Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:23 pm

Surely you didn't dump it. :think:
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:26 pm

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:Surely you didn't dump it. :think:
Yep, all of it.
Right into a big fermenter. :D
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by Truckinbutch » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:22 pm

You picked a perfect time to do this when SpiritRunDave and I are planning to go AG this winter . Think you will shorten our learning curve quite a bit .
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by masonsjax » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:34 pm

The tannin thing was proven to be due to pH rather than temperature. Sorry I don't have a reference handy, might have been Kai Troester (braukaiser). After all, the decoction mashing technique actually boils part of the mash, grain and all, without tannin issues.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by der wo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:33 am

MC, did you compare the final volume of the trials? Because if one needed longer it evaporated more. 6gal 1.064 would be more conversion than 5.9gal 1.065.
Because reaching a low FG is much more difficult than a high OG, it is sad, that you will not test it this time. Between Nr 1 - 3 will be no difference in FG, but probably between 1-3 and 4 and 5.

Edit:
I think the high temp alpha is unbeatable. Especially when working with cracked corn, the alpha amylase of malted barley will not liquefy as much starch. Or only with an extreme long gelatinizing. I am surprised a bit, that you did not get more difference between 1-3 and 4-5.
But the glucoamylase is beatable. The beta-amylase of the malt works very effective.
Because all 5 trials have enzymes still working after mashing, the OG-FG calculator will not be as exact as normally. 5 identical and deep stripping runs would judge better.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by bilgriss » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:07 am

+1 on tannins being pH related, and then triggered by heat. So long as the pH stays relatively low, tannin extraction is relatively low even at higher temps. Let the pH rise, you will get some objectionable flavors.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by der wo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:00 am

But 99% of the tannins will remain in the backset. I don't want to claim that there is no difference in taste dumping in the barley and wheat at 180 or 148F or if we have a more or less acidic mash, but when we taste tannins in the whiskey, it's the barrel, not the cooking temp.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:50 am

Well it is done.
The all-malt fellas came in at SG 1.058.
But that doesn't mean that they finished last, because I included SP's Lazy Bastard aka I Just Don't Give a S#!t protocol.

Last night before running off to sleep I poured 5 gallons of hot tap water on the grains, stirred, and covered.
This morning the pot contained a nice bubbly already fermenting SG 0f 1.026.
Short of just pissing into a bag of barley malt, this one wins hands down for simplicity, and the auto-start spontaneous fermentation is a bonus!
(I did bring this one back up to 190F with HTL before adding to the mix...)

With all said and done I think I'll be going with the liquid enzymes, heating all grains up to 190F, but skip the boil. Catch it on the way down for gluco at 148F, boom, done.
This will give me good yield/conversion, and it is about as easy as it can be, and the best of all worlds.
The benefit of heating the malts up to 190F is twofold, I believe I get more out of them because of the HTL working on them, but the higher temps will also sanitize the grains.

BUT, I will also be doing another side by side experiment down the road comparing a liquid enzyme batch to an all-malt batch.
If I should find out that the all-malt batch tastes better, or even just different than the liquid enzyme batch, that would be something worth knowing.
I would have no problem going through the additional work for less yield if I believed that the all-malt mash produces a better whiskey.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by Fart Vader » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:04 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:With all said and done I think I'll be going with the liquid enzymes, heating all grains up to 190F, but skip the boil. Catch it on the way down for gluco at 148F, boom, done.
This will give me good yield/conversion, and it is about as easy as it can be, and the best of all worlds.
The benefit of heating the malts up to 190F is twofold, I believe I get more out of them because of the HTL working on them, but the higher temps will also sanitize the grains.
Nice work MCH, that's exactly the method I've been using (in my somewhat limited experience), but adding the HTL in the warm water and heating it up too.
My SG with cracked corn out of the bag was a consistent 1.05
I have since been grinding the cracked corn down and increased my SG to 1.06

Thanks again for all the work!
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:06 am

der wo wrote:MC, did you compare the final volume of the trials? Because if one needed longer it evaporated more. 6gal 1.064 would be more conversion than 5.9gal 1.065.
Because reaching a low FG is much more difficult than a high OG, it is sad, that you will not test it this time. Between Nr 1 - 3 will be no difference in FG, but probably between 1-3 and 4 and 5.

