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What are brewer’s grits? Are they similar to flaked maize? And how do you mash them? Do you just mash them with the rest of your grains?



For corn/maize, grits are whole kernels that are ground into a coarse powder. These need to be cooked for the starch to be gelatinized and made available to the enzymes, commonly known as a cereal mash. Corn gelatinizes at a temp that would denature barley enzymes, so usually you’ll cook the corn separately then add the liquor to the main mash.

Grits are available in several levels of coarseness, like oatmeal, for example ‘old fashioned’, quick, and instant. The coarser the crush, the longer it takes to cook the grit, but it also has a better texture when eaten. Since we are just using the starch and don’t care about the texture of the remaining solids, brewers usually just use instant or quick grits.

Flaking a grain involves steaming it and flattening between big rollers. The steam and pressure has the effect of pre-gelatinizing the starch, so these can usually be added directly to the regular mash without a cereal mash.

OK, thanks1 I’ll just use maize and add it to the mash.

FWIW, I disagree that grits need to be cereal mashed or cooked separately. My experience has been that you can add them directly to the mash, just like flakes.

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