How to Malt Corn

Four Parts:Measuring Your IngredientsGerminating the CornSprouting the CornDrying the Malt

During the malting process, grains like corn or barley begin to germinate and sprout. This process releases enzymes that interact with yeast in the distillation or brewing process. Once the grain sprouts, it is dried and stored until it is used as corn mash for alcohol. Corn can be malted at home during a week to two-week process, while oats and rye cannot.

Part 1
Measuring Your Ingredients

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    Purchase white corn for the process. Yellow corn has too much oil content.[1]
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    Buy 5 to 20 pounds (2.3 to 9kg) of white corn. Most distillers suggest doing 20 pounds at once so that you will have enough for a full batch of corn mash. However, the amount you choose to malt should depending upon your facilities and how much drying space you can find.
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    Buy one food-grade five gallon (19l) bucket for every five pounds (2.3kg) of corn you want to malt.
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    Pick up some sterilizing solution to clean your buckets adequately before beginning.

Part 2
Germinating the Corn

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    Fill your five-gallon buckets with water that is between 63 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to 30 degrees Celsius).[2] You can use hot tap water. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature.
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    Dump five pounds of white corn into each bucket. Submerge it completely. Let it soak for 24 hours.
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    Drain the water off completely. Discard any corn that floats to the top when it soaks.
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    Refill the buckets with hot tap water again. Soak it for 18 to 24 additional hours.
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    Drain the buckets.

Part 3
Sprouting the Corn

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    Spread the corn out on large baking trays. Keep it in a thin layer, between 0.8 and 2 inches (two to five cm) deep. Keep the room temperature between 63 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to 30 degrees Celsius)
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    Layer damp paper towels over the top of the baking trays filled with corn.
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    Spray the paper towels with hot tap water to keep them moist, so the corn will sprout.
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    Peel the paper towels back and stir the corn every eight hours.
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    Continue for 5 to 10 days, or until most of the corn has sprouts that are 0.2 inches (five mm) long.

Part 4
Drying the Malt

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    Remove the paper towels. Spread the corn out as thin as you can.
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    Set fans to dry the grain. For the first two to three hours you should not let the temperature exceed 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). You don’t want to heat the corn too quickly, or you will destroy the enzymes you created during the malting process.
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    Raise the room or oven temperature to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius) the following hour. Continue moving air across the corn with a fan.
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    Raise the room temperature to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 Celsius) the following hour.
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    Place the corn in sacks once it is dry. Bang it against a hard surface to knock off the sprouts.
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    Shake it and sieve it to remove the sprouts completely. Store it in a cool and dry place for up to two months before using.
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Things You'll Need

  • Cooking thermometer
  • White corn
  • Tap water
  • Food-grade five gallon buckets
  • Baking trays
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottles
  • Warm room/oven/heat source
  • Fans
  • Breathable sacks
  • Sieve

Article Info

Categories: Food and Entertaining | Maize