Maseca, Masa Harina

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Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:21 am

I have been thinking about maseca lately. The big finely ground bags of the stuff are cheap and plentiful around here. I read some others light experimentation with it and it was found to create too much "sludge" in the bottom of the fermenter. This doesn't bother me none because I run steam. I also noticed nothing about enzyme usage which made me wonder if they were experimenting with a no cook sugar/maseca combo.

So if figured I would try an experiment. I have 2lb of maseca made up to 1 gallon for a tiny test mash, I added juice of 3 limes to acidify and tossed in sebstar HTL cold. Its currently in the oven heating up. Right now its 130F and the maseca mix has gone from glue to a looseish liquid. I expect it to continue up to 190F. I will split this into two jugs and try a ferment using k1-v1116.

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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby ShineRunner » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:29 am

I’ve looked at maseca before but stayed away because it’s treated with lime. I’d be interested to see your pH numbers?

Let us know how your OG and FG turn out.

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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:33 am

That was my thinking too. I couldnt get a good ph after I first mixes it with water because it became a solid mass with no real liquid. So 3 good sized limes later and I tasted it and detected a little sour. I will recheck once I start cooling for the GL addition.
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby BlackStrap » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:41 am

Would this be similar to ground hominy corn?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominy

I wonder if a process like this would bring out the starch for conversion easier?
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:21 am

Its exactly ground hominy, in this case ground as fine a flour. I expect the conversion will be normal, but gelatinization and wet in were really easy. Almost like a gravy mix. I also wondered if the extra nutrition released would assist the yeast as well.
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:53 pm

So this stuff doesn't separate into a thick water layer on top. It definitely had a tortoise shell shape but everything just below the surface was pretty thick. The OG was not useful but it tasted very sweet so conversion happened. pitched and its bubbling away next to the warm fireplace wall. Still looks like thick malted milk but it smells great. This was a rough small volume experiment, I really just wanted to see what it would do at all before I expended much effort. This is going well, I will do a 15 gallon one next month and run it. Perhaps the extra volume will allow me more ability to measure.
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby jb-texshine » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:07 pm

White grits work just fine and they are just meal consistency ground grits.
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:59 am

It's 5 months on now and it will separate, just not very much.

The top half is clear and lightly tinged yellow.

The bottom half is maseca, not like glue or a solid, but definitely a cloud light wont penetrate.

It would probably run fine on a steam stripper. It would play hell with elements or a propane fired unit.

Note: I used no fining agents of any kind. Some might make this mash quite usable.
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:35 am

I just did 100 lbs of masa on steam. Converted using seb enzymes. The boil process was easy, I hit it with hot water rather than cold, and the dough balls were massive but broke up quickly with my power mixer. I would not recommend using hot if you are using an oar for mixing unless you have a lot of time and you are working on your shoulders. The long boil needed with corn meal didn't need to happen. When I added the ~25 gallons of 212F water the mass became about 145F (added Sebstar HTL)then I steamed until 200F. I waited until 185 (Ph to 5.7 using citric) and added another dose of Sebstar HTL then let sit until 148 (about 6 hours). Once 148 hit I Ph to 5.1 and added the gluco. Then let sit until 101 (overnight) and pitched my standard k1-v1116 (not a whisky yeast but its a known quantity for me, and I had it on hand)

Ultimately I wound up with ~ 50 gallons at 1.08. Pitched yeast at 101F and by morning it had tried to crawl out of the fermenter. It stopped just short of puking through the airlock.

The smell is great, like tamales at Christmas
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Re: Maseca, Masa Harina

Postby Ben Stillin » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:34 pm

I just did my final run on this and managed to get some great corn whiskey (from first appearance anyway)

What I found shocking about the mash is how much corn oil came out of it. It was golden Exxon Valdez floating on top. It ran fine but was a good portion thick cloudy and would only separate to about the half line on the fermentation vessel no matter how long I let it sit, one tiny bump would stir it up. The very bottom was like pancake batter. This works fine and tastes like corn. I got a higher OG from equal weight cornmeal but I believe it has a higher starch concentration being de-germed. I would not try this on anything but a steam injection stripper.
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