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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: mmitchem on March 15, 2013, 01:26:33 PM

Title: Brewing With Grits
Post by: mmitchem on March 15, 2013, 01:26:33 PM
I passed a little country store on my way down to Charleston, SC for work a couple of months back. Apparently there is a local guy around that place selling ground grits in sacks for cheap. Being a southern guy, I would love to impart this traditional ingredient into some beer. Has anyone ever used grits in brewing? It doesn't seem that far out there for some one to have done so, but would love a little insight if anyone has ever used them. Cheers!
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: dordway29 on March 15, 2013, 01:57:49 PM
It might be easier to just use flaked maize. But if you really want to include the grits, I'd recommend a cereal mash. This is from BYO and explains as well as I could without thinking too hard:

"In a cereal mash you begin by heating a mash of your adjunct and small amount of your 6-row malt to 158–160 °F (70–71 °C) and holding there for about 5 minutes. Then you heat the mixture to a boil, boil for 30 minutes, and return the cereal mash to the main mash. The bulk of your barley malt can be mashed in at 122 °F (50 °C), then heated to 140 °F
(60 °C). When the boiled cereal mash is added to the main mash, the temperature moves into the saccharification range. Cereal mashing requires a nearly constant stirring of the mash. Using flaked maize is much simpler."
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 15, 2013, 02:18:49 PM
We did once in a club brew,a nd they were SC grits that a club member brought back. Took a long time to gelatanize, probably due to the coarse grind.

When doing a cereal mash I use about 10% of the malt as part of the cereal mash. I hold for 15 minutes at 158-160F.

As to how to do it, here is some information from a guy who does it often. Scroll down to the Jeff Renner article, 5th from the bottom. I follow this pretty close from my CAPs, which are a classic use of maize in a beer.
Edit - the correct link.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/zymurgy/free-downloads
Title: Brewing With Grits
Post by: majorvices on March 15, 2013, 02:28:01 PM
Some time ago there was some debate over whether a "cereal mash" was absolutely necessary and if just boiling the grits and adding to the mash was "good enough", so to speak. I can't remember the specifics but I seem to recall having pretty good success just boiling the grits and adding them directly to the mash.
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 15, 2013, 02:33:33 PM
Some time ago there was some debate over whether a "cereal mash" was absolutely necessary and if just boiling the grits and adding to the mash was "good enough", so to speak. I can't remember the specifics but I seem to recall having pretty good success just boiling the grits and adding them directly to the mash.
The rest with a malt like 6 row helps "open up" the maize starch granules. It makes the process a little faster, and you don't have to stir as hard. How much faster I don't know. My thinking is that when they make flaked maize, that is just heat and high pressure from the rollers, no enzymes, so it would work.
Title: Brewing With Grits
Post by: majorvices on March 15, 2013, 03:04:56 PM
Yeah, you are jarring my memory now. So for a few pounds aded to a mash it's not a big deal to just boil and stir until starches are gelatinized. Anyone who knows anything about making polenta knows how long you have to stir. BUT, there is a nice hands free double boiler method that is basically hands free.
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: Jimmy K on March 15, 2013, 03:07:56 PM
Or crockpot - I cook steel cut oats for oatmeal overnight in a crockpot. I'm sure the same could be done with grits.
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 15, 2013, 03:08:32 PM
Yeah, you are jarring my memory now. So for a few pounds aded to a mash it's not a big deal to just boil and stir until starches are gelatinized. Anyone who knows anything about making polenta knows how long you have to stir. BUT, there is a nice hands free double boiler method that is basically hands free.
Jeff Renner does that in a pressure cooker. He wrote that up in Zymurgy.
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: mmitchem on March 15, 2013, 03:40:16 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I was also thinking a cereal rest might be necessary, so glad to see I am not completely thinking out in left field ;)

I will be passing by that same place this weekend and was thinking of picking up a sack to use in something. I am a Carolina boy so I am all about using traditional, local ingredients in a beer if it makes sense. Just another way to tie my brew to my region. At any rate I will probably need to treat it like maize and use that as a percentage baseline.

Grits do not really have a distinct flavor, but it may work to impart additional sugars and possibly give some mouthfeel. But who knows. Only one way to really find out :P
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: jeffy on March 15, 2013, 04:50:33 PM
I always thought that the mash rest with barley malt helped the corn from making a sticky mess when boiled, but I can't remember where that came from.
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: dmtaylor on March 15, 2013, 09:34:41 PM
I have used grits before.  I boiled them first to gelatinize.  They made for an extremely sticky mash and stuck runoff.  If I used them again, I'd throw in a handful of rice hulls for easier runoff & sparge.
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: euge on March 16, 2013, 01:09:01 AM
I'm wondering how the butter and Tabasco will go in the beer? Skip the diacytl rest...
Title: Re: Brewing With Grits
Post by: mmitchem on March 17, 2013, 07:03:08 PM
I'm wondering how the butter and Tabasco will go in the beer? Skip the diacytl rest...

Toss some shrimp in there too to really make it the real deal!