Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

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Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:17 pm

Its cookin' day. This is the first time I've done a batch this size and I thought I'd share it here with you good folk. You can see my steam injection attachment here http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=52926.

I started by graduating my big barrel at 10 gallon marks up to 40 gallons. I marked them on the outside with a sharpie, and 40 is right at a very easy to identify spot on this barrel. (Probably put all the pics in second post.) With 40 gallons of tap water in the barrel the PH was 7.5. Then I dumped in 2 50lb bags of cracked corn straight out of the bag. Then it sat uncovered in my dark, somewhat cold garage for a day and a half. I don't know if steeping is the right term for this so I'll just call it soaking for now.

Today its at 57 f with a pH of 6.3. According to Woodshed this pH should be perfect for the Sebstar high temp enzyme. Let's hope it doesn't change during heat up. There is a slight sign of bacterial activity in the barrel. Very slight smell of bread, and just a light layer of tiny bubbles on the surface. In a warmer environment this could be significant, but today its no problem.

I filled my 15.5 220v electric boiler with 14 gallons of tap water that was at 51f. Turned the element on full at 10:26 am. While I wait for it to boil I will set up the steamer and try to make sure I have everything I need out here in the garage.

Its been 30 minutes and the steamer is all set up with the vent valve open. My boiler is at 146f (this number may be inaccurate. Temp probe was just stuck under the insulation.) Got out and cleaned my new as mash stirrer I bought from pintoshine. I've only got a 3\8ths drill to run it in right now but I can whip the whole barrel up using it. Pretty nice.

11:33am steam starts flowing out the vent and carrying along the ceiling. I turn my controller down to 12.5 amps and let it go for a little while to get the copper hot. Then I close the vent and turn it up to 15 amps. This is the part where I need a pressure gauge. I keep cracking the valve as if I can tell the pressure by the sound.. That gauge will be on before I do this again. Takes until 11:40 before I feel comfortable with it. Wrote this and then turned the power on full throttle 23 amps at 11:42.

Sebstar from the start this time. Mash is up to 71f. .36 x 100lbs of grain is 35ml of Sebstar. Put that in now and the starches will be broken down as they are released during gelatinization. This will keep the mash from ever becoming thick.

1 hour mark and mash barrel is at 111f. Smells good.

2 hour mark. 150f. Smelling good and getting slightly easier to mix. Even with no bubbles reaching the surface there's lots of steamy vapors coming off the surface.

3 hour mark. 180f finally. From here I'm going to stir often and try to get it close to 188-9 before I turn off the steam. Its important to keep the temps even throughout the mash as you reach the upper limits of your enzymes. The Sebstar is good to 190f.

Alright I took another 15-20 minutes getting the mash up to 188 and flashing 189. Its very liquid. I threw a blanket over the fermentor and I'm going to go in the house for a while. Going to come back in about an hour and work on dropping the temp and pH. Maybe get some pictures up here while I wait.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Bing-Bot » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:26 pm

I like it already!
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby humbledore » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:30 pm

Good thread Brutal, keep us posted! Do you get a lot of steam escaping the mash or not so much?
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:32 pm

With a 4 foot deep grain dense bath you don't lose much. If I let it go without stirring for too long it might have though.
IMG_20150220_233027.jpg
40 gal + steamer

IMG_20150222_112407.jpg
Graduated barrel

IMG_20150222_113139.jpg
Pinto-mixer

IMG_20150222_120353.jpg

IMG_20150222_120403.jpg
Easy cheezy themo holder

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Cold. Bubbles and starting liquid level.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:36 pm

IMG_20150222_134628.jpg
150f.

IMG_20150222_134636.jpg
150f close up.

IMG_20150222_144845.jpg
180f.

IMG_20150222_144855.jpg
180f.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:53 pm

Keep the info and pictures coming. I love it.
How are you going to lower the mash temp and pH for the next step ?
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby bellybuster » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:11 pm

looks great brutal. Was hoping to do an all corn this week but local supply has dried up. 2 weeks before I can get any.

your giving me some ideas, steam injected under my false bottom would probably work well.

I'd be interested in how much water your steam boiler used during the mash.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:24 pm

I'm just letting the temp fall on its own. I'm gonna build a large immersion chiller soon but right now I don't have one. I can actually use the extra time to try and make sure I hit my pH's too. I've added 2.5 gallons of backset from my last bcac and I'm hitting a wall. The pH dropped from 6.3 to 5.6 with the first addition of 1.5 gallons backset. The whole next gallon didn't fully drop it to even 5.5. It's 5.6 and flashing 5.5. I'm running out of room to add things to this fermenter now.. I just put in an 1/8th bottle of citric acid powder and about a 1/4 bottle of lactic acid 88% solution. Stirred it up again and am cooling another sample. After testing it I will cool another sample and compare before going any further. My temp is down to 152 I need to get this pH right pretty quick.

