Amylase

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Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:48 am

My local brew shop sells an amylase for clearing starch haze in wine - made by Ritchies I believe. How effective would this be for conversion in a mash? Maybe an experiment is on the horizon....
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Re: Amylase

Post by CuWhistle » Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:58 am

It will depend on exactly what it is. Amylase is a broad description of a group of enzymes.

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Re: Amylase

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:28 pm

Alpha amylase enzyme is what is needed to do the first conversion, and gluco amylase enzyme the one needed to do the second conversion.. if it does not say or state that on the package, then it is of no value in the conversion process..

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Re: Amylase

Post by still_stirrin » Tue Nov 19, 2019 2:53 pm

DSmith78 wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:48 am
My local brew shop sells an amylase for clearing starch haze in wine - made by Ritchies...
Is it this stuff?
1FCECD0D-DAAF-4E79-B520-4E6348302057.png
The seller says it is for reducing starch haze due possibly to wines made from “grains, bananas, or root vegetables”. So, I’ve got to assume that the enzymes are alpha amalyse enzymes, as those would work to reduce those long chain starches to fermentable sugars, thereby clarifying the “wine” as it matures in the cask or fermenter (not the bottle).

Will it work for your purpose...probably. But, I’d search for liquid enzymes better suited for mashing grains for distillation. The liquid enzymes seem to be much more viable, especially when the mash pH is properly managed. Look to my signature for some discussion about liquid enzymes.
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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:16 am

Thank you everybody for your responses. I've read a little about alpha /beta amylase and their roles in distilling but it's not something I've ever used. I want to try to make a decent Polugar and I have been toying with the idea of using wheat breakfast cereals but wasn't sure about adding the sugar bite. When I saw this in my brew shop it got the old cogs turning. Still_stirring that is the one - I know there are probably enzymes better suited but this is on my doorstep and cheap!
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Re: Amylase

Post by Swedish Pride » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:25 am

you want cheap check this lot out
https://destylacja.com/pl/p/ENZYMY-DO-Z ... PIANA/2972

think it was 11€ to my door last time i ordered, can't get closer to your doorstep
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Re: Amylase

Post by pope » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:30 am

It might work but there are better options out there. Weigh your time and your investment in starches against any marginal cost difference between this and a tried-and-true enzyme intended for your application (like SebStar products).
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Re: Amylase

Post by cayars » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:24 pm

If it's on your doorstep already I'm sure we'll all known soon enough how good it works. :)
Have your iodine ready for use to check conversions and make sure to use your hydrometer to check SG.

Keep us updated on how it works or help in trying to get it to work better.
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Re: Amylase

Post by Eire Whiskey » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:19 am

So the liquid enzymes are better than the powdered enzymes?

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Re: Amylase

Post by cayars » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:31 am

Personally I think so given a choice between the two.

Many liquid enzymes can be use at high temps which allow you to use them at 185 F when working with corn. This allows you to easily do more than 2 pounds grain to gallon of water. I've done as much as 4 pounds corn to gallon of water with good conversions.

BUT, then you need to separate the grains from liquid which the enzymes don't help with!

These days I try to NOT use external enzymes but only use grains. I'll pitch malted grains as need for conversions (and flavor) to try to avoid the use of liquid or powdered enzymes.

IMHO I like to use nothing but grains, which is easily doable when you understand how to use them properly.
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Re: Amylase

Post by Eire Whiskey » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:35 am

cayars wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:31 am
Personally I think so given a choice between the two.

Many liquid enzymes can be use at high temps which allow you to use them at 185 F when working with corn. This allows you to easily do more than 2 pounds grain to gallon of water. I've done as much as 4 pounds corn to gallon of water with good conversions.

BUT, then you need to separate the grains from liquid which the enzymes don't help with!

These days I try to NOT use external enzymes but only use grains. I'll pitch malted grains as need for conversions (and flavor) to try to avoid the use of liquid or powdered enzymes.

IMHO I like to use nothing but grains, which is easily doable when you understand how to use them properly.
Yep, I've been reading lot's on grains, and none of what I read are using enzymes for conversion.