Edit:
I think the high temp alpha is unbeatable. Especially when working with cracked corn, the alpha amylase of malted barley will not liquefy as much starch. Or only with an extreme long gelatinizing. I am surprised a bit, that you did not get more difference between 1-3 and 4-5.
But the glucoamylase is beatable. The beta-amylase of the malt works very effective.
Because all 5 trials have enzymes still working after mashing, the OG-FG calculator will not be as exact as normally. 5 identical and deep stripping runs would judge better.
I have separated the liquid enzyme worts from the all-malt worts. I'll be fermenting them separately and will report back with FG's, and then later with any taste comparisons in the final whiskey.

My system for this was not exactly scientifically rigorous. I did a pretty good job of measuring out the grains and fairly consistent ballpark quantities with the water.
Batches were not exact, but I did do doubles for everything and averaged the final numbers. I wasn't looking for perfect numbers at the end, just a good idea of how the different methods ranked. And I think I got that.

FG will be interesting. I feel like my fermentations have been finishing lower since I started using the Sebstar, but I'll know more in about a week.
The high temp liquid enzyme really tears up the starches, leaving the wort much thinner and easier to strain, a big plus if fermenting off grain. With the all-malt mash you still end up with a more syrupy wort.

I was surprised at the jump in SG by cooking the malts with the corn. Also a little surprised that there wasn't much difference between #2 and #3.
I was not fair to your sacrificial method, I did not follow it very well. I do think that adding the sac malts at different temps and re-heating could increase the SG.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by rager » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:59 pm

looking good MCH!

method 2 is what ive been doing with pretty good results. and is the easiest procedure for my set up

cheers

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by der wo » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:40 am

Fermenting off the grain is another plus for the high temp alpha. Because all your methods would release and convert starches during the fermentation on the grain from the cracked corn. This would even out the results, the all malt versions would catch up. But off the grain of course not.

I totally understand, that you did exactly this experiment and not that what I would like you do. Please don't worry I would be unhappy about it. Another mash volume (a bit larger than mine), another equipment, another grains (I don't use cracked corn), another previous experience and tradition (cracked corn, off the grain), of course you do another experiment and of course it will result in another optimal method than mine.
And btw, my sacrificial malt method indeed is the result of many trials with the goal to get as much fermentables with very low malt content, but it is not my opinion, that it is better than using liquid enzymes. I only wanted to understand the process and see what happens when I try different things.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by RandyMarshCT » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:13 am

Interesting... the final gravities would be very interesting to know!
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by Bohunk » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:27 pm

MC great job, I've been using method #1 for a long time, and been very happy with it. Let us know how the final chapter reads.
Thanks again.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by Smokee » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:56 pm

I've been working on my own AG for the last month or so, I'm interested in seeing the FG's on each method. I'm betting 1.010-1.020 FG on #1.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:10 pm

Just a quick update.
I did not keep every version separate for fermentation, but I did separate the worts that I collected from liquid enzyme mashes, and the ones where I used only grain malts. I fermented off-grain.
The fermentations went over about 10 days, were very clean and clear and finished with a compact thick yeast/trub layer at the bottom which amounted to a bit less than 25% of the fermenter contents.
Both batches finished the same, at about FG 1.002. No signs of infections.

Not sure how I will combine the spirit runs yet, but I will at least keep a couple bottles aside of malt vs. liquid enzymes to compare later.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:25 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:Not sure how I will combine the spirit runs yet, but I will at least keep a couple bottles aside of malt vs. liquid enzymes to compare later.
Update:
I finally got around to finishing off the last of the spirit runs for this batch.

I tried and tried to find any difference between the finished blended spirits from the malt vs. the liquid enzymes, and at least to me they are identical.
I really thought that mashing old school with only malted grains that I would find a richer, better flavor, but not the case. To me they tasted just the same, which I suppose only makes sense.
A couple of things though.

First, the ferments from the liquid enzyme mashes settled out way more than the malt ferments.
The trub beds compacted to less than 20% of the volume of the settled ferment in the carboys.
The malt ferments held much more in suspension, maybe 35% was cloudy and wouldn't clear up.
I racked and only ran the clear from both mashes.

The heads and tails both seemed more present with the malt ferments during the cuts after the spirit runs.
They tasted stronger and more defined than with the spirits from the liquid enzyme mashes.
The cut points were similar, but I felt like I could easily include an extra jar both ways with the liquid enzyme spirits. Maybe it was just me, but they just tasted cleaner.

