Alan J

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Sep 30, 2012
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I spend many hours reading the posts and the wealth of information on this site. I find there seems to be more experience and less false information here. So now everyone give yourself a pat on the back.

Now for the question. I recently bought some cornmeal to make corn bread. (because everything I buy I wonder if it can be used for brewing) I have searched and found references for using cornmeal in place of flaked corn, conflicting information about the amount of substitution and how to mash. Some have said to do a double mash similar to a decoction. I have also read to just add it to the mash.

Has anyone used corn meal? How did you do it, or suggest to use it? If so, in what style of beer. I know cream ales, but what about any other styles. I usually make pales and IPA's.
You have to cook it first. Basically all that means is boil it 20 minutes in enough water it doesn't scorch. The starches in uncooked corn meal are not available to the enzymes so it won't convert. Cooking it gelatinizes the starches, they become soluble and the enzymes can convert them. Mash them with enough base malt and, after cooking, they'll convert just fine.

By the way, the flaked corn, the kind I use out of sheer laziness, is already gelatinized. Polenta, gelatinized as above, works fine, too.
Thank you for the reply. Cooking the cornmeal is similar to the double mash (that had included boiling like a decoction) I had read about. Makes sense, and that is probably the way I'll go when the time comes. Would you use the same amount by weight or volume in a recipe that calls for flaked corn?

Would I use flaked corn in the recipe builder as the adjunct? I'm assuming the conversion would be similar after the cooking of the cornmeal.