)
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:06 pm

All good advice, thanks.

Rubberduck, I don't really care which grain to use, but seeing as most people on here think that you can't get a really high quality neutral spirit with sugar I'd try the next cheapest and that would be corn, as far as I'm concerned. If I used wheat wouldn't I be paying more and I'd have to malt it myself? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Right now if I make a mash with corn then I'm paying $14USD for a 50# bag of cracked corn and about $12 for the malted barley to start the conversion process.

If anyone has a cheaper or not too much more expensive way to make a clean wash for neutral spirits I'd apprecaite it. My local feed store also has the cheap molasses, would a molasses clean up well for a neutral spirit (I know molasses makes rum if it's pot stilled, but I'm talking about serveral passes through a VM still)?
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby rubber duck » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:20 pm

You should be able to get feed grade wheat, I think at my feed store its 11 bucks a 50 lb bag. The yield on wheat isn't as good but it also takes less energy to cook so the way I figure it's a flush. You can malt the wheat your self it's stupid easy to malt wheat, or you can use the malt barley to do the conversion. I'm by no means a authority on vodka but I like wheat vodka better then corn.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:41 pm

I do not want to malt myself, especially 50#, LOL. But the other info makes sense. As far as ratios should I use the same ratios of malted barley to wheat? Also does the wheat from the feed store need to be milled before mashing?
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:38 pm

have you tried sugar? some have luck with others don't. sugar and grain is not bad.I don't care for straight sugar but that's me.
all grain needs to be ground or crushed weather malted or not. the easiest whould be to git flaked if you can.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:06 pm

Thanks that's good to know. I'm use to making wine, beer and distilling regular stuff, I've never mashed just for distilling, that is except when I made a scotch a few years ago. Did a really big batch of that with peated malt and it's still aging on oak, only another 10 years to go before I can drink it. :esurprised: But that was pure malted barley so it was easy as it's the same process as making beer.

Dnder, Aside from distilling fruit wine that I made myself all I've done for years is sugar. I've never double or triple distilled other than a beer stripping run then a final spirit run. The problem is I get high purity but the neutral spirits always seem oily on the hand when I rub it between two fingers. I think due to the cost of a 50 gallon mashing vessel I'll stick to sugar right now.

So what I've learned from this site, most of which is going to be new, if you have to make a sugar wash don't use turbo yeast.

Beer stripping run
Air out a few days
Let sit on Baking Soda for a week
Spirit Run
Air out
Carbon filter (although not necessary according to others on here if you did everything right to begin with)
Rinse and Repeat for even more purer distillate.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:53 pm

oily means tales you either taking off to much in harts or running to fast.
the grain mashes we do for distilling is the same as a beer "cereal mash" don't know how big your pot is but you can do several "cooks"
and add together, you do not have to be as careful with the mash as you do beer. if you have a 20gl. pot that is only about 3 cooks.
stay away from turbos Iv never used them but all on hear say their bad.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby rubber duck » Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:06 pm

If you doing wheat use the same grain to malt ratio as you would for corn. The feed store wheat I get needs to be milled.

As Dunder said 3 cooks in your BOP and your there. When making a grain wash to be distilled, your basically doing the same as you would for beer. The big difference is your fermenting on grain, and your not boiling after the conversion takes place.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:54 am

So I decided to do a traditional No Boil Sour Mash with corn as outlined in the book "Making Pure Corn Whiskey".

Now my question is, is there a procedure for using the lees from another batch as the starter? So I have a sugar wash that is finished now, once I siphon off the wash can I just add the new ingredients to it and use it as my yeast?
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:20 am

why not if that's what you want. unless is set without water on it. and try to keep anything added the same temps.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:52 am

Dnder, what did you mean by, "and try to keep anything added the same temps."
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:39 am

when ever you add to the "yeast bed" the water etc. should be about the same temperature as not to shock the yeast.they don't like could or hot baths
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Cartierusm » Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:25 am

Oh, ok got it. thanks.
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby busdriver6a » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:37 pm

Well Guys you can malt your own corn' it is not that hard put it in warm water for over night then take it out for 6 hours and then put in back in water for 6 more take it out let the water run off put a warm rag over it put it in the dark for two day come back rewarm the rag move it around some to get the heat off and set for one more day or untill you have the legs around 1/4 long then dry it for a few days but keep moving it around so it will not go bad then after it is dry take off what you can with a screen then crack it or trun it into meal
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:42 pm

Not trying to be ugly or nothing. But this thread is almost 2 years old. And in the last year I must have seen at least 5 threads on malting corn. If not more.

Step on over to the welcome center and give us an intro. :thumbup:
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Re: Corn Mash and Boiling Vessel Help.

Postby Bayou-Ruler » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:44 pm

Prairiepiss wrote:Not trying to be ugly or nothing. But this thread is almost 2 years old. And in the last year I must have seen at least 5 threads on malting corn. If not more.

Step on over to the welcome center and give us an intro. :thumbup:



Indeed...................... :wave:
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