I also collected all of the trub that I racked off from all the fermentations and steam stripped that separately and then ran it as a separate spirit run.
The heads were nasty, but once I cleared them the hearts actually tasted best of all of the runs and had the most flavor, especially fruity notes from the wheat.
It wasn't night and day, the same flavors were in the racked & clear spirit runs, but the trub run was so good that in the end I mixed in back in with the other spirit runs for one big happy whiskey.

So at the end of the day I am pro-liquid-enzyme. I can't think of any reason to not prefer using them.
When using the liquid enzymes my strained fermentations settled out better, the transition points when making cuts tasted a little bit cleaner, and they make mashing corn and wheat very user friendly.

This is the second time that I've done a separate trub run and I was worried both times that the spirit would be murky and yeasty, but to my taste it just makes a very special whiskey. Clean and lots of flavor.
Only my opinion based on a couple experiments, but this makes me think I'm giving up something by not running dirty. I think by racking clear ferment I get wider cuts and cleaner spirit overall, but I think I'm losing some flavor in there.
By being able to steam strip the trub I am getting the best of both worlds though. I can run the clear ferment and not worry about scorching and get my wide clean cuts, and then strip the trub and add it back in.

EDIT: When I say trub, I mean what's left after straining through a 400 micron filter and then settling in a carboy. Grain dust, flour, yeast, etc.
That is, I was NOT steaming stripping big bits of grain which may or may not contribute husk flavors.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by ShineRunner » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:36 pm

I've been waiting for this update! I'm building a thumper/steam stripper/steam cooker rig copy of your modular setup. I'm hoping to be able to run dirty whiskey trub as well as fruit washes without fear of scorching in the future.

Do you not run your clear wash in the boiler and dirty trub in the thumper, ala truckinbutch? Seems like an easy way to do it, but I also see the appeal in just stripping separately as well. If not, maybe I can add to the experiments in the near future!

SR

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:52 pm

ShineRunner wrote:Do you not run your clear wash in the boiler and dirty trub in the thumper, ala truckinbutch?
The only potential drawback that I can see with that is cuts.
By running clean clear racked ferment, I feel like I can make wider cuts without getting into funky heads or tails.
The trub can really produce some straight up nasty heads and tails. My fear would be that I could lose some of the transition jars that I could otherwise keep from the clean runs when making cuts if it all came off the same run.

I have no way of knowing what that effect would be, just thinking out loud.

I may just start running my trub and keeping it separate, kind of like an all feints run, as Special Reserve bottles!

Good luck with your build, you will really like the steamer setup.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by Truckinbutch » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:07 pm

Dadgum you , MCH ! You are creating a two headed monster down here in WV . Continue the mission :clap:
SRD and I are going to be focusing on your notes as we continue our reinvention into all grain .
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by Jimbo » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:53 pm

Great write-up MCH. I agree on the trub/dirty runs, never had a problem with yeasty flavors. If anything just more good flavors. Of course that's subjective.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by thecroweater » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:01 pm

A greater difference may (or may not) be detectable after some aging. I did find that slight difference was noticeable between single malt oat ant single malt oats using enzymes also using a glucoamylase enzyme changes the flavour profile quite a bit ( for the better I'd say)
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by der wo » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:20 am

Thanks for this great experiment and the detailed documentation.
I never did such a side by side experiment, but I have had similar experiences:
- There is no need to use liquid enzymes, but they make the mashing easier and faster.
- There is no difference in taste, when using enzymes.

The second experiment with the trub is interesting too. I also never noticed yeast smell, when distilling with the trub and on the grain, but clearly more heads. And more nut flavors (perhaps more tails).
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by vqstatesman » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:04 am

Many thanks for your experiment. Was a great read for me and a valuable resources for many.

I purchased a 100+L BM a few months ago and have been trialling AG with very average results. I purchased some Crosby & Baker enzymes and didn't have much success either.

I ordered myself some Sebstar HTL and SebAmyl GL a week or two ago and they just arrived! Can't wait to give them ago and put my BM to good use.

