This last weekend I made a CAP including 20% ground corn which of course I ceral mashed. As I boil the ceral mash for 45 minutes before adding it to the main mash this makes the brew day long. I wonder what would happen if I put the corn plus some of the ground malt into a crock pot (or slow cooker) and just let it go over night. Once I got up the next morning the ceral mash should be ready to go and I could theoretically just add it to the main mash whenever I wanted. Does anybody see any issues with doing that? The crock pot should bring the ceral mash up to boiling slowly and without burning so I would think it should be ok unless there is some draw back to boiling the adjucts for say 5-6 hours. What do you think?
I think the slow cooker could work, but I would just use flaked corn and skip the cereal mash altogether.
Cooking the corn meal overnight sounds like a great idea. It should be ready to go the next morning. I’m guessing you would not get any benefit from adding the malt; the enzymes in the malt would be deactivated before the corn was gelatinized.
Yeah, I have made the beer with flaked corn also and it came out pretty well (and of course it’s easier). We did a side by side once and compared a ceral mashed CAP against one made using flaked corn and we decided we liked the ceral mashed beer better. It was not exactly what I would call a scientific study however because we were at a big contest and frankly feeling very little pain at the time of the testing. If you consider ceral mashing very much like doing a decoction (which I do) then you can get yourself into the decot/no decot argument which will still be going on long after I leave this world. We are talking about very small differences in taste here though although one of my goals is to try and do well in contests so I’m always looking for an edge.
As far as denaturing the enzymes go I’m not sure there would really be any difference between the old “boil the cereal mash on the stove” routine and the slow cooker since the cooker would bring the temperature up much more slowly than the stove would. I have always added about a pound of malt to the ceral mash and let it sit at 150F for about 15 minutes before boiling. Frankly, I have wondered if that is necessary since as you correctly point out the starch has not yet been “released” from the corn. The reason I do it that way though is because when I researched ceral mashing that was the advice given and I have never tried just mashing the corn by itself since my way seems to work (you know, never fix what ain’t brokken).
I guess I need to try brewing a test beer. Perhaps an adjunct Heiniken type brew although I really hate experimenting on lagers since there is so much investment in time and effort involved. Oh well, I guess I must pay the price of progress…