2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby Micmac » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:36 am

Greetings,

I haven’t been able to find reference to this technique I’ve been experimenting with. I’m sure it’s here, just can’t find it.

Prior to boiling corn I’ve found it advantageous to put a small amount of malted barley in the mash water (paint strainer bag to remove it prior to corn) as its heating up through the extraction zone to utilize the enzymes purely to keep the corn from becoming too gelatinized during the cook. After the corn is cooked I add the “grain bill” malted barley or rye etc when the mash cools to the traditional malted grain temp. This makes the corn easier to cook and still take advantage of the 2nd intro of malted grains for the conversion of sugar.

Anyone else using this technique? Any downsides?
Last edited by Micmac on Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby Twisted Brick » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:06 pm

Adding malt on the way up in order to pre-thin a corn mash is pretty common. Some replace the malt with enzymes because its cheaper.
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby der wo » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:11 pm

Premashing. NCHooch's Carolina Bourbon mentions it. For me it was the key to a good conversion. The other key was to remove the BIAB btw.
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby Micmac » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:32 am

der wo wrote:Premashing. NCHooch's Carolina Bourbon mentions it. For me it was the key to a good conversion. The other key was to remove the BIAB btw.



Are you saying remove the BIAB on the way up? I remove the pre-mash barley to avoid tannin extraction at higher temps. Just an assumption on my part as a carry over from home brewing. I don’t use BIAB for the corn and the 2nd introduction of barley.
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:23 am

Homebrewers have to think more about tannines than distillers. And even if it would really go over by distillation, the most tannines would come from the wood anyway.
And your grain bill will contain only 20-30% barley? Mostly corn? Then there will be even less problems (if there are any) with tannines.

A BIAB always leads to uneven temperatures. I mean in general. Not as bad for brewers than for distillers.
But yes, your idea is a bit different from a typical BIAB use. I don't understand why you take out the premashing malt. Because then you don't need to mention it in your grain bill? Because it only adds enzymes? No. It of course adds flavor and sugar. Or only because of the tannines? Are really all commercial Bourbons for you unacceptable because of their tannines? All of them are made with very fine milled malt and fermented and distilled on the grain. If there were problems with tannines, with this method you would get them for sure.

My recipe for Bourbon or similar:
From my experience with 2-row (20% in the grain bill, the rest corn and a bit rye) I can say, I had more success with premashing than without. And even more with two premashings, one before gelatinization (1/7 of the malt) and one after at around 75°C (again 1/7). The remaining 5/7 at 55°C. No active cooling, simply waiting until next morning, then it's under 30°C and I can pitch the yeast.

55°C sounds strange for you? This is one of the main benefits of premashing. If you sacrifice some of the malt before and then have a relative thin mash, you can use a way lower temp for the main conversion, what means the enzymes will work until the end of fermentation. Lower final gravity, more yield. And perhaps better taste (some members will disagree at this point. Instead of working on their conversion success they decided that a mediocre conversion tastes better. Just kidding... :mrgreen: )
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby Micmac » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:40 am

Der wo,

That makes sense to me. I will try the lower temp conversion cook. I simply removed the pre mash grain because I was concerned about tannin extraction more than grain %
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby bilgriss » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:20 pm

One thing we homebrewers often have a hard time with is letting go of the methods we have worked so hard to perfect. Sanitation and tannin extraction are two good examples, yeast conditions and pitch rates can sometimes be another. Time and experience, and reading other people's success stories, will get you past it!

Relax, don't worry, have a bourbon.
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby DuckofDeath » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:13 pm

I grind everything together super fine, flour basically. Then I add to the cold water and HTL enzymes and slowly heat to 190. If you heat too fast you will get a thick goop. I let it sit at 190 for an hour. Then use extra water to bring temp down to 155 where I add second batch of GL and TL enzymes. Stir until its 150 and then transfer to a mash tun. Let that sit for 1-2 hours and strain. Great conversion!
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby Twisted Brick » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:52 pm

DuckofDeath wrote:I grind everything together super fine, flour basically. Then I add to the cold water and HTL enzymes and slowly heat to 190. If you heat too fast you will get a thick goop. I let it sit at 190 for an hour. Then use extra water to bring temp down to 155 where I add second batch of GL and TL enzymes. Stir until its 150 and then transfer to a mash tun. Let that sit for 1-2 hours and strain. Great conversion!


There are a number of reasons you don't want to cook your small grains outside of their proper gelatinization range: thermal decomposition, scorching, and above all, creation of objectionable flavors. Personally, I prefer to mash all of my flavoring grains/malts in their preferred cozy temp range.

Consider the advice given by Shane here
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby der wo » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:25 am

Twisted Brick wrote:There are a number of reasons you don't want to cook your small grains outside of their proper gelatinization range: thermal decomposition, scorching, and above all, creation of objectionable flavors.

I doubt that it makes really a difference. It's finetuning perhaps.
I think Odin's comment in this thread is the key why those garins are added to the mash after cooking the corn:
If you add the rye later, after you cooked the corn, it may help you cool your mash from (cooking) corn temperatures down faster ...
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby Twisted Brick » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:10 am

der wo wrote:I doubt that it makes really a difference. It's finetuning perhaps.


For sure. Given this distillery's scale of production and attention to detail (including costs), there must be a perceived taste/efficiency difference that justifies the extra step. At our scale, I'm looking for every opportunity to optimize my processes for flavor, especially if it doesn't really cost any more time.
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby der wo » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:23 pm

It does cost more time. Because you have to do a direct comparision (one mash the rye or wheat together with the corn, another mash the rye or wheat after cooking the corn) or the opinion will remain a speculation.
Sorry for my bad English!
agitator, rummager, no more scorching grain
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Re: 2 step use of barley to convert corn mash

Postby DuckofDeath » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:14 pm

Go checkout how the big boys do it, they don't wait to add in their grains. I have done it both ways and there is literally zero difference.
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