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lautering bourbon mash- standard cooked corn vs cooked corn flakes

Chris Taylor

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I looked for this topic but didn't find exactly what I was looking for- wondering if anyone has any experience.

What we're trying to do:

Get away from pre cooked corn flakes and use standard corn instead. We have a mash tun that is double jacketed so it can cook it.

Equipment- 15 barrel mash ton with with false bottom and extra large heating jacket, 15 barrel fermenters, 200 gallon still with steam coils (so we can't distill on the grain)

If we want to cook corn in the mash tun (it's 20% the cost of pre cooked corn), what can we do to cook the corn so it will still lauter? Rice hulls yes, but is uncooked corn milled smaller than the pre cooked corn? Can we request the grain size to be large enough that we'll still get extraction and still be able to lauder the mash? any recommendations on this?

We plan on adding a 600 gallon jacketed stripping still in the future, but I'd like to start laying down some more bourbon until that day comes.

I'd rather hear from people who've gone down this road and learned from the mistakes of a stuck mash.

Thanks All!


Camp 1805 Distillery

Hood River, OR

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I've lautered corn mashes, both using flakes and with milled corn. Picture a 150 lb cake of polenta. Under the screens.

Whisky was good, yield was lousy. I think the only way to effectively do what you are thinking about is a mechanical dewatering system.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Traditional "lautering" of corn is a losing proposition. If you're going to use corn, you pretty much have to distill on the grain.

Mill your corn waaaay down - almost to flour. Then reduce the grain ratio in your mash. You'll find that your yields don't go down all that much and you'll be able to distill on the "grain" without wrecking your steam coils.

The only other option - and this falls into the "sorta kinda works" category - is to operationalize a mash bill that's just over the bourbon limit (51%) and use cracked rye & malted barley in your mash tun in higher ratios. You'll have to "step infuse" your grains so that the sach temps are correct - corn, then rye, then barley - but you'll be able to lauter that 3 grain mix in your mash tun with somewhat better success. The last recommendation in this method would be to cook your grains at well under the 15 barrel capacity of your mash tun and then quickly sparge water the crap out of it.

And remember, with corn, the longer you leave it sit in the water, the more it's gonna be concrete. :)

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