The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:35 am

casper,

I read a few mistakes in your post. When you think about backset and pH, you shouldn't worry about the yeast but about the enzymes. The yeast can work very good at very acidic conditions, the enzymes less.
Flaked grains are not partially converted in sugars, they are partially gelatinized. Also your "saccharification ranges" are gelatinization ranges. Even at 148° the beta-amylase will die. Many here (including me) recommend lower temps for the beta-amylase. If you want the beta-amylase to work while fermentation, you have to mash at lower temps. At least the last portion pf malt should get mashed at a lower temp.
Why 200°? Because it releases more starches. Especially if you mill the corn coarse to allow a lautering.

Here the thread "backsetters unite":
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=59291
Information about pH buffers and risers.
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby amdamgraham » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:28 am

Just a quick note regarding the denaturing of the Beta. I added Beta at 146-148 on my most recent batch and held temp. I pitched the next day and it has been fermenting nicely for a week. Is it likely that I could get even more fermentation if I add another dose of Beta at this late stage or does a full week of active fermentation basically indicate that I have full conversion? I suppose I could do an iodine test (typing out loud - ha!).
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:53 am

Only a measuarement of the gravity after fermentation can find out, how fermentable the sugars were. But of course an active and long fermentation is a good sign, that it will turn out not really failed. A good iodine test says nothing. When you mash with low temps, you will get a bad iodine test before fermentation very often. But after the fermentation, everything is ok.

You added a "dose of beta"? Are you sure it's beta-amylase, not glucoamylase? Do you have a name or a link to the product?
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby amdamgraham » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:02 pm

I used the HTL High-temp alpha ramping up from 165 to 182F when cooking. That thinned it wonderfully. After cooking when it got down to 146-148 I put in a teaspoon (liquid) of what is labeled as "Brewcraft AMG 300L Exo-Alpha Amylase (Beta Amylase)". Fermentation has been steady and strong for 1 week now. I suppose it can't hurt to add a little more now that I am at room temp and 3 days from doing my run. If the original teaspoon of AMG 300L denatured within an hour due to the temperature then perhaps it got enough conversion to start a decent fermentation but didn't get all of the starches converted. So I suppose if I add another tsp of AMG 300L again and see an increase in fermentation activity that would tell me that the Beta got denatured before it completed it's job.. no? It's a low risk situation so I might as well unless I am playing with the wrong product.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:20 pm

This product is a glucoamylase and needs even lower temps.
Yes, it's a good idea to pitch some of it to the ferment now.
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby amdamgraham » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:39 pm

Thanks Der Wo!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby amdamgraham » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:07 am

Der Wo,
I added 1 tsp of AMG 300L and after about 5 hours (room temp in winter 65F) I believe the activity level increased. It was going well this morning also. My conclusion is that my original 1 tsp of AMG300L at 146F worked for maybe an hour but denatured before conversion was complete. This second dose at room temp will finish what's left over the next 3 days. Thank you - that is really helpful. What's unfortunate is that my OG reading will be wrong since conversion was not complete so I won't be able to provide an accurate OG/FG ABV result but it will be done better next time.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:28 pm

So has anyone any idea why my wort goes so acidic as it cools?

Should I boil/heat above 175°?
Or does plenty of added backset prevent it?
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:57 am

casper the Irish wrote:So has anyone any idea why my wort goes so acidic as it cools?

Should I boil/heat above 175°?
Or does plenty of added backset prevent it?

Are you sure it wasn't such acidic before cooling?
I think you should boil. But it's the "no boil"-thread. The discussion about how to manage it more or less successful without boiling.
Backset is very acidic. The more backset you use, the more acidic it will be. Did you read my answer to your last post? Did you read the "backsetters unite"-thread I suggested you?
You mashed with steam. Steam has no pH buffer. So a ph crash is more likely with steam mashing. But it's easy to buffer the pH (as you can read in the suggested thread).
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:52 am

der wo wrote:casper,
you shouldn't worry about oH on the yeast but about the enzymes. The yeast can work very good at very acidic conditions, the enzymes less.

