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Double fermented sour mash

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Double fermented sour mash

Postby pintoshine » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:33 am

Double Fermented Corn Mash

This is a method of getting the full flavored, sour mash taste on a initial corn mash, instead of using a sweet mash and allowing it to sour on subsequent runs. This method is more work, but it is the cheapest method for the most alcohol without using sugar in your wash.

Ingredients:
Corn
2 row pale malted barley

Target is 1.1 sg
sugar is 24% by weight from the chart
final volume 5 gallons
weight per gallon 8.3 lbs at 70°F
Initial gravity weight is 1.1 * 8.3 * 5 = 45.65
Sugar weight is 45.65 * .24 = 10.956 lbs sugar
Sugar yield corn 0.6
Sugar yield malt 0.73
Weight corn 8 parts
Weight malt 1 parts
8(.6x) + .73x = 10.956
x = 1.98119349
rounding 2 lbs per part
16 lbs corn
2 lbs malt

Grind the corn pretty fine almost like corn meal. If you have cracked corn then that is ok too. Grind the barley malt so that it is pretty much like flour.

A 25 to 30 gallon clean, trash can is about right to sour the corn. You can use a plastic 55 gallon drum too. I use the drum. Both enough room for the corn, water and foam. It may overflow from a violent first fermentation in the summer with too much heat. At 70°F it behaves, but prepare for the worst by putting the container outside or in another container, such as a wash tub, to catch spills. Make sure to cover the fermenter with a piece of screen or cloth to keep the crawlies and flies out. Make sure the screen is fastened well because the cap could try to push it off.

The target volume is 5 gallons. Start by soaking the corn with enough water to cover its height twice. The germ and bran floats to the top. Punch that down once a day for three days. On the fourth day it shouldn't rise anymore because the lactic acid is complete. It should be sour. Don't be afraid to taste it. It is somewhat like yogurt.
note: The second day it will smell rotten, so outside in the shed or barn is preferable to inside the house. This is normal. The first bacteria to start the fermentation smells really bad. The lactobacillus takes over the third day and creates an acid environment that kills the first bacteria. It just smells lightly like sour milk on the fourth day

The amount of water in the first fermentation is not enough to cook with. Cook the corn in the biggest pot available. If all you have is a 20 liter pot the I suggest two batches. I would not try to cook this on an electric stove. It is almost guaranteed to burn on the bottom. Use a propane burner such as a Cajun Cooker if available. I use a steam wand from a pressure cooker.(another post has the picture)

Add enough water to the corn to bring the volume to 10 gallons. Add about 1/4 lb of the finely ground malted barley. The pre-malting helps to keep the gelled starch from thickening to much. The acid in the corn aids the malt in it's conversion because the amylase works more efficiently in an acidic environment. Also, the lactic acid coagulates the non-water soluble proteins and helps filtering and clairfication.

It may seem like a long time but I have found that the longer you can keep the corn at gelling temperature, which is at or above 180°F, the more conversion it is capable of. Getting as much dextrin conversion as possible is the key. Another thing that the lactic acid helps is breaking apart the albumin which glues the starch together, so there is more starch available for conversion.

After the cooking allow the stuff to cool to 165°F. Transfer the whole thing to a cooler that has a lid. Allow it to continue to cool to 154°F. Add the rest of the malted barley flour. Stir this in well. It should immediately start getting thinner and easier to stir. Once it is all stirred in, close the cooler and let set until it is cool enough to touch easily. This is a long time.

Remove a small amount of the cooled wort and taste it. It should be nice and sweet and have a pleasing sourness to it too. If it is not sweet then something went wrong.

You should check your conversion with a bit of drug store, tincture of iodine. Put a couple of drops of the iodine in it. The color of the iodine will tell you what is going on. If the color is purple or black or a deep blue the there is unconverted and un-gelled starch. If the color is a deep rich brown this is ok if the stuff is sweet. It just means there is dextrin in it that didn’t get converted. This happens and is no problem. If the color stays red, then you have completed success. I seldom get a complete success.

