No cook corn mashers: input needed please

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Hillbilly Popstar
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No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:15 am

So I know quite a few on here have foregone the arduous task of cooking your corn for a mash. Instead you just dump boiling water over the grain and let the heat eat.

I am curious, what kind of strike temperatures and final mash in temperatures are you achieving?

What are some tricks you use to conserve heat and achieve decent gelatinization?


In my own protocol I do 2.5lbs of coarse corn/oat flour per gallon of water. I am hitting between 180-185 degrees and getting around 65-70% conversion efficiency. That's 35lbs grain and 14.4 gallons of strike water. I am achieving around 1.055-1.06.

Last night I tried to reduce the water and shoot for 3lbs/gallon in order to conserve propane, you know... cause quarantine. 35lbs of grain and 11 gallons of strike water.
My mash in temp only hit 179 degrees. I am afraid this batch will suffer for it. I use a 20 gallon Brute, with an old bed comforter doubled over and wrapped around it for insulation.
I dont have a BOP big enough to handle all the grain, nor do I have a stirrer sufficient enough to prevent scorching.
Any tips would be appreciated.
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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:32 am

Hillbilly, I use your same ratios. I drain my boiling keggle into a 60 qt cooler prefilled with the corn flour and stir with a morter paddle on a harbor freight 1/2 inch variable speed drill. I had HT amylase to help mixing. Closed cooler will hold 185-190 deg F for over 90 min. After an hour I open and stir till 155deg, pitch malted grains and close. Next morning I transfer 2 such coolers to a 32 gallon Brute fermenter. That part is the biggest PIA.
I'm hitting about 1.065

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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:56 am

I ha e thought about somehow preheating my grain before I add the boiling water, so it doesnt lose so much heat immediately when I dump the water.

Just havent wrapped my head around the most efficient way to do that yet.
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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by still_stirrin » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:19 am

I have a different method. My ferments are typically 12 to 13 gallons and I lauter (sparge) my mashes to ferment “off the grains”. Here’s how I do it:

For the unmalted (raw) corn and wheat, I mill it to a coarse flour/fine meal. I bring 2-1/2 gallons of water to boil on the stovetop in each of 2 stock pots. Then dough-in the 12 lb. corn (1/2 in each pot), stirring it into a soupy “pudding”. Then, I add the high temperature alpha amylase enzymes, which thins the pudding somewhat. By now the temperature has fallen to around 180*F, perhaps slightly higher.

Next, I dough-in the 5 lb. of wheat flour (1/2 in each pot), again stirring it into the soupy pudding. With the heat still on the stovetop, the mash is still at 180*F, or close. I stir and mix the 2 unmalted grains thoroughly and cover with the stock pot lids.

Then, and (this is key) —> I put them into the oven. I set the oven temperature to 190*F and let the corn/wheat pudding gelatinize for 2 to 3 hours. In this period, the grains will absorb the water and the kernals soften and the mixture sweetens slightly like a “creamed corn” pudding.

While I’m waiting on the gelatinization process, I’ll prepare my (Coleman cooler) insulated mash tun with a false bottom grate. I heat up 10 gallons of water in my brew kettle (a modified beer keg) to 150-160*F, or so. When the unmalted grains have gelatinized, I pour the “gloopy” pudding into the mash tun. A secret here is to “underlet” the drain manifold and grate with hot water before pouring in the mash. It fills the piping with water and helps the draining when lautering.

Next, I add hot water and stir the mash. It’ll thin as the temperature falls to around 145-150*F. Typically, I’ll add a quart of backset from a previous strip to lower the pH and then add the gluco-amylase enzymes. I add 5 lb. of crushed malted barley and 2-1/2 lb. of flaked quick oats and stir thoroughly (a mortar mixer on a drill helps the stirring tremendously). I add enough hot water to fill the mash tun to 10 gallons and the temperature up to 150*F and stabilize. Then close the lid and let the mash convert for 3 or 4 hours. I do open and stir the mash a few times during the conversion. An iodine starch check tells me when the mash is done converting.

Next, I start the recirculation from the mash tun, drawing the sweet liquor from the drain grid into the grant (a pump reservoir), and pumping it back to the top of the mash. I’ll recirculate 1/2 hour before running the runoff (wort/sweet liquor) into the fermenters (usually 3 or 4 glass carboys).