Flaked grains are not partially converted in sugars, they are partially gelatinized.
Also your "saccharification ranges" are gelatinization ranges. Even at 148° the beta-amylase will die. Many here (including me) recommend lower temps for the beta-amylase. If you want the beta-amylase to work you have to mash at lower temps.

Why 200°? Because it releases more starches. Especially if you mill the corn coarse to allow a lautering..


Thank you so much for this.
1. My problem was the dramatic fall of pH as the converted mash cooled slow below 55°C 160°F the oH suddenly fell from 5.4 to 3.6 within minutes. I was careful to pitch at 150° pH 5.4
2. I stand corrected on sugars and starch. I was reading from a chart posted on HD which labelled these MAX saccharification temps. Also the horse feed supplier told me their hot steam rolled grain process converted the starch to more digestible sugars. I accept the manufacturer doesn't know his arse from his elbow.
3. Your point about coarse milling is a "duh" moment for me. Whether to Lauter or ferment on grain? You have enlightened me, kibbled and cracked- boil and can ferment on grain. Flaked- don't boil, lauter.. Simple.

But: beer swillers say barley has husk. Husks cannot be boiled or they get bitter.
I add some malt barley sacrificially, as recommended on the way up, to avoid thick porridge. How do we boil corn which has malt barley in it?

I get less starch/sugar/alcohol from barley than corn, even less from wheat. I boil corn but don't go above 160°F on these. Go figure why I get less alcohol from barley and wheat mashes.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:44 pm

I am still digesting the backset thread DW

I have been experimenting. Two observations I will post there.

1. Backset relates in my mind to help reflux get the extras that potstill with thumpers have. I am currently recycling tails on my strip runs to great effect.
2. Backset may be wash beer minus hearts and stopped at strong tails. Or it may be stripped down beyond weak tails. So backset is a big church of ideas
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:49 pm

I never monitored the pH during the cooling down. But when using much backset and not using pH buffers or risers, 3.6 is more likely than 5.4.

"More digestible starches", not "more disgestible sugars". And digestible for horses, not for yeast.

You can ferment on or off the grain both, flaked or cracked corn. On the grain has the advantage, that you can mill the grain very fine, so you get all the starch and all the flavor (good or bad). Off the grain is safer (scorching).

Flaked corn needs at least less or prehaps no boiling. But it also should be milled.

You can boil the husks for spirits. The bitter aromas will not come over into the distillate.

The milling grade of the malt is also important. For an effective use of the enzymes it is better to mill it fine (the husks get destroyed). But then lautering (if you want) is more difficult. If you mill the malt similar to malt for beer, you will get a proper lautering, but less enzymes... so you need more malt in the grain bill.

You get more sugar from corn than from barley or wheat, because corn has procentual more starch.


You have to decide first, if you want to distill on or off the grain. And if off the grain, how you seperate the grains from the mash. And then you have to find for this the best milling grades, grain bill, mashing process...
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:57 pm

casper the Irish wrote:1. Backset relates in my mind to help reflux get the extras that potstill with thumpers have. I am currently recycling tails on my strip runs to great effect.
2. Backset may be wash beer minus hearts and stopped at strong tails. Or it may be stripped down beyond weak tails. So backset is a big church of ideas

In simplified (false) theory backset should not have any effect on taste, because backset is, what does not come over into the distillate. So why it should come over next time?
BUT backset is acidic and the acids will form esters with the alcohol the yeast produces. And those esters come over.

How do you distill it? Single runs with a reflux?

If you think backset is a big church, then it's a Vatican, when infected. :lol:
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:55 am

I'm going to print and pin up your milling post, thanks DW
So much there to respond to My head hurts!
One at a time.

Backset first in brief, relevant but not this thread. It's relevant because how the mash is done affects how I ferment and still.
What's in it, Acid, flavours. maybe some weak tails. Depends how far I strip, with the tails left in? Sometimes tails need to stay in, sometimes I will need them collected.
Weak tails can have nice subtle flavours, if gathered and added to hearts as dilution e.g. Making plum brandy (slivovice) or added to spirit run (golden rum oils).
It is standard whiskey practice to return tails to the first and second runs. Rum Dunder (discarded then infected backset) as much as 50:50 to low wines really mellows the spirit. Last time I just stripped all once, then refluxed having diluted with Dunder. Rum, sugar and fruit brandies such as Slivovitz all have foul strong tails but great tasting weak tails that benefit addition to hearts. This time I will keep the weak tails in for the spirit reflux.

