South African Mielie Meal Mash

All styles of whiskey. This is for all-grain mashes.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Post Reply
User avatar
Synaptoman
Novice
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 8:07 am

South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Synaptoman » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:23 am

Hi All,

I have been itching to try a Corn whiskey mash for a while now. I have carefully perused the Tried and Tested sections and also followed a number of threads pertaining to Corn Whiskey as well as Cornflake Whiskey.

A common problem on this and other global forums, seems to be the unavailability of good quality corn. We don't have this problem in South Africa, in fact we have awesome corn/maize, which we call "Mielies". For human consumption we process white maize into a meal and refer to it as "Mielie Meal". In drought years, or other years where there is a shortage of white maize, a percentage of yellow maize is also milled into the product.

As a noob, with only a few distillations under my belt, I am fully prepared for any comments or criticisms, so here then is my recipe;
  • 12L of water heated to 85 C
    Added 4kg mielie meal
    Mixed thoroughly with drill and paint stirrer
    Temp dropped to 70 C
    Added 1.5ml of liquid Alpha Amylase
    When Temp was at 63 C added 1Kg of Malted Barley
    Mixed thoroughly with drill and paint stirrer
    Added another 2ml of liquid Alpha Amylase
    Wash became very watery
    At 35 C added 2.5L of Water and 2.5L of a Sugar Wash backset with 2.5Kg of White Refined Sugar also at 35 C
    Pitched my hydrated yeast when temp hit 30 C (50g of ordinary Bakers Yeast)
    Fermenting on the grain
    Fermentation started very vigorously almost immediately
    OG (tested at 20 C) = 1.095
Yes, I know the Malted Barley + Amylase is an overkill.
Yes, I know the sugar also
Yes, I know I have no yeast nutrient yet.

Comments, observations.

Later

Synaptoman

User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Site Mod
Posts: 4163
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:31 am

Shouldnt need nutrient......grains should provide yeast with all that is needed.

User avatar
silverbean
Novice
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:13 am
Location: Downunder If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes.

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by silverbean » Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:56 am

I'm still fairly new to stillin but that seems like you got great conversion. The Amylase - is it over kill or insurance? You didn't say what your total volume was but an OG of 1.095 is rather high, without the sugar it would have been around 1.060, fine for an all grain, I've found with the UJSSM I have been doing, an OG of 1.065 ferments out quick but if pushed a bit higher it adds a couple of days. Just a thought when you rack off the beer have you thought about throwing a sugar head onto the grain (4kg sugar, 3l backset and water to 20l) should be plenty of flavour left. I'm thinking 50g is a lot of yeast, not that it is a problem. Should make some fine whiskey. I hope you don't mind but I'm going to copy your recipe and method (without the sugar) for when I'm finished with the UJSSM.
Enjoy the journey.

Setsumi
Swill Maker
Posts: 410
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:23 pm
Location: Central South Africa

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Setsumi » Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:25 am

hi, self from SA. last 2 years only doing maize meal and enzymes from our online distilling shop in SA. i follow Booners casual corn in T&T with exception that i start in increments on meal and water and use half of my alpha on the first increment. this helps yo keep the mash thin from start. in cooler times i will add chalk as ph buffer because the ferment will take longer.. but probably not necessary. i ferment on grain and filter with GA flatwoods geotextile fabric and then press... press in my signature.
press https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=79008
twins viewtopic.php?f=50&t=80886
My wife tells me I fell from heaven covered in white. Why did they let me fall?

User avatar
Synaptoman
Novice
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 8:07 am

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Synaptoman » Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:45 am

Busy reading "Making pure corn Whiskey" and note that the author does not recommend OG of over 1.070 or a fermentation period of longer than 96 hours. I assume my 1.095 above was attributable to the 2.5kg of sugar I added.

He also describes a primary (very vigorous) and secondary (single bubbles) through the airlock and says that whiskeys are finished fermenting after the primary fermentation to prevent the "dreaded esters". He says it should NEVER ferment more that 96 hours.

Does this mean that I must stop the fermentation and distill as soon as the vigorous bubbling through the airlock has slowed? Even if the SG is still quite high? On Day #4 now with the fermentation still vigorous and the SG is 1.043.

I suppose with the added sugar, my whiskey is not "pure" corn whiskey, but what say the experts?

Later

Synaptoman

User avatar
Tummydoc
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:19 am

Ignore that author and ferment till dry. My all grains take 7 days in summer, longer in fall/winter

User avatar
Synaptoman
Novice
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 8:07 am

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Synaptoman » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:32 am

I waited until the fermentation had finished (10 days) and then drained the mash through a grain bag that I got at a local brew shop. Messy work but got every last drop of liquid out eventually.

Image

I was left with a damp mix of the corn and malted barley which I put aside.

