Friday, 25 July 2008

"Dr Strangegrain" or, "How I learned to stop worrying and love the maize"

Alan questions the prejudice against corn common in most craft beer circles:
Corn is, folks, and corn should be more than the flakes in your breakfast bowl. As I mentioned, I understand that there are two ways to get corn into beer. The most common is through glucose or corn sugar which is derided as an adjunct gone mad in American macro lagers but praised in Belgian tripels when, as I learned from Al Korzonas in his useful Homebrewing, Volume 1, simply combined with a little fructose to make candi sugar. This sort of addition of corn gets you a little more alcohol and a little less body but not much flavour - and certainly not the creamed corny goodness that is at the heart of Spotted Cow. Flaked maize is more like rolled barley or oats, a raw grain product that leaves plenty of unfermentables to add flavour. That is what I think I am tasting in that brew...
If corn can make a fine whiskey, why not a beer?
Why not indeed? I'll admit I'm guilty of this prejudice myself. Aside from those mentioned by Alan, what are some examples of beers in which corn is a decidedly good thing?


anomdebus said...

Cream ale? (though many examples are not worth trying)

Douglas said...

Heck with corn. How about switch grass or sugar cane stalks?
I suppose that if beer is food, the issues relative to converting food grain to ethanol aren't applicable? Is Vodka food?
Is beer making harming the planet? CO2 emissions from interaction of yeast and sugar? Do environmentalists drink beer?