As the liquid level in the mash tun falls, I start the sparge water dripping over the grain bed. The hot water sparge will continue to wash the sugars out of the grain, leaving the spent grains in the mash tun. The volume of the grains is usually reduced by 50% from before the mash as most of the starchy endosperm has been broken down and converted to sugars. What’s left is a meal with little smell or flavor.

As the fermenters are filled, I rehydrate the dry yeast in separate jars (warm water only) to get it ready to pitch. When the runoff is done, I shake the carboys vigorously for a minute or two to aerate the wort and help cool the jugs a little. Next, I pitch the yeast when the temperature of the fermenters is around 100*F. The yeast love the warm environment and the oxygen infused by the vigorous shake gives the budding a big headstart. Active fermentation typically begins within an hour, sometimes less. Fermentation is usually done in 3 or 4 days, but I wait a week for the mash to clear before stripping.

There you go...another method to a bourbon mash. Quite a few “hands on” steps, but it’s a hobby and “busy hands are happy hands”.
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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by DetroitDIY » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:20 am

Hey Hillbilly, I do mashes in a 55 gallon drum.

I insulate the hell out of it: 3/4" plywood on top of the concrete floor, massive tarp down on the plywood, 55 gallon drum on the tarp, camping foam mats around the circumference of the barrel, 2 sleeping bags around the circumference of the sleeping mats, tarp pulled up around the sleeping bags, long bungee cords around the outside to hold it all in place, 3rd sleeping bag and tarp over top when not getting in to add or stir things.

I've learned getting as fine a grind on your corn is important... I used to do slightly finer than the Tractor Supply cracked corn, which gave sh!t results. So either buy meal, or grind, grind, and re-grind at progressively finer settings.

I do 3 reps of my recipe consecutively.

Elevate my propane burner on a sturdy table, higher than my 55 gal barrel. Boil 13-14 gallons of water at a time (I use a 16.5 gal pot with a valve at the bottom), once at a boil, drain via gravity into the barrel, adding the well ground corn as I go. Stir with a long stainless paint mixer for a couple minutes. Cover the lid and insulate... repeat 2 more times.

After the 3rd batch, check the temp... usually in the 185-190 F range. Add my first enzymes about 185 F and stir with the mixer for a few minutes. Let sit for several hours until temp is about 155 (I like to set up my lid, with the little drain port, to have a digital thermometer handing through it and into the mash so I can see the temp through the insulation without opening things up), then open and add my second enzymes and stir for a few minutes. Let it sit for a few hours, then un-bungee the insulation and let cool.

I ferment on the grain.

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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by Hillbilly Popstar » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:44 pm

Thanks for the pointers fellas.

I usually grind into coarse flour.
I wont have the ability to do that for the next few weeks.

Guess I'll work on insulating my mashtun/fermenter better.
"Making likker with a hydrometer and thermometer is like measuring the length of a 2x4 with a clock"

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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by cat-black » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:46 am

Im about to venture into this method also, and have been collecting tips and tricks, and i plan to scald the cooler first with a small kettle of boiling water. would help kill and resident bacteria also. I was going to use a gatorade style 10 gallon cooler. Happy mashin!

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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by v-child » Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:26 am

Soaking your grains overnight will help considerably.

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Re: No cook corn mashers: input needed please

Post by jonnys_spirit » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:06 am

I use 20 and 32 gallon brutes. I've got a 16 gallon boiler so boil 16 gallons of water and use that for the mash. I'll top up later for the larger brute after adding malts around 150*F. Grind to a fine powder (finest the agristore will do) and add high temp enzymes. I use two layers of reflectix bungee'd around the brute and a packing blanket folded up on top (this really helps to hold the heat). it usually takes at least 12h to get down to ~150*F for the malts and low temp enzymes so I just let it sit and stir every once in a while after it's thoroughly mixed with the drill/mud-mixer.. Maybe it's the folded/layered packing blanket on top that holds the heat in but heat goes up so... That helps keep the temp quite high. Generally stay around 2#/gallon and consistently get around 1.065 or 1.070... Something like that.. I go more by the total amount of grain and eyeball it because that's what makes the ETOH... Pitching temp is usually Sunday night or MOnday morning if I started the mash on a Saturday and I always have to unwrap it, open it up, and mix it well to get it down to pitch temp. No real issue at all for me using this method and no heating required beyond firs boiling the water/backset mix.

Cheers!
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