My recent rum run I didn't boil the mash, did boil the trub, pitched Molly with trub and hot Dunder (tails all stripped) a few days before adding sugar adjunct. That was my best fermentation so far.
On the stripping run there are foul fusels in the strong tails. I pulled them out, threw them into next strip. I think it enriches the hearts and concentrates the fusels which get discarded or added to the feints barrel to get cleaned up for a vodka run. I keep the backset with weak tails in for the spirit run.

Today I am starting my no-boil flaked barley mash. This time thanks DW I will heat to 200° The last time fermenting on grain all the sludge never settled, took days to extract the beer. (I was thinking could I recycle a spin dryer)
Milling grain as coarse grit would make that easier. So with flakes or finer mill it must be easier to lauter before pitching. And easier to sterilise.

For my next no-boil corn mash I am not sure yet whether to mash it like Molly or like barley, let's see how this goes first. Molly works good on the reflux and I am pleased with my new cleaned up stripping method. Much more efficient than triple stilling.

Off to read all about steamy things as I warm up my 100# of barley mash with a decorators wallpaper stripper fitted with copper pipe wand
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:38 am

Buffers. Potassium Carbonate is the best, but expensive. Oyster shells, broken marble or limestone??
Never sodium carbonate, makes the alcohol blue, forms cyanate salts with urea and copper.
I would prefer to get the mash process right, those pH falls are too big to fight. One thing I noticed brewing kit beers. The fermentation cannot abide any temperature variations. Fermentation is exothermic too so it can rise 5° even in cold rooms. Any more than a few degree rise or drop, night or day can spoil the beer. Makes acid. Keeping the temperature steady is essential, makes a great tasting beer, more alcohol not turned to acids
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby thecroweater » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:25 am

der wo wrote:In simplified (false) theory backset should not have any effect on taste, because backset is, what does not come over into the distillate. So why it should come over next time?
BUT backset is acidic and the acids will form esters with the alcohol the yeast produces. And those esters come over.

So taking this statement as fact you should be able to add neutral to any stillage and re-run to get the same neutral back :sarcasm: try it and see how that works out for ya :moresarcasm:
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:26 am

thecroweater wrote:
der wo wrote:In simplified (false) theory backset should not have any effect on taste, because backset is, what does not come over into the distillate. So why it should come over next time?
BUT backset is acidic and the acids will form esters with the alcohol the yeast produces. And those esters come over.

So taking this statement as fact you should be able to add neutral to any stillage and re-run to get the same neutral back :sarcasm: try it and see how that works out for ya :moresarcasm:

Of course I never tried it, but I think, regardless if the new alcohol is produced by the yeast in the mash or neutral is added to the mash, the acids of the backset will form esters with it. For esterification no yeast or other organism is needed.
But yes, probably there will be also some flavors like tails or yeasty in the distillate... I didn't say, this theory is true. I only wanted to point out, that there are more important factors on taste than using for example 20 instead of 10% backset.
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:38 am

casper,

perhaps now it's time to make the next batch. Yes, how long to strip, how much backset, which buffer, which temp, what milling grade, flaked or cracked corn and so on. It's complicated, and some factors have a heavy influence on other factors like "Yes, you can use only 15% malted grain, but..." or "Yes, you don't have to boil, but...". You cannot try out everything. And there are different working combinations of the factors.
The result of the next batch will help you perhaps more than more theory.
Sorry for my bad English!
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby aircarbonarc » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:10 am

i did find cooking the corn in lower PH boiling liquid like backset seemed to get the starches out a bit faster.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:01 pm

I wonder why acid in corn mash is good, but not in barley mash?

I do believe ethanol can be in equilibrium with its ester and acid, so perhaps the backset prevents esterification? This is to increase ethanol in solution.

I read that barley should not be boiled, yet corn can be so gelatinous that some folks add malt on the way up to keep it manageably thin. So another good reason not to boil the mash.