Interesting points about the tannins too. I ferment and distill on the grain so this is reassuring.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by thecroweater » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:26 am

@ vq did you get them here or the states. Been chasing local liaid enzymes for some time
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by MichiganCornhusker » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:51 am

Thanks, guys, for the feedback and comments!
Truckinbutch wrote:SRD and I are going to be focusing on your notes as we continue our reinvention into all grain .
Happy to hear that, you guys are gonna love it. A little teamwork will make it twice as easy. :thumbup:
Jimbo wrote:I agree on the trub/dirty runs, never had a problem with yeasty flavors. If anything just more good flavors. Of course that's subjective.
+1, Totally subjective, at least from my point of view. For all I know there are yeasty flavors in there and I just happen to like them!
But in comparing they trub run to the clear run I don't taste anything that stands out differently, just more of the same flavor notes that I taste in the racked run, just more intense.
thecroweater wrote:A greater difference may (or may not) be detectable after some aging. I did find that slight difference was noticeable between single malt oat ant single malt oats using enzymes also using a glucoamylase enzyme changes the flavour profile quite a bit ( for the better I'd say)
Absolutely. I thought about that and I was going to save a bottle of each to oak/age separately to compare, but I have a barrel I'm trying to fill so I wound up combining everything together.
It's interesting that you think that if there is a difference in flavor that it is for the better with the gluco.
I went into this with the romantic idea that using only malted grains would provide a richer more satisfying whiskey. But I have to admit that the liquid enzyme spirits just taste the same, and if anything they allow wider cuts.
der wo wrote: I have had similar experiences:
- There is no need to use liquid enzymes, but they make the mashing easier and faster.
Yep, that's why I like using them! I just wanted to convince myself that I wasn't losing something in the process.
der wo wrote:The second experiment with the trub is interesting too. I also never noticed yeast smell, when distilling with the trub and on the grain, but clearly more heads. And more nut flavors (perhaps more tails).
This is just based on very limited experience from this guy. I certainly don't want to step out and declare that dirty yeasty runs ( :lol: ) taste the same as racked and clear, and that this debunks any talk of yeasty flavor carryover.
I do think the heads are more rank, and they run further into the run, so I need to cut out more heads jars, which affects my overall yield.
Having a steam stripper makes it easy for me to reclaim the alcohol from the trub, so I'll keep doing it. If I should notice any funky flavors coming over in the future I'll circle back and let y'all know.
vqstatesman wrote:I ordered myself some Sebstar HTL and SebAmyl GL a week or two ago and they just arrived! Can't wait to give them ago and put my BM to good use.
Interesting points about the tannins too. I ferment and distill on the grain so this is reassuring.
Good on the enzymes, you will be happy you pulled the trigger on that order.
As for the tannins, I don't think I've done anything here to know much either way about that.
I almost always ferment on-grain, but I haven't done a comparison like this directly comparing on and off grain.
I think the bigger question would be if boiling the malted grains with the corn would impact flavor, and my gut agrees with Shady and SS that it would. Maybe not tannins, but I would think that some flavors from the husks could come over if boiled.
I did get better yield by cooking the malts, but not enough to continue doing it. I like cooking the corn without the additional grains because it keeps it thinner, easier to stir and heat.


Thanks again to everyone for the input. I feel like I got some peace of mind from doing the experiments, but just as much so from hearing all of your experiences as well.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by thecroweater » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:26 am

I found using those low carb enzyme like glucoamylase you get a little higher yield, enough to justify using it? Maybe, maybe not but you do get a dryer whiskey with less of that sweetness carry over. Thats not surprising given those enzymes are debranching enzymes that break down long chain and otherwise unfermentable sugars. I don't think that results in necessarily a sharper flavour but more of a crisper defined flavour. Taste being subjective all I can say is I personally prefer it enough to keep using it
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by LWTCS » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:31 am

Great thread.
Thanks.
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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by vqstatesman » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:12 pm

thecroweater wrote:@ vq did you get them here or the states. Been chasing local liaid enzymes for some time
From the States. Only took 2 weeks to get here, pretty happy with that.

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Re: Mash-Off! Liquid Enzymes vs. Malt Grains

Post by ToatyMcSpud » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:43 pm

Evening all

I'm about a year into experiencing making likker at home. I posted a topic asking what amount of amylase and diastatic enzyme one would add to a 5 gallon wash? I can only get 2-row barley here and that doesn't have enough enzyme to convert the starch into sugar.
OP...
How much Of each enzyme did you add to your wash?
Thanks

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