Types of Corn?

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Types of Corn?

Postby papstoker » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:30 am

Hi guys - bit of a longwinded question, please bear with me. I have been trying my hand at making different types of UJSSM type whiskeys for the past year. So far I have mostly been using corn meal as a base, and the results have yielded a sweet tasting spirit. In SA corn meal is the staple food, so its cheap and easy to get anywhere. Its also pre-cooked mostly, so its quick to gelatinize (similar to 'flaked corn'? - which we don't get here)

Anyway - with my last ferment I decided to use crushed corn as the recipe says - chicken feed from the pet store. It was yellow and roughly 3 cracks per kernel. The result was a much less sweet, and smoother strip run. Very little heads or tails. As a matter of fact the strip is so clean I am strongly considering not doing a spirit run, or at least aging some of the strip as an experiment, for fear of losing too much task

So this got me thinking - the corn meal we get here is white, and yellow cornmeal (similar to 'grits'?), while available, is scarce and a bit of a novelty.

White maize is not eaten on the cob here often, but yellow corn-on-the-cob is known as 'sweetcorn' and is popular with butter and salt. (This seems counter intuitive since we have lots of white corn meal, but eat yellow corn off the cob)

My question is this - is there a specific type of corn recommended for making moonshine or whiskey (since the term 'cracked corn' now seems a bit non-specific) Is American cracked corn white or yellow? (I suspect yellow?) Sweetcorn? Something else? Has anyone tried using white cracked corn?
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Re: Types of Corn?

Postby still_stirrin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:22 am

....yes, the “best” corn to use is “cheap” corn.

Corn whiskey was produced because of economy. Corn is an inexpensive grain to raise and contains a good amount of starch which can be made available to ferment. So, it is used in American whiskies as a primary fermentable. And the variety of corn produced in the distilling regions is bread bred to give a high yield with large, starch filled kernals. White corn, not so much, nor popcorn. And sweet corn is more for the grocery than the distillery.

So, I would say use the commodity that is most readily available and at the best price. That way you can use more and brew more often for the same investment. In the end, you’ll produce a whiskey that is native to your region.

Incidently, if you want to make a really nice and unique whiskey, use only barley malt. It’ll be more like a single malt whiskey. But, as you’d surmise...it will be more expensive. And barley-only whiskey won’t be as sweet tasting either. So, consider that when formulating your recipe as well. Here’s a hint: if you can make a rich, full-flavored beer, try distilling that and see what you get. I think you’ll like it, especially when aged a while on charred oak.

edited to correct spelling.
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Re: Types of Corn?

Postby papstoker » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:14 pm

Thanks ss!

Affordability is also my lodestone.
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Re: Types of Corn?

Postby RedwoodHillBilly » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:26 pm

still_stirrin wrote:....yes, the “best” corn to use is “cheap” corn.

John Barleycorn must die.
"and little Sir John in the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last.
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox, nor so loudly to blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots without a little barleycorn."
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Re: Types of Corn?

Postby Hilltop » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:45 pm

Ahh! Your starting to catch on to the secret.Feed store corn is what we call field corn.Not nearly as sweet as sweet corn but produces twice what sweet corn will per acre.

Sweet corn is called sweet as it contains more sugar. Now we actually have super sweet varietys.

Whisky produced from dry ground sweet corn is far superior to feed corn. Now shhhh, and stay out my neighbors corn field as that stuff is like gold to an ol boy like me.
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