View Full Version : ARRGGGGHHH! Failure!

08-25-2010, 12:06 PM
Drat, double drat and triple drat! I was checking the stores today, it's a monthly job I do and I always pay special attention to any home preserved items. Well long story short, the Sweetcorn I dehydrated in june had gone mouldy. I couldn't believe it! I obviously didn't do a proper job, so my bad. I'm so annoyed with myself. It just goes to show, you have to be vigilant.
On a good note, the last jar of plums that were canned last autumn were very tasty!

08-25-2010, 12:21 PM
Thats a shame. however on the bright side, you found out before you really needed it. Any idea what happened? Packaging, not dehydrated enough?

But the plums, that is a delighful treat :)

08-25-2010, 12:22 PM
I have never known of anyone successfully drying sweet corn in a dehydrator, if that makes you feel any better.

Corn/maise is usually left to dry on the cob as a natural process, still in the husk in the field. Left to dry naturally it will usually last until you need it or the mice get to it.

My grandmother used to make the best plum preserves I have ever eaten. I have not had good plum preserves since she went to live with my aunt, 30 years ago. Some flavors you never forget.

08-25-2010, 12:24 PM
She, stuck in her thumb and pulled out a plumb and said, "I sure screwed-up the sweet corn project".:):):)

Old GI
08-25-2010, 12:33 PM
Fine point to be made. Schedule your periodic inventory/inspection and faithfully do it. As was said, in time of need is not the time to find out something's rotten, missing or broken. Well done, Winnie.

08-25-2010, 01:20 PM
It was definitely the dehydrating bit, Pal. The storage system I have for dehydrated stuff is vacuum sealing, then store in a canning jar. It seems to work well for everything else.
I'm annoyed about the waste though. 2lbs of sweetorn in the bin. I'm not sure whether it makes me feel better or not KYRS. This year's plum season has just started. I put up some Damsons on monday and made Damson jam too.
Sourdough..... words fail me:)
OGI some of Kens obsessing has rubbed off on me, I'm glad it did though. I could have happily thought I had some perfectly good sweetcorn otherwise.

08-25-2010, 01:28 PM
Winnie, the only thing I can guess is that it wasn't completely dry. Corn should be rock hard and rattle when shaken together. Corn is no different that peas or beans when dehydrating.

But...it's hardly a failure. We learn something every time we experiment with something new so consider it the cost of learning. And, as Pal said, you found out before you needed it.

08-25-2010, 02:02 PM
Yup, I'm certain you're right, Rick. I thought it was crispy dry, obviously it wasn't and there was enough moisture to start mould growth. I did some peas around the same time and they're fine.(they cook up really well)

08-25-2010, 02:48 PM
Are you going to try another batch to perfect the technique?

08-25-2010, 02:52 PM
Excuse me Winnie for going a touch off subject here:

In the Northeast here, I can have fairly easy access to dried feed corn (variously called cow corn). Assuming it is properly dried,clean etc, is it consumable by humans? For example grind it for corn meal. I have not done alot of research, but what I have done does not produce a conclusive answer.

08-25-2010, 04:08 PM
You should be able to grind any corn into corn meal.

I don't know about eating it as corn, however. We have horse corn or field corn around here. Probably what you call cow corn. I've eaten it before and it's not very appetizing. Okay in a pinch I guess but once it matures it's like rocks.

08-25-2010, 04:16 PM
Yes I'll have another go, Pal. I just need to make absolutely sure it's dry!

Regarding the Cow corn, I know the stuff grown over here is more starchy and lower in sugars than sweetorn(I scrumped some once as a girl and cooked it, it wasn't at all what I was hoping for!). I'm not entirely sure of the quality thing, If the quality is OK, I don't see why not. However, corn is much harder than wheat berries(see, I'm getting your lingo!) so you may need to check your grainmill is up to it.

08-25-2010, 07:37 PM
I have eaten the "cow corn" on the cob and I agree it is not all that good. I was just thinking that if it is indeed grounadable (a new word :) ) , it would be an excellent (potentially anyways) source of corn meal and an extremely low price. I am just hoping to find someone that has tried it before I "invested" much effort into it.

Winnie, you are indeed starting to speak like us :) Mmm, not sure if that is good or bad though. And you are right, the dried kernels seem to be very hard,

08-26-2010, 10:32 AM

What kind of corn did you use? Fresh off the cob? If so, did you blanch it first? Rick is dead on, corn needs to be bone dry.