Bb I bet your false bottom would be a perfect way to inject steam. Hook it up man!

The steam added kind of a lot to this mash. I haven't drained the boiler to measure it yet though. I'm thinking it took 7-8 gallons. I was hoping for 5-6. If it only took 5-6 I would have more room for backset right now.. Next time I'm going to throw the aquarium heater in there set on 88f. That would have given me a 30 degree head start on heating this volume. I'll post the numbers after I drain the boiler in a little while.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby bellybuster » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:25 pm

thanks Brutal, make sure you post up your SG once its done please.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Jimbo » Sun Feb 22, 2015 4:27 pm

Sweet setup Brutal. Nice work!
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby firewater69 » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:29 pm

Great job Brutal! :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:43 pm

Jimbo wrote:Sweet setup Brutal. Nice work!

Thanks man! Just my somewhat creative way of trying to be like you and Steve!

So I've added the Sebamyl now that I finally got the pH down to 5.3. I had read in the BCAC thread Woodshed likes his at 5.2 and I remembered it wrong lol. Either way I was out of time. 5.3 will do fine I'm sure. I removed the steam injector and mixed it all up a few times. I drained the boiler and it had 7.5 gallons left in it. So I added 6.5 gallons to the barrel this time.

The plan from here is to get up a little early tomorrow morning and start cooling off a wort sample and wake up some yeast in warm water. Then I will get a gravity reading, iodine test, and depending on the temps in the barrel I might pitch the yeast. If it's too hot it will have to wait till tomorrow night after work I guess.

I got a whooooole barrel full of all grain corn mash!!!
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:46 pm

Inspiring. Great post! :thumbup:
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:50 pm

IMG_20150222_184416.jpg
This is really a two hand job lol. Just wanted to show how I can move the whole barrel of mash.

IMG_20150222_184417.jpg
Another pic.

IMG_20150222_185242.jpg
I need to dehorn that Pinto-moonshine-mash-mixer! I hope it didn't tear up my barrel too bad.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby humbledore » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:53 pm

Now imagine a big custom made grain bag that you put in the drum before hand, and a block and tackle overhead where you can just pull that grain up and let it drain post-ferment before you run. No squeezing involved. Boom. Dream setup.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:09 pm

humbledore wrote:Now imagine a big custom made grain bag that you put in the drum before hand, and a block and tackle overhead where you can just pull that grain up and let it drain post-ferment before you run. No squeezing involved. Boom. Dream setup.

Yessir! The one RandymarshCT uses is made out of lycra so while suspended it squeezes the grain some too. It's nice.

I hope to one day have a boiler that could handle this whole mash grain and all in two runs on steam. That is probably all I will ever say about that on this forum.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:13 pm

bellybuster wrote:thanks Brutal, make sure you post up your SG once its done please.

This morning I ended up not going to work (for a non-moonshine-related reason) and I got to finish this off the way I wanted to. 8) 8) 8) I opened the barrel this morning to find about a foot deep of this very clear, beautiful liquid sitting on top of the grains. It was still at 118f at the top. I carefully removed enough to mostly fill a quart jar and went back in the house.
IMG_20150223_071317.jpg

IMG_20150223_071341.jpg


After cooling the jar the sg read 1.060 on the dot. The iodine test showed just a tinge of red. To me it looked just shy of complete. After mixing the iodine into the small sample it looked like light red beer. Google image search Budweiser American Ale. With the way Sebamyl keeps working during the ferment I'm not worried at all.
IMG_20150223_071728.jpg


So I set up a fan to cool the barrel the rest of the way down and rehydrated 3 packs of us-05 in heated bottled water. I stirred it and let it sit for 15 minutes then I poured the quart jar of cooled wort on top of it. I cooled this down to the high 60's and left it to multiply and get happy while I took a nap. I did aerate the water before the yeast addition with a blender. Them yeasties are happy so when the barrel got cool enough I poured the whole sample in after stirring it up vigorously. I screwed the lid on tight and left the cap for the port in the middle just sitting there with the temp probe wire going under it. I am going to wait before adding the aquarium heater. In the kitchen the starter kept going up in temp so I might not need it at first.