Image

I carefully siphoned the drained mash into my pot and it was only 15L. I charged it with another 5L of filtered water.

I then ran my reflux still in potstill mode (no packing) very slowly collecting the following cuts;
  • 175ml Foreshots and Heads
  • 500ml at 78% down to 76%
  • 250ml at 76% down to 74%
  • 250ml at 74% down to 69%
  • 250ml at 69% down to 55%
  • 375ml of tails
From the image below you will see that the tails came out quite cloudy.

Image

I then took my remaining spent yeast and remains from the 1st fermentation, added back the drained corn/malted barley mix and added about 5L of water.

After my pot had cooled down enough I used about 3L of the warm (35C) backset and dissolved 2.5kg of sugar and added to the mash.

Hydrated 30g of Bakers Yeast and then pitched it.

Topped up with filtered water.

My second fermentation is now frantically bubbling away.

Some questions for the pros as this is my first whiskey.
  • Was it necessary to add sugar to my second fermentation?
  • Was it necessary to add more yeast? Would the existing yeast have been sufficient?
  • Can I now oak my hearts from above or do I have to do a spirit run?
  • How many fermentation's could I get out of that originals corn/malted barley mash? Do I add sugar every time?
  • Any comments regarding my cuts?

Later

Synaptoman

User avatar
still_stirrin
Master Distiller
Posts: 8004
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:01 am
Location: where the buffalo roam, and the deer & antelope play

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by still_stirrin » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:53 am

Synaptoman wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:32 am
...Some questions for the pros as this is my first whiskey.

Was it necessary to add sugar to my second fermentation?
That is how you make a “gumbalhead”, by adding sugar (as the fermentable material] to the grains (which will add corn flavor) to the ferment. Chances are that any sugars converted from the already fermented grains have been consumed by the yeast during the initial ferment. So, the added sugar is what is feeding the fermentation now.
Synaptoman wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:32 am
...Was it necessary to add more yeast? Would the existing yeast have been sufficient?
It might have had enough healthy yeast cells to ferment the gumbalhead, but adding more yeast ensured fermentation with minimal lag (the delay to fermentation start as the yeast population increases to the density needed for active fermentation). Typically, the “budding phase”, when the single-celled yeast reproduces and multiplies cell count will require hours to a day to build the population necessary. So, adding freshly rehydrated yeast helped to speed your 2nd generation fermentation.
Synaptoman wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:32 am
...Can I now oak my hearts from above or do I have to do a spirit run?
Since you ran it through a “de-tuned” reflux stillhead, you have collected a “hearts cut” with a purity high enough to put on wood. So go ahead and do that if you’d like. It won’t hurt.

A 2nd distillation will “amplify” the proof and reduce carryover of congeners and flavors. But, you’ll more than likely need more collection to fill your boiler safely for a 2nd distillation, hence the 3 times stripping runs to collect enough low wines for a 2nd distillation (spirit run).
Synaptoman wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:32 am
...How many fermentation's could I get out of that originals corn/malted barley mash? Do I add sugar every time?
Yes....see my answer to your 1st question.

As to “how many generations”, you can cascade them several times. But, as with the UJSSM suggests, remove some of the spent grains and replace with fresh (ground) grains in subsequent generations in order to keep the corn flavor more pronounced. Otherwise, the flavor will diminish over time from subsequent ferments. Remember, it is the sugar that is fermenting, not the grains in the later generations.
Synaptoman wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:32 am
...Any comments regarding my cuts?
Did you make “cuts”? I see a list of separate jars you collected. But you didn’t say what your final “blend of jars” is, nor what you moved to the feints. So, I can’t comment.....plus, I haven’t smelled or tasted your blended hearts.
ss
Attention new distillers: Cranky's spoon feed info
My LM/VM & Potstill: My build thread
My 5-grain Bourbon recipe: Special K

User avatar
Tummydoc
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 662
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:05 pm

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:20 am

You'll harvest more drinkable alcohol running multiple stripping runs and then combining them all for a spirit run. No need to do cuts on stripping, but i do toss the fores. Cuts are hard on a small still due to smearing, and with a single run your going to have a limited hearts collection in the middle that isn't tainted with heads or tails. Running combined low wines as a spirit run results in a larger volume for each fraction, so its easier to get a few jars in the middle that aren't smeared. But if you're satisfied with your current hearts, and in need if drinking stock go ahead and harvest the middle jar now, add the rest to your future stripping run.


malt_lover
Novice
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 3:47 am

Re: South African Mielie Meal Mash

Post by malt_lover » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:25 am

Awesome thread. I had made maize meal banana flavour (porridge) as an experimental batch once. It was just a kg of the bag in 5 liters of warm water. Just added some malted sorghum and malted wheat for conversion. After stilling, faint banana smell came through but during the fermentation, the kitchen was smelling of bananas. It fermented real fast.

Post Reply