I have been fermenting on grain till now with wheat for vodka, barley mash for whiskey, corn for Bourbon.
I now read that only corn should be fermented on grain.
I also discover the gelatination temperatures for soft grains is quite low, below the enzyme rest, whereas for corn it can be well above.
I note that buffalo trace do not mash their grains together, they extract wort from each grain separately then mix.

In all mashes I use flaked grain to avoid a boil.
But
Flake easily macerates into fine suspension. This presents a special problem to lauter or recover beer. More, fermenting on grain with barley, or corn with adjuncts such as rye or wheat, creates the additional problem of viscous proteins which just get thicker with a long soak.

My bigger brews have become hard to manage, 100lb dry is a heavy bag of wet goo. Now I can cook my grain bill at different temperatures, the soft grains with their higher proteins below a max 160° and corn up to 200°, in smaller batches, lauter the soft grains so they are kept out of the mash.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby Hillbilly Popstar » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:39 pm

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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:21 am

No one says acid (backset) is only good in corn and not in barley mashes. But it's the tradition. Bourbon is sour mashed, Malt Whisky not.
But simply do what you want.

Backset causes esterification. For esters you need acids.

Every grain needs to get gelatinized before the starches can convert. But corn needs a much higher temperature than the other grains for that. Corn needs boiling, barley not. If you don't gelatinize your yield will be lower.
If the short steam pressing of flaked grains can replace a long boil, there are different opinions. I can see the gelatinizing effect also when using flaked corn. For me flaked corn is partially gelatinized. The best way to avoid a long boil is to mill the corn like flour. But then you have to ferment and distill on the grain...

Only corn is fermented on the grain traditionally. Why? Because lautering corn is not so easy like barley.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby thecroweater » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:45 am

I don't want to go right off topic but....
Any grain can be fermented on the grain and any grain can be sparged except some grains can be difficult to do so. Corn is one as is oats and millet and a few others, the way around this is often to add hulls or chaff.
There is no problem with mashing different grains separately or fermenting them separately or even distilling them separately prior to blending but ya need to acknowledge that each of these methods will result in a different product.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:25 pm

I've been digging into some beermaker forae to research this further.
They make the distinction between hard and soft grain. Maize is hard with low protein, so can be fermented on grain. Soft grain like wheat, rye, barley with high proteins do not ferment well on grain, it gets more viscous with heat or soaking time. Also, any retained or added chaff which helps for lautering fouls the mash if boiled and promotes fusels etc during ongrain ferment. If the mash has any chaff it must be lautered, husk should never be heated to boiling. That would include corn if malt is added to thin the mash.
So the boil/no boil is not about sugar. It's just about starch extraction. Corn will gelatinise above 145°F when enzymes start to melt. All the soft grains have starch extracted below 145°F. Why not cook the corn alone, before mashing? Mix the adjuncts to the malt, all soft grains with bothersome proteins warmed just to hand hot, lautered, cooled then mashed with the corn, or corn wash.
Maize and wheat are chaff free, rye barley/malt and oats retain husk, but are much higher in protein especially when added as adjuncts. If it's not a high corn bill Bourbon, there is no acid backset, the mash will benefit from an acid rest AND a protein rest. Also, if saccharification goes above 63°C 145°F some starches will be converted to unfermentable sugars. Good for beer, not spirits. In fact since both amylase enzymes continue to work slowly at lower temperatures, it may be advised to skip the conversion rest if you prefer to ferment on grain. Rye or barley malt will keep work

Mashing out melts beta amylase and is designed to prevent the conversion of alpha converted sugars getting beta converted, leaving unfermentable sugars in the mash.
My own limited experience is that lautering is a pain but easier and more efficient when it's done before fermentation. Adding some sacrificial enzymes/malt to corn before heating will help viscosity.
Maize has markedly higher gel carbs than wheat rye or barley. That makes it the more troublesome to lauter and would be a reason to ferment ongrain. There would seem to be no benefit in fermenting any other seed ongrain since soft grains do not benefit from cooking above 63°C 145°F and are easier separated before fermentation.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby casper the Irish » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:08 am

