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Removing dried grain corn from cob for grinding (Shelling Corn?)

Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 847
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  14
I have been experimenting with grain corn. We have a short season, and so corn did not (or does not?) field dry, but rather was husked and dried indoors. It is hard to remove from the cob (its a short season open pollinated variety called 'Painted Mountain'). Any suggestions for efficient ways to turn dried cobs into grain for grinding?

(Add) "Shelling"! it helps to have the right word.... thanks!


Paul Cereghino- Stewardship Institute
Maritime Temperate Coniferous Rainforest - Mild Wet Winter, Dry Summer
Shawn Bell


Joined: Dec 06, 2010
Posts: 156
Paul, here is a method that I found on the Mother Earth website. It is a board with a hole and some nails.

Mother Earth News - Cheap Corn Sheller

Hope that helps.
Paul Cereghino
volunteer

Joined: Jan 11, 2010
Posts: 847
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
    
  14
Same concept, but drill attachment version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbT8wvEEc-U
Carina Robicheaux


Joined: Nov 08, 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
They also sell metal collars made for this called corn shellers. Southern Exposure Seeds sells one for $10 and it looks unbreakable. I haven't tried them. But I have grown 'Painted Mountain' (BEAUTIFUL! impressive vigor and yield) and shelled it by hand. It was much easier to do when the corn was thoroughly dry. We have a shelf around the perimeter of our living room about 1' from the ceiling. It's a fantastic place for drying things since the wood stove is in the same room. After about 3-4 months on the shelf the corn was pretty easy....a kind of opposing twisting motion with both hands on the ear, gentler at first to start loosening 'em up. Then they roll right off. It took us about 40 person hours to shell 60lb kernels. (not all at once, mind you, but a couple hours a night sitting by the fire watching the rain)


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You can't fight the waves but you can learn to surf.
Carina Robicheaux


Joined: Nov 08, 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
Oh yeah...I used the bottle opener on my Leatherman multi tool to get any tough ones started. I know these folks. They wouldn't sell it if it didn't work;
http://www.southernexposure.com/sheller-corn-supply-p-198.html
Still, I'M too cheap to buy it when I can drill a hole and pound some nails for free. I wonder if the board could be put atop a bucket and the tendency of kernels to fly around wildly would be minimized.....?
I can't believe anyone used spent cobs to wipe with! They can be SHARP!
Thank Gaia I live where there's LOTS of moss.
Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    8
Totally agree on the totally dry bit. This has been our first year to grow corn and we couldn't eat them all as corn-on-the-cob fresh so we cut them all off in September and brought them indoors in their papery husks to await a decision on what to do with them. I decided to have a go at turning them into corn flour. So last week we had a go at de-husking them (fine) and getting the kernels off (only part fine!). Some were easy to just do the twisting action on - those that had been at the top of the basket - and others weren't budging. I figured that those at the top of the basket were drier, and indeed you could tell. The easy ones' kernels were all dry and kinda shrivelled looking whereas the others were still nice and tight together on the cob. So we left the non de-kernelled ones next to the wood-burner for two days and hey presto, they're now all done. Easy-peasy and no tools.

Now we've ground some corn in our bicycle-powered grain mill and had some delicious cornbread We didn't grind it all at once as I've heard that it tastes better if it's freshly ground and maybe that's true as I had some store-bought corn flour to make our first cornbread and no-one liked it (it went to the pigs).
Erik Lee


Joined: Sep 21, 2011
Posts: 104
Location: Zone 6 - Missouri
    
    6
Just a slightly off-topic reply, but the reason it tastes better fresh is that corn has a lot of oil in it, and when you grind it that oil gets exposed to air, which causes it to quickly go rancid. You can slow the process down by keeping it in an airtight container in the freezer, but all in all you're better off just grinding it as needed. I had a bag of masa (nixtamalized corn flour) from the store that I guess had been sitting for a while, because I used it to make some tamales and the rancid oil in it made them taste really nasty.


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Alison Thomas
volunteer

Joined: Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 933
Location: France
    
    8
Sorry for continuing the slightly off-topic thread but yes, it's the same with wheat. Wholemeal flour (if it's really WHOLE meal) has the germ in it and that has wheatgerm oil in it and that apparently starts to go rancid after 45 days! That's why over here when you buy wholemeal it's actually had all the germ sifted out then bran added back in so it's not really real but lasts longer on the commercial shelf - sigh. That's why we got a grain mill so that we could appreciate the true wholeness of grains, be that wheat, buckwheat, rice or corn (so far).
Philip Freddolino


Joined: Jun 02, 2010
Posts: 53
I grew painted mountain myself and got a pretty good yield. I found an antique corn sheller on E-bay that works great! It is the hand crank type made in the 1890's and cost me $60. The same design of sheller is sold new at Lehmans for $260. I laughed out loud with delight the first time I used it because of the way it spits out the cleaned cobs as fast as I could feed the corn in.
 
 
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