If the iodine was not black or deep blue, then it is time to filter. The easiest way I have found is to get some material from the fabric store called monk’s cloth. I usually get the natural unbleached kind but bleached works good too. Measure and sew the monks cloth into a bag that will fit, with the edges overlapped over your big trash can or plastic 55 gallon barrel. Place the bag in the container and tie the edges firmly around the top. Pour the corn mash in the bag and let drip. Eventually it will all go through. If it is stubborn and stops up the bag, then stir it and free it up on the bottom. I eventually squeeze the rolled up bag to get the most liquid out as possible.

Ok so we have a container of sweet and sour corn wash. Check the specific gravity. Is it at your target? Is the volume more than 5 gallons?

Note: If you had a brown iodine test, you may consider fermenting what you have. The enzymes have not been denatured and should keep on working as the fermentation goes on. If you had red results, then additional boiling will increase the sugar content but denature the enzymes.

I prefer to sticking to the plan, so a bit of water reduction is at hand. Put all the liquid back in the pot and boil until the volume is 5 gallons or so.

Check the initial gravity again once it is cool. I hope you hit the target but if you don’t it will ferment all the same.

Pitch yeast. This stuff usually goes crazy. Yeast loves the nutrients in this stuff and the acid also. Once the fermentation slows down, this stuff keeps bubbling forever. I wait until the trub in the bottom is settled. I have never gotten it to settle much less than 10% the height of the liquid. I rack it off the best I can but it is just a personal preference because I usually distill with a submerged element. It really doesn’t make a difference.

This is the first batch.

The second, and any successive batches, change in process from the first. Instead of souring your corn, you mix the corn with hot back slop. Use 1 quart of back slop per pound of corn. This should put the corn near 154°F. Add the ¼ lb of barley malt, top up with water and cook. This is a compromise of sour mashing, because the acid will come from the back slop and it will continue to sour. If you use all back slop then the flavor degrades too quickly and you may be limited to half a dozen batches. Using a combination of back slop and water allows the run to continue forever.
The process is the same after the cooking part.
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Postby Rebel_Yell » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:32 pm

Should I reserve some of the lacto ferment so that I am not destroying all of it with the mashing?

Can I purchase lactobacillus ?? somewhere so that I am ensured of my desired outcome?

Thanks for editing and reposting this Pint_O_Shine.
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Postby pintoshine » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:35 pm

I am pretty sure of the outcome of just soaking corn in water. It seems to always have lacto on its surface.
As far as reserving the lacto for successive fermentations, I beleive it will come with the corn. Some of the old timers used to put a cap of ground corn on top of teh fermenting mash. I don't believe it would stay there long, and it would definatley innoculate the mash. Uncle Leo used crab apples and juniper berries for their yeast. Both have that whitish covering of yeast.
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Postby Rebel_Yell » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:08 pm

But I wanna do rye.....

This means that I will have to expirament a tad.
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Postby pintoshine » Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:34 pm

I don't know where to get rye other than at the brew shop and it is expensive there. Any suggestions?
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Postby Rebel_Yell » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:29 pm

Rye is used as a winter graze around here. Buy it from the local, larger feed and seed stores. It is drilled into the pastures in the fall to provide winter and early spring grazing. You'll pay extra for cleaned grain, but you know what the germination percent is for that lot of seed.
We have a farmers market bulletin that one can find seed stock advertised. You may have to travel a few miles, but you can buy it from the farmer.

And then for the internet folks...
Here's a link for Wren's Abruzzi rye... $14.95 for 50 lbs

http://www.cooperseeds.com/pages/wildlife/2.html

You'll have to scroll down a bit.
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Postby Rebel_Yell » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:07 am

My first effort at souring corn was a success. Things worked out pretty much the way that pint_o_shine stated. I did not get a foaming ferment when I soured the corn. Just a nice whiteish skin on top and that sour bite.
Your results may vary..
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Re: Double fermented sour mash

Postby tas63426 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:10 pm

Pint, I have made a similar wash using your instructions. what I do to sour the mash is cover with water and heat to 125 degrees. this is the temp that lacto likes I have found that it will be sour in 12hrs. PH of 5.5 got this info from harrys alcohol library in the section on making canadian rye whiskey.
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Re: Double fermented sour mash

Postby phlogiston » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:03 pm

I made something similar by accident -- poor mashing technique on an oat + malted barley mash. The oak sticks are about to go in. After double distillation and cuts, the sour smell is a lot less but still there.
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Re: Double fermented sour mash

Postby Texas Jim » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:52 pm

pintoshine wrote:Pitch yeast. This stuff usually goes crazy. Yeast loves the nutrients in this stuff and the acid also. Once the fermentation slows down, this stuff keeps bubbling forever. I wait until the trub in the bottom is settled. I have never gotten it to settle much less than 10% the height of the liquid. I rack it off the best I can but it is just a personal preference because I usually distill with a submerged element. It really doesn’t make a difference.


