Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

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JonB
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Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by JonB » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:12 pm

Been using cracked feed corn for my mashes. At 8lb to 20L (and with another lb of flaked rye/barley) I get a SG of about 1.058 and a yield of about 5% abv.

If I use a better corn - say kernals used for popcorn (cracked/milled of course) would I get:
1) better flavors (if so would like more specifics on types of flavor characteristics)
2) higher SG

A side question - if I get a few bits of burned corn mash in my fermenter/mashtun, how badly would this impact the final product?

Thanks always. You guys are such a fantastic source of information - all is really appreciated.

Dnderhead
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by Dnderhead » Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:53 pm

1) NO
2) NO
3) bad
No malt /enzymes? how are you getting conversion?

JonB
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by JonB » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:18 pm

Thats where the barley comes into play. A handful while the corn is heating up. And the rest (a few handfuls) at 150F.

I've been soaking my kernels in 6L of water overnight. I then mix with 14L of boiling water. This bring the mash to about 170-175. I then set my electric burner is at 5 and stir every minute. Any lower setting and the stuff will never heat up. So how to keep the corn from burning on the bottom? I read the link about baking in the oven but my pots are too big for that and my wife won't let me use hers. :cry:

Wish I had a steam heater the way the big guys do.

Dnderhead
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by Dnderhead » Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:53 pm

flaked dont cut it. needs to be malted , flaked is just hole grain steamed/rolled.
Theo your getting conversion somehow. and your yield is about right. only way to rise sg use more grain/ add sugar
different corn is not going to alter the flavor . corn,rice,wheat are "light" in flavor.sugar will also "lighten"
barely makes ,irish, smoked makes scotch. rye- makes rye. (this is just general) also much flavor comes from wood.
If you give a idea what you like mite be able to point you in the right direction.

JonB
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by JonB » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:51 am

We made some improvements to our mashing. For starters, we are now using a "mud" paddle mixer hooked to a drill to ensure that the mask does not burn. Also added a handful of malt during heat up, so we don't end up with glue. The mash boils for about 90 minutes and seems to be perfect. So we think we are in good shape in this area.

We then cool the mash to 150F and mix in the remaining malt (~10% of the mash bill by weight). Periodically we stir to ensure that there are no starch clumps and let the whole thing rest for about 12 hrs (overnight). Again this seems to be working as it should. The next morning we'll have that beautiful golden nectar that we siphon into our carboy. The remaining mash we sparge, and this is where my troubles start.

Sparging seems to take along yellowish/white particles with the sparge water. I'm assuming this is some sort of protein as it doesn't appear to be thick like starch. It does eventually settle to the bottom of the carboy during fermentation and becomes sludgy with the dead yeast. Anyone know what this is? If I add a few of those campden tablets or whatever else they use for clearing beer, would this help?

I'm also thinking of fermenting on the grain and THEN sparging. The mash would be a lot lighter, but then I'd be getting a lot of yeast in my wort.

Suggestions welcome.

Dnderhead
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:20 pm

is this something on going? or just one or so ferments?

JonB
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by JonB » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:47 pm

I've noticed it on my last few attempts. My earlier attempts had many other issues, so I'll dismiss them from this observation.

If I can get a photo I'll post it.

Hawke
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by Hawke » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:59 pm

Yes, the yellow/white particals are the protiens. Pretty hard to get rid of.
Campden tabs contain sulfer, I wouldn't add them.
It is the very things that we think we know, that keep us from learning what we should know.
Valved Reflux, 3"x54" Bok 'mini', 2 liebig based pots and the 'Blockhead' 60K btu propane heat

JonB
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by JonB » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:21 am

shows the stuff I'm describing - proteins?
shows the stuff I'm describing - proteins?
Here is an example of what I'm describing. (Ignore the beer bottle)

Can I filter this or use whirfloc tablets to coagulate this and then rack out the nectar? I also seem to have more of this now that my mashing efficiency has increased. But I'm also wondering if all that (automated) stiring is causing me other problems.

I fix one thing and find problems with the next <sigh>. Honestly this hobby takes more patience than fishing.

Hawke
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by Hawke » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:47 am

I haven't figured out a good way to filter it. I have a fine mesh filter bag and most of it will go right through it. I did use the bag over my racking cane on my last mash and was able to cut down the solids quite a bit.
I'm not too keen on adding any extra chemicals or clearing agents. Of course the big boys mostly use steam heated stills, where this kind of thing doesn't pose a problem.
It is the very things that we think we know, that keep us from learning what we should know.
Valved Reflux, 3"x54" Bok 'mini', 2 liebig based pots and the 'Blockhead' 60K btu propane heat

rad14701
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by rad14701 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:14 pm

I never disturb the trub when I rack my washes... I'd rather leave a small amount of wash behind, which contains an even smaller amount of alcohol, than to end up with off smells and flavors by sucking it up during racking... I've never found a filter that could adequately separate out yeast cells so I don't even bother trying to filter... I suppose if it was a large wash with a lot of solids I might filter through a pillow case and then let the filtered wash clear again before racking...

JonB
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Re: Corn Mash - flavor and yield improvements?

Post by JonB » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:42 pm

Right - I understand racking after fermentation, but this issue is before yeast has been added.

I have noticed that chilling it thickens the protein. Then again, it settles out while waiting for the chill to take hold -("Cause and Effect" or "Effect and Cause"?). What I think I need is a conical fermenter which would allow the protein to settle while its fermenting, so I could then slowly bleed out the protein (and at this stage....trub). Otherwise if I wait for it to settle before racking, my fermentation would have started its secondary stage, and there is a chance for wild yeast/bacteria to get involved.

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