Cornmeal in mash?

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Cornmeal in mash?

Postby whitepony32 » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:04 pm

I've been reading some posts on here and have seen on a couple of websites that people use cornmeal to make mash. This is something i've never considered in 17 years of making moonshine. I use the recipe my grandpa used and have never really varied from it much. Does the cornmeal work as well as chopped corn? What is the benefit of using cornmeal instead of chopped corn?
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Postby Longhairedcountryboy » Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:46 pm

I tried cornmeal on my last wash and I ended up with grits. I couldn't get the water out of the stuff after i cooked it off. I went ~3 lbs corn meal to 4 gallons water. brought it to a boil and ended up with something of the consistancy of mashed potatoes. After an hour of trying to strain the water out, I just threw it out in the back garden. Thats just my experience with cornmeal, I've heard of it working for others.
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Postby golden pond » Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:42 am

I got away with it one time by mixing cornmeal in with cracked corn and it made some good product. But any mash that has a paste like consistency to it is really hard to seperate the beer from the meal. Maybe a fellow could use a lard press to do a better job of it. Also when you are ready to cook it, it has to be stirred until it starts to boil or it will stick or burn in your cooker.
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Postby TN.Frank » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:06 am

I generally just take off the 3 or so gallons that's on top of the meal and leave the rest. Meal is all I've ever used, I would like to try an all grain wash sometime though.
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Postby Tater » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:32 am

Corn meal was cooked like GP was saying by being stirred while cooking to keep it from sticking.Then it was cooled .As it cooled if malt was going to be added it was added now. Mash now cooled should be a thick mush that had to be stirred with a paddle while adding water . Thickness of corn meal mash was determined by speed paddle would fall over in mash. You wanted a steady simi fast drop. Then sugar yeast added.When It was to be distilled water was put in boiler and thumper was filled with mash and was steamed distilled.Some would distill it in boiler and stirr mash till it reached temp and then capped still. A grain wash of any kind isnt as likly to stick after it reaches boiling temp. Have read where some even greased up inside of stills when doing grain runs. Me I usally use a double boiler when doing on grain distills. With wood fires it must of really been a talent to distill on the grain .
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Postby golden pond » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:41 am

TN.Frank wrote:I generally just take off the 3 or so gallons that's on top of the meal and leave the rest. Meal is all I've ever used, I would like to try an all grain wash sometime though.
TN.Frank, this brings up another good question I'd liked to be answered. Does the beer on top have more or less alcohol content that whats on the bottom with the grain. My beer on the top is amber in color, the beer at the very bottom is milky white in color and I always try to get every drop I can out of my fermenter I can to cook. And what's at the bottom, could this have any effect on the flavor.
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Postby TRANSPLANTED HILLBILLY » Tue Feb 07, 2006 1:33 pm

Damn I hate thread jacking, but it pertains.
I have some cornmeal, rye flakes and rye malt fermenting now. All seems OK but the stuff looks like gravy. My initial intention was to make a thin mash but I had a little trouble getting the starch converted. Brother Possum advised me that the rye malt I was using would not convert the corn, at least efficiently.

I wound up with 12 gallons of 1.056 SG mash. So far it really doesn't look like its going to thin down to a sugar wash. Can I add water either now or after ferment and let it settle? The amount of alcohol would stay the same just lower abv.

I wouldn't mind it being thick and stirring till boil but I have yet to cut the top out of my keg. Better get on that ASAP

GP I have seen what you are talking about with Uncle Jesse's SM. If you let it set long enough it will settle. Probably does contribute to the flavor.
Maybe good maybe bad. Looks like suspended yeast and grain fines to me.
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Postby possum » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:07 pm

GoldenPond,

I don't know if one part has more ethanol than the other, but I have taken my thick mashes, and run through a strainer or coarse cloth bag.Then I rinse the grain to get the fermented liquid out of the mash. I do this when I am not distilling on the grain. Just one method that has worked for me.
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Postby TN.Frank » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:14 pm

Well, since alcohol is lighter then water I'd guess that most of the alcohol is at the top of the wash. I do skim down to the mash line but not any further.
The last batch I made up came out pretty good so I guess I'm starting to do something right,LOL. I am getting kind of tired of corn though, I'd like to try using rye flour and see if I could get some kind or rye whiskey. My buddy wants me to make up some more rum too, he thought it was pretty good and I thought so too , if I say so myself. Shoot me an PM when you get the chance GP and let me know how things are going. Talk to ya' later. :wink:
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Postby golden pond » Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:25 am

Well I'm guessing here now but I'd say the white liquid at the bottom of the mash barrel is from what's leaching out of the heart of the corn grains, and if so this may have alot to do with flavor?? I'll be honest here, there's things I know that work or happen, but I'm not smart enough to know why they do. I remember an old timer that I ran some with years ago telling me the beer in the bottom of the mash was the best part of your mash.
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Postby TN.Frank » Wed Feb 08, 2006 5:33 am

That would make sense GP since the solids in the wash would be heavier and stay near the bottom. Also, that would be where most of the "flavor" would be, locked up in these solids. I may try scooping out a bit more since I filter thru mesh paint strainers anyway so I'd not have that much more solids in my wash after straining. :wink:
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