Next Row, Left to Right: 4 Mr. Beer 1 Liter/Quart Bottle 5 Color after ferment time
This Month's Motto: Why sit around tasting someone else's nasty IPA's in a regional competition when you can be your own brewing mad scientist and whip up something new in the kitchen?
Goal: 100% Corn Ale
Real Objective: Trying to get the corn to convert its sugars without using it as an adjunct
Book: Using details about historic corn ale provided by Brewed in America: The History of Beer and Ale in the United States by Stanley Baron
Ideas From Book: Brewing was done by a number of households and many did not go out to purchase their beer. English brought us strong ales (some unhopped), Dutch brought us hopped beer to preserve it longer and Germans brought us lagers. While we are aware of some of the ingredients used we don't have lots of recipes to go on, but a few examples. Families took their secrets with them to the grave.
Brew Date: September 4, 2016
Corn from Seeds: 3 packets of corn seed grown, kept watered in August, pulled up after about 10 days.
Wash: Clumps of dirt, seeds, roots and stems were in a strainer and washed in the backyard several times
Drying: Over 2-3 days dried in the closed garage and periodically on and off in the August sun outside in the driveway, bunches were kept together with rubber bands. Over next 2 weeks, kept cool in basement, in paper sacks for convenience
Malt Procedure: Removed roots and stems (some pieces remain). Ground in mortar and pestle. Using ideas about Nixtamalization https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization soaked germinated corn for 18 hours in Calcium Carbonate water (no Calcium Hydroxide nor Potassium Hydroxide available at time - had wanted to do traditional soak in lime or ash water as North American Indians had done
Water: 60% RO water combined with 40% Brita-filtered Lansing water with pH 9.0
Hops: No hops used, similar to hopless ale of the colonial period
Yeast: KAL Brewer's Yeast, yeast heated in a cup of water 85 F, this would prove failure (see below)
Brew Method: Using ideas from brulosophy.com, shortened boil times and changed my lautering/sparging activities
Mash: Determined I would do 5 minute rests of temps at 143 - 158 F, 148 - 163 F, 153 - 168 F, 158 - 171 F Using chart from http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Starch_Conversion
Observations of Mash: Deep yellow color in the first rest while the last rest left it a slightly brown color
Boil: Very small batch, only 35 minutes, replaced with more brew water to bring the liquid back up to the point started at
Observations of Boil: Boiling seemed to occur around 205 F
Lauter/Sparge: No reheated water, just strained it 10 times with a drain for about 3 minutes for each
Ferment Time: 1 day on workbench at 67 - 68 F
Bottled: 1 Mr. Beer 1 quart/1 liter bottle, 1/3 full
Observations of Fermenting: No noticeable activity or fermenting, brought to be placed on top of refrigerator at 76 F and still no activity. Noted it smelled like corn with light brown color.
Failure: Noted failure was to select KAL nutrional yeast and this was not active yeast!
Intended: After 1 day fermenting, the ale was meant to be consumed in 2-3 days as it would spoil quicker (no hops present to preserve)
New Ideas & Improvements:
A. Get Carnegie Mellon University, "Recreating Medieval English Ales" has great website above with yeast suggestion of Danstar Nottingham ale yeast
B. Viewing youtube.com for ideas to make my own yeast in the backyard with open jar
C. Using old recipes to make cornbread and turning it into an ale
C. Possible Tortilla Porter using corn tortillas (treated with lime), with honey and cinnamon
D. Popcorn Ale - one of the oldest forms of corn in the world
E. Work on recipes and put out cookbook on some of these.
F. Longer mash times at each rest to get more from the corn
G. Grow 10+ seed packets for more yield, bigger batch