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Difference between using a fine or coarse cornmeal in recipe

edited February 8 in General

Is there a difference in the end product between using fine or coarse cornmeal?

For example, does using fine cornmeal break down too much of the corn to get the right stuff from it?

Also from a flavour and ease of use purpose, are there any differences?

I am thinking of using this in a moonshine and bourbon recipe.

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Comments

  • edited February 8

    The difference isn’t coarse or fine, it’s whether the corn meal has been degermed.

    If germ was removed to extend shelf life, the cornmeal will have less nitrogen, protein, aminos, and fats. This will likely impact flavor as you are left with mostly starch. Degermed meal will have a higher ethanol yield, due to this fact.

    Degermed - less flavor, more yield, likely require additional nutrients as the FAN would be lower.

  • @grim Thanks, makes sense, I thought the issue was the same if the corn will milled to fine.

    If that is not the case, then great.

  • I ground mine into a coarse meal and got great conversion. Iodine test = thumbs up.

    Started with already cracked corn so it was a little easier.

  • If the price is the same, use fine milled, it'll gel very quickly and save you at least half an hour I think.

    Usually coarse/fine has more to do with how it is used in cooking. Sometimes you want the coarse texture, sometimes you don't.

  • Thanks. It is not something I have used before, due to sourcing it here in the UK. I primarily use flaked corn.

    But want to try milled. Looks like I will have to do it myself until I can find somewhere that either offers it or can do it for me.

  • To get fine milled corn, do you think you could use a brewers mill grinder, or would it not mill it to a fine enough consistency?

    IF not, is there anything you would recommend?

  • I found one of these on Craigs List for $100. Not something I would want to use commercially but it went through a 50lb bag in about 30 minutes. Totally adjustable.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6rjvDcsWlo

  • edited February 8

    Home style roller grain mill should easily handle corn (some better than others) if you start with cracked corn. The bag of corn had plenty of whole kernels in it.

    This shows a 2 passes through a MM2. It would be a simple matter to adjust it finer and put it through a third time if you wanted it finer.

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    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • edited February 8

    We are on our 3rd crankandstein. They last about 8 months for us. Teeth wear down and we shear the shaft off. Usable life is about 25-50k pounds.

  • edited February 9

    I had a crankenstein before the MM2, the shaft broke 3 times. May have been the drill i had driving it, so not running them down although i replaced it with a fluted roller mill instead of another crankenstein.

    MillMaster Grain Mill

    Stainless fluted rollers, geared drive, multi adjustable without spanners etc.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • I was using three of these working together:

    Lee Household Flour Mill Grain Mill @ Amazon

    for a long time before upgrading:

    SENTRY 145 HAMMERMILL

  • What's the Sentry go for?

  • @jbierling said: I was using three of these working together:

    Lee Household Flour Mill Grain Mill @ Amazon

    for a long time before upgrading:

    SENTRY 145 HAMMERMILL

    Lee Household Flour Mill Grain Mill Be the first to review this item | 5 answered questions Price: $799.00 & FREE Shipping

    :-O :-O

  • Funnel only was the first option on the drop down still in stock, so that was the price shown. Spent a couple seconds staring at the full mill picture and a $15 price tag before I figured that one out. A few, glorious and incredulous seconds.

  • @FloridaCracker said: :-O :-O

    Yeah, don't buy them new. Buy them off eBay for $150. I have three I'm not using anymore ;)

  • I have been playing around with fine cornmeal. As you can imagine, it makes a thick porridge, using the same amount of water.

    When using cornmeal or corn flour, would you usually use a reduced amount of grain to reduce the porridge effect to be able to get more fermentable wort? Would using corn flour be better, so it would not make polenta?

  • I have no real information about reducing grain, but for me, mashing corn-based anything without the high-temperature enzymes is the same kind of pleasure as slamming the window on my dick. As always, of course, YMMV.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • I have had pretty good and consistent results with enzymes, but using enzymes does allow me to get a slightly better OG. I do use it all the time now.

    Regarding my question about using the cornmeal, I guess it was more related to straining the mash. Would you tend to ferment and possibly distill with the cornmeal, as it is more part of the mash compared to flaked corn, as you can squeeze that.

  • I fermented on the grain, after using enzymes, of course, and I kept telling myself that separating the liquid from the crud was easier that way. Maybe I lied a little. We put the wet crap in a reinforced gunny sack over a Brute garbage can with fruit fly shields, and let it hang overnight.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • If you use degermed cornmeal, there isn't much left after gelatinization and saccharification.

  • If the oil is in the germ, we sure as hell weren't de-germed, We got a lot of oil on top. This was using Purina hen scratch, a good bourbon grain bill.

    Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller

    my book, Making Fine Spirits

  • Thanks guys. Good to know your thoughts and experiences.

    Do you think corn flour over cornmeal would make any difference?

  • Always wondered if the TTB would approve using high maltose corn syrup or corn starch.

  • edited February 13

    @jbierling, any chance I could get some good photos of the inside of your hammer mill? What size motor operates it? Motor rpm or hammer tip speed?

    I have built one but underestimated the motor. 1.5 hp 3450 rpm not enough for what I built. It over heats in no time at all.

    a couple photos...

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  • edited February 13

    You need an award for most ambitious DIY with that. Good lord man.

    Screen size looks a little bit small, if you stop mid-grind, how much grain are you holding up inside the mill? For hammer mills that don't use blowers, you absolutely need to throttle the grain input.

  • edited February 13

    One more thing, you don't show a picture of the bearing. If that's only direct coupled to your motor, you are going to blow your bearings pretty quickly. My machine shop guy regularly repairs hammer mills that come out of recyclers. He had an awesome mill a few months back that was used to shred phone books, I thought that was neat. He had another one that was use to shred hard drives other computer boards for recycling/metals extraction. In both cases he was replacing the pillow block bearings, which where absolutely enormous (yet still failed).

  • edited February 13

    @Pa_bon, I've attached some pictures. The motor is 10hp at 3490 RPM. It chews through corn as fast as I can dump 5 gallon buckets of it in and in fact will easily grind faster than the auger gets it out.

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  • @grim, my mill's motor is directly mounted. I can't say if there is any shock absorption built into the coupling, but I'd imagine grinding grain is quite a bit easier than metal. Wouldn't the hammers take up most of the shock?

  • Is that grind not too fine ??

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