Chicken Scratch.

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Chicken Scratch.

Postby jtaylo7 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:40 pm

Greenhorn Question, couldn't find it on the boards.
Southern States sells chicken scratch (appears to be just oats and corn but it may have other grains) for about 20% less than corn. It's just grain, no fortification. Does anyone have any experience with using this for mash and if so, could you provide a recipe? Thanks.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby Dnderhead » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:25 am

There is no need as there are only two ways of doing grain, 1)mashing 2)sugar head . once you learn to do these you can use any grain or grain and sugar you want.all others are just variations of these.
if you want sugar type go to UJSSM that can be done sweet or sour.
if you want mashing .then search for mashing. but basically you cook the raw grain, cool then add malt/enzymes
not knowing what you want or your experience is.I cant be of much help.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby NineInchNails » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:43 am

jtaylo7, I've been wondering the same thing myself about using chicken scratch. I get it locally for about $8.00 per 50# bag at TSC (Tractor Supply Company). It's called 'Producers Pride Scratch Grain'. There is millet, milo, cracked corn, rolled oats, rolled barley and I might have missed one or two others.
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I’ve also wondered about using Bird Seed. Walmart has 40# bags of ‘Morning Song Year-Round’ Bird Seed for approx $14.00 and when it’s on sale it can be priced at about $9.00. This stuff contains millet, milo, cracked corn and sunflower seeds.
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Once I get my still going I’ll likely try both out and see how it goes. Local grain suppliers might be able to provide you with similar grains at a lower price though. I’m considering trying the ‘Sweet Feed’ recipe with my 1st grain attempt.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby Dnderhead » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:12 am

go ahead, just two things, check for preservatives (they can slow or even stop a ferment) and all grain should be cracked.
(if yeast/enzymes cant git to starch then you wont have as much flavor from them or any starch conversion) some bird food has been
sterilized by heat.this will not bother if doing a UJSSM stile ferment or using malt/enzymes.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby rad14701 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:51 am

The only potential problem with both the chicken scratch and bird seed is that some of the seeds contain oils which may or may not have an impact on the prolonged viability of your yeast... That plus the potential for preservatives as Dnderhead mentioned...
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby NineInchNails » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:43 pm

All good info.

jtaylo7, I'm not trying to hijack your thread, but I couldn't help but comment because I'm familiar with both bird seed and chicken scratch. Both have millet, milo, and cracked corn so they are not that much different.

Dnderhead and Rad, in my experience with bird seed it swells quite a bit and will split even with just a short soak in hot (nearly boiling) water. You guys think that might solve the problem with regard to 'not being cracked' issue?

I called the manufacturer of the Morning Song bird seed and they say that it hasn't been treated in any way.

From what I understand, sunflower seeds supposedly contain oil. When you dump a bunch of bird seed into a bucket, rinse it using a garden hose, 100% of the sunflower seeds float and are skimmed right out. Many of the premature seeds and other odd fragments (pieces of corn cob) float out too. I wouldn’t know if any of the other grains contain oil or not.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby casper the Irish » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:42 am

The chicken feed in this bag is fine kibbled wheat and corn, no additives and mostly wheat.

Whats the best or any way good to use it? I want to make gin, and or whiskey of the more Irish variety.

1. I was thinking to treat it like DWWG with a boil and sugar.
2. Or could it better steep cold as in UJSSM with backset and sugar
3. Or try an AG with some malted barley?

Being wheat, I am thinking that the best use would be to make a wheat vodka for my gin. Maybe a bit too light for whiskey.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby ga flatwoods » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:34 am

I use tractor supply scratch in my Old Scratch recipe
Crack boil add malt and/or sugar. Makes a light whiskey. Double distill in pot still for a smoother drink
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby jedneck » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:48 am

I use scratch grain in ujssm. Mine is corn oats and barley. Makes a good drop.
I turn flour into whisky
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby bearriver » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:23 am

I use the chicken scratch I feed my chickens for UJ, which comes from a local farm. Mostly cracked corn with %20 or so alternative grain mixed in. Works good, tastes good.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby casper the Irish » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:54 pm

Where can I find your Old Scratch recipe, Ga? I assume 1kg feed per 5litre. Not boiled but up to the saccharification rest temp around 65 degC.... But what do u use as malt? Would that be LME or malt grain? If grain, that's a lot of solids filling my fermenter. And if you sour ash, how do you stop it getting too sour after a few generations?

