What did I screw up with my Corn Mash???

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BMAC
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What did I screw up with my Corn Mash???

Post by BMAC » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:27 am

I attempted to make my first corn mash this past Friday. I put 5lbs of cracked corn into a 5 gallon pail. Filled the bucket 3/4 full of water, which had about 4 inches above the corn.

Then I added about 10 drops of beano to the mix and put my yeast into the bucket. The next day I stirred the concoction and noticed it was starting to ferment.

Everything seemed to be going well. So I figured I would add 5 more drops of beano just to make sure the enzyme conversion was happening. Then I let it sit for another 24 hours. I stirred again and the fermentation seemed to be crashing. The whole thing has gone down hill since and this morning when I checked the mash it has this nasty looking white scum on top. Maybe some kind of a bacterial infection????

What did I screw up? There is zero smell of alcohol in it.

Aidas
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Post by Aidas » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:40 am

I must have missed something. What is your yeast supposed to eat? You didn't mash the corn, and you didn't add any sugar.

They yeast are starving.

Aidas
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junkyard dawg
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Post by junkyard dawg » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:10 am

Beano will not do what you want to do. You need to properly mash the corn to convert its starches to sugars. READ READ READ...

Bohunk
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Post by Bohunk » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:17 am

The reason you got no fermentation is because corn has no sugar, it has only starch. Your yeast cannot survive on starch. Beno will not convert this starch to sugar by it’s self, you need malted barley or amylase powder to do the converting. Making mash can sometimes be a little complicated, so I would suggest you try Uncle Jesse’s Sour Mash. It is pretty fool proof, and the results are great.

The Bohunk

BMAC
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Post by BMAC » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:18 am

Ok.

I read on a forum somewhere I cuold just add beano to cracked corn and water with the yeast and in effect do the same thing as truly mashing my grain. I thought it was odd as I am an experienced homebrewer that works with all grain beers. Just never with corn.

So I am taking off early today and I am going to mash my corn just like I would mash my beer grain. In fact I am even going to throw in some old 2 row and wheat malt I have just for the fun of it.

Of course I will also add more beano the the mix.

Thanks for the input. I will let you all know how my second attempt turns out.

MisterSteve124
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Post by MisterSteve124 » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:02 pm

the other thing you can do like Bohunk said is try Uncle Jesse's Sour Mash. You can do exactly what you did except add sugar too it aswell. You still get the flavor out of the corn but the yeast uses the sugar to make alcohol. It's easier then boiling the corn but that should work too.

junkyard dawg
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Post by junkyard dawg » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:38 pm

I've read some bad advice on some other forums... :(

save the beano till everything is cooled down. It is denatured by high temp.

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Post by Ricky » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:06 pm

man,if you can mash beer you can do this. just pretend the corn is your other grains. surely when you brew beer you check to make sure the starch is boiled from your grains. then you add malted barley or enzymes and stir every fifteen min or so until the conversion of the starches to sugar is complete. if you truely do all grain beers this is easy. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
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Aidas
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Post by Aidas » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:29 pm

Basically the difference between an all-grain beer mash and and all grain whiskey mash is that you will not use hops for the whiskey. Also, traditionally sparging may be foregone.

Aidas
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BMAC
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Post by BMAC » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:22 am

Ok. I got a bit of an education with corn last night. I took 8 lbs or so and boiled it in about 3 gallons of water for about 10 minutes. That was pretty cool. That crap gets thick fast. I pulled out a bit of the jelly stuff to see if it is the starch I was looking for. Obviously the Iodine test showed yes. That is what I want.

So crushed up 6lbs of 6row malted barley and waited until the temp dropped to 160. I threw the barley in with 1.5 gallons of 160 degree water and stirred the piss out of it. I check to make sure the temp dropped down to 150 degrees prior to dropping in my beano. 10 drops went in and I threw the lid on my mash tun.

I checked it 60 minutes later for any starches. It appears all the starches I could extract from the corn had been converted to sugar. Woohoo. I am in business.....

I sparged my grain with 1 gallon of 165 degree water. This didn't turn out the higher gravity I was looking for as I believe the alcohol content would have only been 8%. That is a bit weak so I dropped in 7lbs of sugar. Well that did the trick. My 5 gallon wash is now rapidly fermenting and will have an alcohol content of 17% when it finishes out.

BMAC
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Post by BMAC » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:23 am

Oh yeah. Thanks all....

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shadylane
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Post by shadylane » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:22 am

17% is kind of high, the professional distillery's seem to aim for 8% I like 10 to 12% Any lower than 8% waists energy and any higher than 14% is slower and doesn't taste as good when I distill it. Glad to hear you have homebrew experience, that means you have half the battle already won.

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Post by The Chemist » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:43 am

Some distiller use "high-gravity" yeast, but most yeast die off around 12-13% alcohol. You may end up with a sugary mess burnt in your still. (You didn't say what yeast you were using?)

If it looks like that's gonna be the case, you can dilute the mash to let the yeast live a bit longer...
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BMAC
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Post by BMAC » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:17 am

Oh Yeah. I dropped in EC1118. It should eat right thru the plastic after it is down with the sugar.

maybe i will dillute it a bit tonight. I remember that stuff creating an aweful lot of higher order alcohols when it gets past 12%. I think it stresses the yeast too much.

8% huh. Maybe I should have not dropped any sugar in it.

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