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Weekend mash project

Weekend mash project

Postby Grand Mama » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:01 am

I did an all grain mash this weekend with some new grains I found at the local feed store. They had a bag of what they called ground corn so I thought I would give it a try. I have used cracked corn before but it takes a bunch of cooking and stirring to get all the starches out. When I got it home I was pleasantly surprised that it was a very nice fine grind. So I started cooking. Made a 25 gallon mash using 30 pounds of corn 10 pounds of barley and 15 pounds of malted red wheat. I also use some high temp liquid enzymes during the cook and supplemented the malted wheat with beta enzymes also. Basically I brought 20 gallons of water to a boil and added the corn and stirred constantly for 30 minuets. then let it cool to 185 and added the High temp enzymes to thin it out . At 175 I added the ground barley and cooked it for another 30 to 45 minuets to get the starch out of it. The high temp enzymes helped keep it manageable. I then poured all of that into my fermenter and added 5 gallons of water to bring it down to 152 degrees and added my ground malted red wheat., and warpped the fermenter to hold the heat at 148 for a bout 90 minuets, after 90 minuets it was down to 142. Then cooled it down to 72 made a yeast starter and added it to the mash after aerating it well. After all was said and done I had a starting gravity of 1.063 and it is bubbling away using Safale US-05 for yeast at a nice 72 degrees. I can hardly wait for it to finish and distill it to check out the flavor. The grains are by Kruse premium feed grains.
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Re: Weekend mash project

Postby Grand Mama » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:58 am

It has been a while since I last posted, I have been doing a lot of reading and have almost completed a new plated column still. The recipe I did came out very nice and is presently sitting on oak. Yes I have been doing an occasional sip test , well maybe quite a few but what the heck, product research is a necessity when learning.
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Re: Weekend mash project

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:35 am

I don't know the particular "ground corn" product, but it sounds like your process is right on, and should work well for you, as it appears to be doing. I've done a very similar thing (using both of those enzymes) with home-ground hen scratch, and get a great product.

Did I miss how you either separated the solids from the still charge, or stilled on the grain? (when I started the reply, I can't see your post)
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You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: Weekend mash project

Postby Grand Mama » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:30 am

Separation was the hard part, After cooling the finished mash and siphoning off the clearer liquids from the top . I used a 5 gallon paint strainer to squeeze out the rest of the mash to let settle and clear. When I did the stripping run I put the cleared liquid in the boiler and some of the more cloudy in the thumper then stripped hard and fast. I also saved a bit of the cleared liquid for the spirit run. I charged the boiler with the low wines and used the rest of the cleared mash to dilute the charge to 20% . I used some of this to charge the thumper and did the spirit run. I have found that starting with a bit lower ABV in the boiler will produce hearts in the 70% to 75% range , That way I don't have to diluteh them as much to get to my 60% oaking strength which in my thoughts creates more flavor in the finished whiskey.
I do like the sweetness the corn adds to the whiskey but it is a mess to work with . Recently I have been trying to use less corn in my mashes and have been experimenting with Milo a sorghum grain. It clears a lot easier than corn and seems to bring some good flavors to the mix.
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Re: Weekend mash project

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:30 pm

Grand Mama wrote:Separation was the hard part,

(sound of a mess o' folks here agreeing with you)
Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller http://www.kelleybarts.com/zymurgy-bob-books/making-fine-spirits/

You can make whisky in a reflux still, you can make vodka in a potstill,
and you can eat chicken noodle soup with a crescent wrench. But..
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Re: Weekend mash project

Postby Copperhead road » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:06 pm

nice work grand mama :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Weekend mash project

Postby Grand Mama » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:18 pm

I know corn is the basis for so many american whiskies but it is a challenge to cook and convert correctly. Then the straining and clearing process takes a lot of work and time also. I am thinking that if a person is going to concentrate on high percentage corn whiskies developing a steam cooking and stripping process would be beneficial. My small 8 gallon pot still will drop into my big mash pot with about 2 inches clearance around it so could use it like a double boiler for stripping the cloudy mash after squeezing. Not completely sure I like the high percentage corn whiskies enough to go to all the trouble though. I am gravitating to lower percentages of corn and using more barley , red wheat , oats milo and some occasional smoked grains as well as toasted grains to achieve the flavor profiles I am looking for. I am also moving back towards a more finely cracked corn rather than a ground corn. It doesn't produce quite as much sugar but it seems to strain a bit easier especially when it is the lower 20% of the overall grain bill .
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