I just tried my first boil mash. Turned solid porridge. Don't think I'll be boiling again.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby ga flatwoods » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:42 am

I use distillers malt. I boiled the grain and do a modified grain/ sugar head. Grain malt cracked will thin the mash considerably. Sugar to 1.06 initial specific gravity.
Don't give up on the boil.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby ga flatwoods » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:22 am

;Boil your water. Add grain temp should be around 190f. Leave at that temp for 1.5 hour. Cool to 152f. Add cracked malt. Hold for several hours or overnight to allow to cool. Check sg on clear water on top. Add sugar as needed to 1.06 sg. Add yeast when Sg complete and sugar add has cooled below 92f. Ferment to 1.0 or less.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby casper the Irish » Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:31 pm

Thanks for the method GA. That last boiled mash of mine which turned to porridge is still fermenting real slow near stuck at SG 1.20 with 10% sugar reading after about 3 weeks. Don't know whether to leave it or chuck it.... I think I'll strip it anyhow and get my fermenters emptied, go for those no-boil mash rests with the sugar enhancements, sounds to me like a plan that works
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby casper the Irish » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:44 am

That works better flatwoods, I made 5kg inc 1kg malted barley in 20litre mash

still a thick porridge and low on the converted sugars (Brix 9 needed 2kg sugar to bring up to OG 1.065) but no sticky stirring needed and it does thin out nicely at the 152°F rest. How much grain to the litre you adding? What percent malt... is that barley malt?
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby kurgan » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:04 am

jtaylo7 wrote:Greenhorn Question, couldn't find it on the boards.
Southern States sells chicken scratch (appears to be just oats and corn but it may have other grains) for about 20% less than corn. It's just grain, no fortification. Does anyone have any experience with using this for mash and if so, could you provide a recipe? Thanks.


Like others have said, depends on what grains are in the scratch. My southern states scratch is usually just cracked corn and wheat, no preservatives. For sugarheads it works as is, for all grain it needs to be milled further. The labels at my southern states tells what exactly is in a bag.

For a sugarhead, I just do a UJSSM but use the scratch in direct proportions instead of straight corn. For all grain, mill it again, and substitute it for any of the other tried and true all grain recipes.
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby ranger_ric » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:05 am

OK... So wife is going to feed store.... tells me to text her what I want.. I send her text to check out the Chicken scratch.. Make sure it is ONLY GRAIN. No pellets, No fillers ONLY grain. No Propionic Acid, No Preservatives.
So she shows the text to "Bubba" who is working there. He puts a bag in her car and she doesn't read the label. It contains "MIlo, Corn, Wheat, and Vegetable Oil"

This will be a sugar wash UJSSM style with backwash from a previous generation...

A. I have not opened the bag, And I want to ask if the vegetable Oil is going to ruin the ferments or the distillations? If it is then I will take it back.

B. I have also only found one line in the forum about Milo (Grain Sorghum) saying they "heard" it had off tastes. Has anyone else tried fermenting milo?
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby likker liker » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:12 am

I wouldn't use it because of the oil,
yeast no like oil. :lolno: That's my bigfoot talk.
can you get Nutrena, country feeds, "Scratch Grain"?
It says it's blended grain encourage natural foraging and pecking behavior.
Oh crap I just figured out why I always looking at the ground :lolno:
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Re: Chicken Scratch.

Postby ga flatwoods » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:23 am

ranger_ric wrote:OK... So wife is going to feed store.... tells me to text her what I want.. I send her text to check out the Chicken scratch.. Make sure it is ONLY GRAIN. No pellets, No fillers ONLY grain. No Propionic Acid, No Preservatives.
So she shows the text to "Bubba" who is working there. He puts a bag in her car and she doesn't read the label. It contains "MIlo, Corn, Wheat, and Vegetable Oil"

This will be a sugar wash UJSSM style with backwash from a previous generation...

A. I have not opened the bag, And I want to ask if the vegetable Oil is going to ruin the ferments or the distillations? If it is then I will take it back.

B. I have also only found one line in the forum about Milo (Grain Sorghum) saying they "heard" it had off tastes. Has anyone else tried fermenting milo?

Been a while now so what did you do Ric ? Not enough vegetable oil to notice any discernable effects.
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