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Using Flaked Maize/Corn

I’ve got an ESB on deck where I’ll be using around 1/2 pound of flaked maize/corn in the recipe. I’ve never used it before so I was wondering what everyone’s experience was with it and if I should just steep it as I would other steeping grains. Thanks in advance for all the help.

I make a recipe which uses quite a lot of Flaked Maize pretty regularly - you don’t need to do anything special with it (don’t crush it though). With only 1/2 pound, I wouldn’t worry about adding extra rice hulls either.

Well, just steeping it is going to give you a bunch of starch, unless you’re using pre-converted flakes. You’d probably want an enzyme source. Even a pound of malted barley/wheat/etc would be more than sufficient.

+1 Corn must be mashed with an enzyme source.

This is the recipe I’m planning on using for my ESB:

5 gallon batch / 2.5 gallon boil

6 lbs 10 oz Light/Pale Liquid Malt Extract
1 lbs Crystal 20L
.5 lbs Crystal 120L
.5 lbs Flaked Corn
1 oz black patent malt

60 min - 1.5 oz Target pellets
15 min - .5 Target pellets
5 min - .5 oz East Kent Goldings pellets
1 min - .5 oz East Kent Goldings pellets

Wyeast London ESB Ale (1968)

OG = 1.059
Est. FG = 1.018
5.5% ABV
Color = 15° SRM
Bitterness = 41.4 IBU

I got the flaked maize/corn from my local home brew shop and the website doesn’t say whether or not it’s pre-converted. Based on my recipe, would I need an enzyme source to break down the starches created from steeping the flaked maize/corn? If so, what should I use?

I’d probably add a pound of 2-row pale malt or half pound of 6-row malt. :cheers:

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I get ithe difference - my recipe is an all-grain recipe and the corn is mashed right with the rest of the grain bill

Just steep, you’ll get some body, some corny flavor ad a little color. The amount of starch will be minimal and some/most of it will drop out in the trub.

For the record it would usually be mashed with some malt that has enough enzymes to convert the starch.

I agree with Lenny. 1/2lb is minimal and will not affect haze too badly, especially with an ESB.

Of course, you could get a jump on AG by doing a mini mash… but be CAREFUL… you will get hooked on that as quickly as you did brewing in the first place!

At least with this recipe, I had been hoping to avoid doing a mini mash or anything along those lines especially with using only 1/2 lb on flaked corn. I was thinking that simply steeping the flaked corn would add some body and a little sweetness to the recipe.

Without doing a mash, is it going to be all the more important to get a strong hot break to break down the starches from the flaked corn?

Whether you mash or steep (which I don’t recommend), the corn will not add body. On the contrary, it will thin the body.

Trying to summarize all the great comments: Typically flaked corn is mashed. By using flaked corn without a mash, I may get some corn flavor and color enhancement, but on the flip, it will increase the starch content and possibly decrease the body.

So in an extract ESB without a mash, do you guys think it would be worth it to use the flaked corn?

[quote=“Lawbadger”]Trying to summarize all the great comments: Typically flaked corn is mashed. By using flaked corn without a mash, I may get some corn flavor and color enhancement, but on the flip, it will increase the starch content and possibly decrease the body.

So in an extract ESB without a mash, do you guys think it would be worth it to use the flaked corn?[/quote]

Truthfully, if it was my brew I’d skip it.

Correct me if I’m wrong, the starch is a carbohydrate (sugar) that the yeast can’t consume. So it will lead to a higher FG (no much in the quantity you are using). It will increase the body (slightly in the quantity you are using) by not mashing it.

My suggestion, if you want to have corn in this beer, is to add 1/2-1lb of 2row to the crystals/corn. Steep the grains/corn for 30 minutes and go from there.

No sparge needed. If you like, have another pot with 1 gallon of water in it. Dip the grain bag in there to extract some extra sugars. Add that to the main pot.

This actually brings up a few more questions:

  • Would you suggest using 2-Row or 6-Row malt if I was to use the flaked corn? What proportions of either should I use based on the recipe previously posted in the thread?

  • Would one opposed to the other add anything to the flavor or body profile of the beer or are both more neutral and just used to break down the starch in the corn?

Sorry for the seemingly basic questions but I’m definitely learning a lot in this thread!

For the partial mash I would use 6 row but american 2 row would work. 6 row has more diastatic enzymes and protein so brewers use that when using high adjunct grists. The corn is not something that you can easily substitute because it does add mouthfeel and a sweet flavor. I prefer to use rice in my cream ales because I’m not fond of the contribution from corn. You can try using corn syrup solids but I don’t know if HB shops carry it. If you must use corn best do partial or full mash.

These days, the diastatic power of 6 row and 2 row are so close that it doesn’t much matter which you use in terms of conversion. When I use 6 row, it’s for its particular flavor, not enzymes.

I’ve never used either 2- or 6-Row before (only done extract plus speciality grain batches). Checked NB descriptions for each and neither really gets into flavor profiles. What flavors, if any, would either add?

Also, if each has about the same diastic ability, would 1/2 lb of either work with the recipe I listed earlier in the thread or would I need some amount closer to 1lb?

It depends on the 2 row. Pale ale malts are more modified and don’t have as much diastatic power as malts designated as just ‘2 row’ but they do contribute a fuller flavor. Yes with any of them a 1/1 ratio would be fine. You might want to go with the 6 row because you wont be mashing at optimal conditions and the extra enzymes might be an advantage.

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