I hope this thing doesn't foam up. I only have 2.5-3 inches of head space in there.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:36 pm

That is one big barrel of happy! I can almost taste it. That's gonna make a nice pile of whiskey. :thumbup:
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby bellybuster » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:39 pm

1.060 with cracked corn right out of the bag, Nice!! Now all I need is corn, scarce here right now. I got the enzymes in the mail last week.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby humbledore » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:59 pm

Did you aerate the wash in the barrel? I didn't see that in your description.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:59 pm

Brutal, I've really enjoyed this thread and the others on steam injection. I hope to do this, but on a much smaller scale in the near future. Thanks for an excellent write up.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby scuba stiller » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:05 pm

You go Brutal, this is so inspiring.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:11 pm

I think my process aerated the barrel. The water was originally added from buckets and dumped in, then the dry corn was poured through it, and keeping the temps low I believe is supposed to keep the oxygen in too. Most times I stirred it I made sure to pull down a little tornado and then knock the hell out of it with the mixer. I don't really know if that was enough but I hope it was.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby humbledore » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:15 pm

Didn't mean to sound critical, just want this to work out good for you! I have an aeration stone on a metal rod but no where near long enough to do this batch. This might be a better application for an aquarium bubbler.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby shadylane » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:33 pm

Brutal, I'm predicting a fast and violent fermentation.
Hope you left enough head space in the fermenter.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:09 pm

shadylane wrote:Brutal, I'm predicting a fast and violent fermentation.
Hope you left enough head space in the fermenter.

I didn't. Look forward to pictures of the carnage if you are right.

@Humbledore I didn't take it that way at all. I'm really not sure if it's aerated enough. I know I am risking under pitching here too with only three packets. I thought I had four..

This is my first full size baseline for making a batch like this. I will learn and tune the process from here and will share it all with you good folks. I could have never come this far without you. I have plans for a couple more barrel mashes like this and with the results from this I will be better prepared for those. There are so many things that can be changed. It really is an amazing hobby. Next batch is going to be a more conventional bourbon style mash. I have about 25 or so pounds of various malt grains hanging out that I think have been here a little too long to trust the enzymes in them. I think a 70% corn 30% various malt recipe is in order. I might even mix in some oats and make it 60% corn. My first thought is to ignore the malts and mash it just like I did this batch with the enzymes. Maybe stop at 149 on the heat up for a rest. Maybe not. I want to make a wheated bourbon ala Jimbo too. I'll be buying all new malt for that so maybe I should run it more conventionally? I could heat just the corn and sebstar to 190, and then instead of using the sebamyl just add the malted wheat at ~150? So many options. One thing I can't control is heat during the summer. I am going to have to use a yeast that likes it hot in a few months. Hoping for a nice calm cold ferment on this one with us-05 but I know I need more head space in that barrel. This batch will answer a few questions about yield too. Should I expect to keep closer to 3 gallons from this? or closer to 5 at barrel strength? If I was to distill on the grain how much would it raise those numbers? Is taste going to be affected from the trub? If so will it be good or bad? I want to create two main things. A product that I like in the white, and a product that ages well in the short term. They might end up being one in the same. Guess I've rambled on enough. Thanks folks.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby Brutal » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:05 pm

shadylane wrote:Brutal, I'm predicting a fast and violent fermentation.
Hope you left enough head space in the fermenter.

This morning the activity was pretty slow. The barrel temp was down to about 57f. I set the aquarium heater to 68F on the little twisty thermostat on the end and tossed it down the central hole in the lid. I fed some extra wire down so it could fall down in there a little. The bottom of the barrel is cold because it's sitting straight on concrete. I forgot to put 2x4's under it and now that it's full I can't do it. I have been nervous about it so I just had the wife check on it. She says it's at 67 degrees and fizzing away but not overflowing!! I hope by keeping the temp down I can avoid the geyser effect. This is going near perfect so far.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby S-Cackalacky » Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:55 pm

Brutal, do you think it would help at the start to heat up a keg (or 2) of water to add to your steaming/fermenting barrel from the git go? Then, charge the steam boiler with a final water charge for keeping the heat up in the steaming barrel. Maybe this would eliminate some of the excessive water gain in the mash that you get by starting with cold water. Sort of a combination steep and steam process. Just a thought.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby shadylane » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:10 pm

That's what I've been doing.
I use the boiler to heat water to a boil and pour it into the insulated mash barrel with the grains.
Then refill the boiler and wait for it to make steam.
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Re: Mashing 100lbs of cracked corn with steam injection

Postby shadylane » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:39 pm

Just a thought.
Since the mash needs to be more acid and cooled down for the sebamyl
How about having the backset very cold or frozen before adding it.
That way you could kill too birds with one stone.
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