This is interesting - I always thought that the trub would burn to the element, so I rack it off very carefully. Is this not true? Can I put the entire fermenter (I don't ferment on the grains) into the still and go from there?
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Re: Double fermented sour mash

Postby pintoshine » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:18 am

the surface of the element can't get any hotter than any substance touching it. Else, there would be serious amounts of thermodynamics violations.. It is the same reason why I can melt solder with propane but I cannot melt it if it has wash in contact with it.
You can actually boil water in a 2 liter as long as it is wet. Even low density heating elements can't get red if submersed.
Distill safe. Make good cuts. Enjoy yourself. Give as much as you take. Have fun doing this incredibly hard work. Be a good example. It's your hobby.
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Re: Double fermented sour mash

Postby Al Qaemist » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:05 pm

Well I've set off down the road to do this recipe, the souring is almost done, there is no more fermentation, there are very little in the way of floaters, so looks like maybe by tomorrow I'll be good to mash.

Here's where I'm looking for some advice, I really only have an electric boiler that is 8 US Gal, its heated by an external rather than a submerged element (soldered on to the under side of the boiler) but it still gets hot spots. I have a stainless colander that fits inside the boiler, that I think will act as a sort of false bottom to keep the solids off - anyone think this is a no goer?

Secondly, the 8 gal is a little short on volume, so do you think I should do 2 batches, or run the full lot in the 8gal, then add a few gal of very hot water to the spent grain sort of like a sparging process?
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Re: Double fermented sour mash

Postby Al Qaemist » Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:44 pm

Well I made a right mess off this :roll: I had it in my head that the main issue was going to be the grain solids sticking to the hot base, I had this issue before when doing DWWG and a mash with rice in it. As it turns out the main issue was the fact that the mash got really viscous once it starts to get hot, it went like wall paper paste. The false bottom although it worked at the start keeping the solids off, obliviously had no affect once the mash thickened and the mash burned and tripped the thermal switch.

So I although I got the mash hot I didn't manage to boil it for any length of time. My boiler is very well insulated so I thought, I'll put the top on, let it cool to 69oC and add the malt.
So it cooled down over about 6 hours, I added the malt and put the top back on. The temp dropped about 10oC over the next 12 hours. So the next morning I gave it a taste - no sweetness what so ever.

I decided to cut my losses strain out the solids (messy) and just use the thick liquid as a base for a sugar wash, and return to this recipe when i have the correct equipment, bit gas fired pot.

Pitched that this afternoon and that looks to be going well. It is at this point I realise the digital thermo I was using was buggered, and reading high to the tune of 10oC - so all the reading I took above would be completly wrong, so no wonder it got zero conversion :doh:

I bit disappointed I made such a mess of this, but not disheartened. Learned a few lessons, and will make a better go of it next time.
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Re:

Postby Mangamahu Moonshine » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:51 pm

Rebel_Yell wrote:Should I reserve some of the lacto ferment so that I am not destroying all of it with the mashing?

Can I purchase lactobacillus ?? somewhere so that I am ensured of my desired outcome?

Thanks for editing and reposting this Pint_O_Shine.


A friend of mine runs a health food store in town, and I asked about this a while ago. He has live lactobacillus acidophilus cultures in capsules. Cheapest jars are about $NZ30.00 for 30 capsules so one of these days I'm gonna give it a try. If it don't work I can always use the capsule for my health ;)

Personally I have a peculiar (developed) taste for sweet mashed corn whiskey. No idea why, aside from that I don't do corn whiskeys regularly and so don't tend to have backset on hand for a batch lol.

Got a plan in the works for a sweet-corn based recipe using enzymes to convert starches and sugar to bulk up the yield (this lowers the cost of the sweet corn needed which in turn makes it a feasible idea..)

MM on the move, will drop in again soon.
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