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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Corn mash-Improving effeciency

We have been getting some pretty good runs lately, but would like some advise on improving efficiency and reduce time mashing. We have an electric system currently, so we work backwards to prevent scorching. Current process (total grain bill is 2lb per gallon):

1) Heat water to 210 F. Turn off heat.

2) add corn. Mashing in reduces temp to 192-195.

3) Hold for 2 hrs. Cool to 147F

4) Add malted barley. Dough in reduces temp to 140F

5) Hold for 2-3 hrs. Perform iodine test after 1. 

6) cool to 75. add nutrients and pitch yeast. 

I have seen procedures take as little as 45 minutes on the corn liquefaction as well as on the malted barley addition. Does anyone have a reference or specifics on the raw corn liquefaction time? Is anyone cooking their corn less and testing the specific gravity?  We have no problem holding temps coming down, so could do a reverse step infusion on the barley if that were quicker. 




It has been my experience using enzymes  (SEBstar) will will reduce your conversion time compared to using malt. Along with increasing SG.

My procedure for mashing 2.25-2.5# corn per gallon to get 1.08 - 1.09 SG. 

Fill mash pot with half the liquid needed, Add the SEBstar HTL to the liquid @ 3.9 ml per # corn,  Start agitator, add all corn to cold water, check and adjust ph (5.6-6.5) heat to 190° F,  Turn off heat, occasionally stir /agitate for up to 90 minutes, temperature will drop, after 60 minutes do starch test, if no starch add remaining liquid,  cool to 150° F , Add SEBamyl GL @ 3.9 ml per # corn,  let set  occasionally  stir/ agitate for 75 minutes, cool to < 85° F,  Check and adjust ph (5-5.5) transfer to fermenter, add nutrients pitch yeast. See attached photo. 

I don't think the flavor profile changes much not using the malt... To each their own.  Cheers, Chuck

Chart for enzymes sold by

SEBstar HTL - 0.36ml/lb  - pH 5.6-6.5 - 122-194F

SEBamyl GL - 0.36ml/lb  - pH 2.8-5.5 - 86-149F

SEBflo TL - 0.23ml/lb  - pH 4.0-6.5 - 86-140F



Roughneck really took care of it for us all here..... cooking corn efficiently is super defendant on PH of mash water..... I would absolutely use backset (mostly for flavor reasons) but also for PH in any all grain corn whiskey run....... As well Enzymes are your friend and can make this process a whole lot faster.



But as I said, Roughneck really covered the bases for you


good luck! report back with some brixcounts and PH of water for more specific help


Edit: you can mash all grains in at boiling to reduce time and just use enzyme for conversion this will make your cook exponentially faster

Reply:3 hours ago, NYRoughneck said:

.36 my bad.


Thanks NYRoughneck. 1.08-1.09 seems pretty high. What gravity do you finish at? Any fermentation issues with that gravity? Are you making bourbon or vodka? Have you tried various malted barley amounts? The comment of flavir is interesting eliminating barley makes the dough in much easier, inventory easier, and likely reduces the times by an hour plus

I have been getting O.G. of 1.05-1.06, ferments well to 8%. Ph end of mash is 5.5-5.9 and finished 4.3-4.1 at end of fermentation. 

Also, what are you using to strain the wort so clear in your photo?


Ya its higher than the 1.07 I get using 2#. The photo was from 2.5 #/gal, no ferment issues. I use Daddy yeast controlled ferment temp +/-76F. FG .095 PH end of ferment  4ish. Photo is of the mash still in pot end of 2nd rest prior to transfer to fermenter. I ferment on grain end of ferment  6 days. I transfer to another refrigerated vessel to clear for a day. I believe the cooler temp aids in further clearing. I charcoal some for vodka and barrel age most for whiskey. I prefer the oaked. I used to use malts but after I started using enzymes I haven't. I am just a hobbyist that makes very small batch's to gift and share with friends and family. I shouldn't of probably commented? but I've done many with enzymes in the last few years, thought maybe what I learned could be of assistance....



New to the forum but I've been playing around with the still for 5 years or so.

I have been doing the corn/enzyme mash for a couple years but am having trouble getting any kind of respectable SG.

15# cracked corn in 5gallons of washback+water at 190deg water with a PH of 6.14. Add Sebstar HTL.

I let that sit for a few hours, sometimes overnight, stirring occasionally.

at 160deg, I adjust the Ph to under 5, add 3 more gallons of water and the SebAmyl.

Let it set for a couple hours, then raise the temp and add some 6-row and cracked rye.

I do a sparge with 179deg water and am left with about 10gallons of mash but only 1.030 SG.

Any suggestions why?