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Steeping corn in extract brewing - how to?

I’ve got in mind that I want to brew using corn grown by my grandpa. I think it would be a nice local/homemade/family touch to a beer.

I’ve done some reading about cream ales, which seem to be the best candidates. However the corn I have is whole kernel right now, straight out of the grain Silo on the farm.

Am I going to need to buy a grain mill? Are there other considerations? It sounds like I need to use an 4:1 mix of 6 row malt:Corn.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried something like this.

Corn does need to be mashed, not just steeped. Your 4:1 malt:corn ratio would be very good for a CAP. Whole, raw corn like you have would have to be both milled and cooked prior to brewing use. A cereal mash where the corn is milled then mixed with a little malt and then cooked before adding to the main mash would be the best approach.

If you use precooked cornmeal (“masarepa”) it can make life easier…just add it directly to the mash with your malt, no precooking necessary. Been using the stuff for certain beers for quite a few years now (GOYA brand is probably the most easily obtainable) and it works great. You could also use instant grits (such as QUAKER brand, pretty much available in any supermarket)…no precooking needed there either…the mash temps and time are sufficient.

As BryanH points out though, remember that it does have to be mashed.

Hey thanks for the tip advice. I will have to investigate how to best cook and mash it. I may try to get closer to 1:1 on the ration as I’ll already be using Malt Extract for an extract kit, and steeping the cooked corn/malt just for 15-30 minutes ahead of the boil.

Yeah, I think it’s fun to make throwback beers every once in a while so I do CAP’s (which I have on tap right now) as well as a Ballantine’s pale ale clone (need to make that one again, it’s been awhile). I use corn grits from the super market and do a cereal mash. It’s sort of a pain but I really think you get better flavor than you would doing the same recipe but using flaked corn (which because of the way it’s made is already genatinized). I have also seen talk of a Ballantine’s IPA but I have never tried doing one of those, maybe one of these days.

Hey thanks all for the advice. It turned out well, though it will take a few more tries to really understand how the corn works in there.

I used the NB Cream Ale extract kit which comes with specialty grains (not sure what they were). I did sort of a lazy partial mash and steeped (cooked?) the grains from the kit with about an equal part ground raw corn for about 45 minutes at between 150 and 160 F in a muslin bag. It was in probably a gallon of water. I used the wort (if you can call it that) from that to start my boil. Added about a dozen coriander seeds in my boil for the full 60.

Turned out real well, can’t recall the OG/FG off the top of my head but it was exactly as the recipe said, so the corn didn’t seem to impact that at all. Whether it was my process or thats just how corn acts I’ve yet to learn. Guess I’ll just have to brew some more! ABV was about 3.4%

I’ve also learned I have to be more careful about evenly priming before I bottle. half of them have been nearly flat and the other half I almost can’t pour because they are over carbonated.

To use the corn correctly, you need to do a cereal mash to gelatinize the starches and make them convertible by the enzymes.

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