I have achieved excellent results using FROZEN sweet corn. It's cheap, readily available in large bags, and it's already blanched. Just spread it on the dehydrator trays frozen and turn it on. To avoid "Case hardening", where the outside drys rapidly and sort of forms a "Shell", which traps moisture in the interior of the corn (May be why yours ended up moldy), Dry at lower heat for a longer time.

I can get about 3.5 pounds net weight of frozen corn into a #2.5 can (28 oz. size) after it's dehydrated. I use oxygen absorber packs as well.

You made me check! I opened a can that I stored 2 years ago. Dry as a bone and no mold. Now I just neeed to find a recipe to use it in. Might try grinding it into corn meal?

08-26-2010, 02:27 PM
I used Frozen Sweetcorn, DSC. I recalled you saying you used frozen veg to dehydrate. My dehydrator is just a basic model and doesn't have a temp control or timer. I'll have to rotate the trays more frequently and maybe defrost the corn first.

You could always make creamed corn, corn fritters and how about corn relish?

08-26-2010, 02:44 PM
You CAN eat field corn,BUT you have to get it before it is mature and it still just isn't the same.

Don't feel bad Winnie,I moved all my corn I froze this summer into a refrigerator freezer (side by side fridge) to make room for all the chicken I put in the chest freezer,and the fridge had kicked the plug in at some point over the last several days,I found out when the neighbors came over to retrieve a gallon of milk they stored in the fridge (2 days prior) and it was sour...

Old GI
08-26-2010, 03:19 PM
Field corn was not an unusual dish at my home when I was a kid. But, as Rick said, getting it early is the secret.

08-26-2010, 05:33 PM
Nell, and GI have you ever heard of using the dried variety, ground , to make corn meal?

08-26-2010, 09:49 PM
No pal,never heard of it.

08-26-2010, 11:57 PM
Pal, I'm no miller but field corn and popcorn both have a low sugar content (that's why field corn tastes yucky) so it should be good for grinding. Sweet corn is much higher in sugar so won't make a good grinding corn. At least not for storing, I wouldn't think.

08-27-2010, 08:39 PM
Dad told me many times over the years about his farm family back in the day (1910-1930) going out to the field and picking corn to eat on the cob. He sure enjoyed the new sweetcorn hybreds of the modern day. Said there was no way to compare. He also told me that they always ground field corn for use in the house. Would probably take some really good stones or wheels in these small modern grinders but it should be able to be done.


08-27-2010, 08:49 PM
By the way Winnie. I rented a small acreage at one time from a farmer in NE Iowa.(years ago) He raised corn on the farm around me and dried it in large bins near my house. One spring when he broke the seal on the bin he found that it had not been dried enough the fall before. You lost 2 pounds. He had to clean out 12,000 bushels of rotten corn. My place smelled like rotten corn for days after that.


No matter what kind of corn it is, if it ain't dry it rots The farmer told me that the problem was that he was trying to save on LP gas which he used for the drying and just didn't dry it long enough

08-27-2010, 09:00 PM
the biggest lesson i learned when drying food is this: once it's dry, dry it 3-4 more times. this is especially true of anything larger than 1/4" in it's smallest dimmension.

08-27-2010, 09:09 PM
I think I have found the answer to my question about using dried field corn to grind. It seems that drying is the obvious key. Now on to researching what mill would be best suited.


"Another name for Yellow Dent Corn is 'field corn.' Field corn is quite a different product than what most North Americans have become accustomed to; sweet corn. Sweet corn, the corn we eat as a vegetable, has a very thin skin. Sweet corn is loaded with sugars which is harvested before the kernels mature. The field corn called yellow dent, has a very thick outer skin that doesn't soften up to the point you can eat it even if you cook it for hours. There's really only two ways to eat it - grind it dry into a meal, or by using a lye, remove the skin and eat it as hominy."

And apologies Winnie for the semi hijack of your thread :)

08-28-2010, 07:57 AM
Oh, sure, sure. Don't believe me. What do I know? (walking off kicking chat)

08-28-2010, 08:02 AM
Here's a couple of links for you:



08-28-2010, 01:39 PM
Oh, sure, sure. Don't believe me. What do I know? (walking off kicking chat)

Psst Rick, He didn't believe me either!

Anyway, I'm dehydrating some more today.

08-28-2010, 03:08 PM
Rick and Winnie. My humble apologies for doubting you. I guess I am the type of guy that needs to "see" to truly believe

08-28-2010, 03:30 PM
Just this once Pal, you're forgiven:)

Oh, just to let you know, the new batch has just finished. There's considerably less this time than before, so that seems to prove the point the first batch still had some moisture in it.