No-boil means bacteria are not sterile. And as it happens during fermentation the acids become a good environment for LAB
Hence, ferment should be fast. I read that distilleries usually don't cover the vessel and don't control temperature. When doing more than 5 gal the temps can rise alarmingly, then fall in 3 days. That's when I get LAB appearing as a white gossamer scum on top.
Some guys seem to want the extra flavour. But I decant now, even though the ferment is continuing in secondary and there is over 5°Brix
then leave a few days for 3 reasons.
1. Yeast sediment may scorch. I don't need it clear, just no sludge.
2. Time for aldehydes and fusels to return some ethanol
3. I brew 50gal so My potstill sessions need a more convenient time with the kitchen stove to be released
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby chickenfeed » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:35 pm

Right now I'm trying using hot backset right after a run I put cornmeal in the bottom of my fermentation pail and run the hot backset in I let it sit to gelatin the corn meal then add cold water to bring the top down and add amylase I let this set up till the starches are converted add more cold water to lower the temp for the yeast them cap and airlock it
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:03 am

chickenfeed wrote:Right now I'm trying using hot backset right after a run I put cornmeal in the bottom of my fermentation pail and run the hot backset in I let it sit to gelatin the corn meal then add cold water to bring the top down and add amylase I let this set up till the starches are converted add more cold water to lower the temp for the yeast them cap and airlock it

I fear without pH correction the enzymes will not work enough. And you added "amylase"? Only one enzyme and no malted barley? Whatever, I wish you success, please report a few more details and how it turns out.
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby homebrewer007 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:03 pm

While I fully understand the theory behind what you are doing I must say I would be a little concerned on the sanitation side. One reason we boil is to kill any wild yeast living on the grain which we are mashing. Most yeasts thrive at mash temps of 152* F and will begin fermenting very quickly. I personally do not want any cultures in my mash that I do not inoculate myself. Even when doing a sour mash I introduce my own controlled strain of Lactobacillious and control the fermentation in a closed, sanitized vessel at 65* F then after 48 hours I will boil the wash to kill the lacto and add a Sacramyces strain to ferment the remaining maltos. I also only do this in glass or stainless for Lacto will take up residence permanently in anything plastic and there is no evicting it.

I view the boil as a time to kick back, go over my notes, make sure my lab tests for yeast health are correct, my conversion was on target, and my PH is within range. I guess the boil for me is the least labor intensive part of my process, so I never viewed it as a hindrance. Most of the time I am not even in the brew house during the boil, but rather conducting tastings with customers or helping on the sales floor.

There is also a lot going on during the boil that we take for granted. You have already mashed the malted corn and extracted the usable maltos and sucrose from the grain, so now sulfides are rampant in the mash. When using adjuncts like corn or malts such as Pilsner I do a 90 minute boil to drive off the DMS in solution. We are also killing anything living in the wort/wash as well as removing o2 from solution. While I advocate for conducting a full boil, I equally advocate for cooling as quickly as possible (I teach my students and instruct my customers to cool to 80* within 10 minutes).

So I see your point of removing one additional step in your process, but is it really that big a part of your entire process?
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby der wo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:16 am

But this is how Whiskey is made. We don't make beer. You show the typical reactions of a homebrewer new on hd. Look at all the distilleries between Scotland and Kentucky, all have more or less open fermenters, all add the malt at a low temp and don't boil the mash. We don't have to store the beer.

I have mashed once Malt Whisky with boiling out the DMS and removing the protein trub. It for sure works too. It tastes a bit more mature and clean, a good quality. But perhaps after aging it is less interesting. I recommend you to try out both.
Sorry for my bad English!
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I often write about using chemicals like for example sulfuric acid. Some are very dangerous. Before you use them, inform yourself about what you can do to work safely with them.
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der wo
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Re: The No Boil Corn Mashing Method

Postby thecroweater » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:18 am

Tis very rare for a wild yeast to prevail long in competition with generally stronger isolated commercial strains. Once inoculated the cage fight begins and the stronger better suited strain will very quickly overwhelm the other along with almost any other bacterial infections. This can be a lot more of an issue with beer than whiskey.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
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