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Elussive truth about malting corn

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Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:14 pm

I have been trying for years to make good corn malt.
I have yet to succeed. I think I finally found some real information in a real old book.
from "A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860"
maltcorn.jpg
maltcorn.jpg (71.28 KiB) Viewed 15877 times



I was surprised about the length of the acrospire needed compared to barley.
No wonder I have never been too successful. I only ever let the acrospire get to the same length as the kernel.
I never got a good conversion. It is time to try for a higher conversion.
I found a lot of documentation similar to my experience that said that a 7 day sprout only produced a 70% self conversion capability. Another account recommended the same method of removing the patch of dirt and spreading a tick layer of seed. I am inclined to try sand on concrete. The burlap sack has been suggested and shown in a few videos. But I have never found a guideline to the time or the length of the sprout.
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: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:26 pm

Here is another guide from
"The homebrewer's garden: how to easily grow, prepare, and use your own hops, malt, and brewing herbs"
By Joe Fisher, Dennis Fisher
maltcorn2.jpg
maltcorn2.jpg (103.42 KiB) Viewed 15876 times

This one doesn't agree on time but the length of the acrospire is 2" and that is pretty close on length.
There may be a future in pure corn whiskey for me yet.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:34 pm

Here is another account of malting maise/corn
from "Malts and malting"
By Dennis Edward Briggs
It is the same story in different words.
maltcorn3.jpg
maltcorn3.jpg (64.27 KiB) Viewed 15856 times

This one sites really old accounts.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:39 pm

Sugar is really expensive these days. Corn is not as expensive.
50lbs is US$29.95 for sugar. 100lbs corn is $14
The same amount of sugar should be nearly available in each. It might be worth the trouble. I've already successfully farmed whatever yeast I need, except turbo, so that is cheap too. Corn malt would be a great growing medium.
I like cheap.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby Azframer » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:09 pm

Yea Pint think you may have found something there, everything I had seen on malting corn was in 1/4" range. Makes sense to me.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby flasko » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:56 am

Will uncracked feed corn sprout or do you need seed corn? Would your grain bill be all malt corn Pint? I might have to try this when it warms up.

Edit: sry bout double post, damn phone browser won't let me delete
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:35 am

yes, the grain bill will be 100% corn malt. I have malted as much as 20 lbs at a time. The problem I have always had in the past was poor conversion. there was barely enough enzyme to thin the beer. after fermentation I was only getting 3% alcohol.
I was always afraid that allowing the corn to sprout too much would use up too much starch. Corn has a lot of starch though at 70%. Using up 20% for malting would leave it at the starch level of malted barley though.
Time to try some potting soil and a plastic flat container.

I have always used flain old feed corn. I pick throug it an remove the broken and molded kernals and toss the floaters. other than that it sprouts almost 100%.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby NineInchNails » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:07 am

Very good information, thank you! I'll be sure to take notes.

I hope to try this eventually. Your idea about using sand is interesting. Most all of it should rinse off pretty easily and what doesn't should just settle out eventually whether in the kettle, fermenter or the pot.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby Azframer » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:59 pm

First off Pint I mean no disrespect at all when I say this and I know you have been doing this longer than I have been reading about it. But I have read that in low counts of 10% of grain bill should be malted grain and have read as high as 20%. In the book you can read online on page 32 they are talking about a hypothetical grain bill being 20 bushels of corn ground into a meal. With 2 bushels being malted corn. Here is that link:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Qv2KpM ... &q&f=false
From what I read and what you have posted above and what you say about getting only 3% alcohol would say you are loosing starch in the malted corn. All your starch would come from unmalted corn and your enzymes would come from the malted corn. On page 33 reading further down they say the best enzymes will come from malted Barley or Wheat the words from this book says they produce more enzymes.
I bring this to your attention because one day I want to try an all grain and want to know if this is correct.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby zedzedtop » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:49 pm

Pint, how are you sure of your potential yield? Protein optimized corn is a bunch lower than starch optimized. When I use feed corn, the yield is quite a bit lower than what my brewing software predicted, and I attributed that to the variety of the corn.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby rockchucker22 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:05 pm

zedzedtop wrote:Pint, how are you sure of your potential yield? Protein optimized corn is a bunch lower than starch optimized. When I use feed corn, the yield is quite a bit lower than what my brewing software predicted, and I attributed that to the variety of the corn.
most definitely, I notice a difference between feed corn vs sweet corn or even pop corn. Corn. sugar develops quickly so for human consumption this is important while for feed you want more protein. As a kid we had a small corn farm and when it was close to harvest we would check the sweetness twice a day as it could go from great corn to crap in one day.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:11 pm

But I have read that in low counts of 10% of grain bill should be malted grain and have read as high as 20%.

This is true of barley malt in the grain bill. The book doesn't specify which malt in the statement about using 20 lbs corn and 2 lbs malt.
From what I read and what you have posted above and what you say about getting only 3% alcohol would say you are loosing starch in the malted corn.
No, it is still quite starchy after the conversion. I do an iodine test and it is very blue black which indicates unconverted starch.
All your starch would come from unmalted corn and your enzymes would come from the malted corn.

This isn't ever the case in making beer. All the starch usually comes from the malt. Corn does not have excess enzymes like barley. Wheat is weak inn enzymes also but not as bad as corn. Sorghum grain doesn't make enough enzymes to convert itself.
When the author talks about using malts he uses barley and corn interchangeably. One fact that I know is that you can not buy corn malt from anyone in the USA. It has been illegal to grind malted corn in the USA.
Here is a comparison chart
diastatic.jpg
diastatic.jpg (13.4 KiB) Viewed 15592 times

I am quite sure of my low yields. But making 3% beer from all malt isn't too bad. It always remained opaque which meant a lot of excess starch.
It has always had such a low yield I have used 2 row pale as my malt and used 11% by weight of barley malt for years. I am undertaking this venture again because of the allure of the price of ingredients and the nostalgia of using all corn and nothing else. There used to be a site about making chicha from blue corn that I tried to reproduce with the same results reported by the person who wrote the articles.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby Mud » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:31 pm

pintoshine wrote:It has been illegal to grind malted corn in the USA.


Really? Why? And does Making Pure Corn Whiskey have any info? Seems like it should but I've never read it.
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby Rebel_Yell » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:33 pm

That graphic shows wheat as 1.08 and barley at 1.00 and rye at .93...

Typo or outdated info?

Most of the currently available, commercially produced crops have had significant genetic work in the last few decades.
Your results may vary..
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Re: Elussive truth about malting corn

Postby pintoshine » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:41 pm

probably a bit out of date. This is probably comparing hard winter barley rather than the soft spring barley.
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