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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:03 am

I completely agree with you regarding the grains - the few all grain mashes I've done have been successful and delicious. I've never used enzymes but was feeling experimental regarding the breakfast cereals and didn't want to add sugar. Guess we should blame Odin.... :wink:
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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:38 pm

So I popped into my local brew shop today and picked some of the amylase up. Also grabbed 500g wheat malt (in case the amylase doesn't work) and 3kg of pale malt to go with the 4kg of corn I have in my freezer. Also got some pH strips to keep an eye on things.
IMG_20191130_201849-642x362.jpg
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Re: Amylase

Post by pope » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:51 pm

I haven’t done any side by side comparison but someone else on the site has and could find no difference between enzyme and malt conversion flavors in end product (hopefully someone remembers that thread or can find it). Just not sure these enzymes from the OP are the ones to go for to convert starches.
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Re: Amylase

Post by Twisted Brick » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:19 pm

Eire Whiskey wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:35 am

Yep, I've been reading lot's on grains, and none of what I read are using enzymes for conversion.
Keep up your reading. At some point in your all-grain journey you will encounter a grain bill lacking in the requisite percentage of malt which is addressed by using exogenous enzymes. Examples of these would be using only unmalted grains, or a <20% malt grain bill.

cayars wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:31 am

These days I try to NOT use external enzymes but only use grains. I'll pitch malted grains as need for conversions (and flavor) to try to avoid the use of liquid or powdered enzymes.

IMHO I like to use nothing but grains, which is easily doable when you understand how to use them properly.
Early on, I was the same way, and tried hard to optimize my brewhouse efficiency for any given mashbill. I felt if I couldn't get a mash to convert my skills were suspect. Then, about the same time that I began to consider tackling malt-shy recipes (referenced above), I came across the following on ADI, and it changed my outlook and approach:
Silk City Distillers wrote:
Glucoamylase is more effective at saccharification than the beta amylase in malt.
It’s common for the amylases in malt to create nonfermentable dextrins. Glucoamylase can reduce these dextrins to fermentable sugars - thus giving you a higher yield when combined.
its also common to use high temp fungal amylases during cereal mashing, where regular malt amylases would be quickly denatured by the high temps.
Use them alone with unmalted grains, or together with malt, there are good reasons in both cases.
as well as
Silk City Distillers wrote:
Sure, you can eliminate the fungamyl if you are using enough wheat malt. Wheat's significantly lower gelatinization temperature means the enzymes will stay active longer. You can keep it under ~160F, you aren't going to be denaturing your enzyme, unlike with corn, where you are near 200f, way above what the enzyme can withstand. Add your Glucomylase during the cool-down, not mashing, keeping in mind the appropriate temp and pH ranges.
In addition to being a dextrin ninja, gluco-amylase also has the ability to hydrolyze some starches that were not converted during mashing, so it's a bit of a one-two-punch when it comes to improving yields. Because of this, you are better off adding Gluco-amylase at a lower temperature, keeping in mind that it will remain active through fermentation (if you are fermenting on grain).
After reading the above, I fermented successive identical mashes, one using only malt to convert and a second one using malt plus gluco. I ultimately did not detect any taste difference between the two, but did get a slightly higher SG from the batch that included enzymes.

Since enzymes are inexpensive, cheap insurance against less-than-optimum malts, and I'm not keen to leave unconverted starches in my finished ferments, I always utilize both HTL and gluco enzymes in my mashes, albeit sometimes 50% of the recommended gluco amount when in the presence of sufficient malt.
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Re: Amylase

Post by cayars » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:07 pm

A perfect example of a recipe short on enzymes is a George Washing Rye (60% rye, 35% corn, 5% malted barley).

Twisted Brick, I've read similar things by Silk City Distillers. I've also seen others that say the same thing.

It makes no difference to me and I've tried just as you have. One difference is that I use 10 gallon coolers for ferment preparation, which hold the heat extremely well and will have a lot more time at any given temperature than Silk City does commercially which DOES changes things as far as conversion rates.

pH control is also important and can change how this conversion work. Beta works best at under pH 5 where Gluco is happy in the 5.2-5.5ish range (depends on vendor).

What I do at home is not what I would recommend for a distillery due to time. I want to add something but I'll quote someone else who said it first and I completely agree:
DAD300 wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:18 am
You've got it right and Beta and Gluco are achieving the same thing...long grain sugar to shorter.

Yeast will eat the sugar made with just Alpha, just not as fast or efficiently.

Malted grain will also turn cooked starch to sugar...the process is more time consuming than buying the packaged amylase.

And there are molds (koji, Aspergillus niger) that will accomplish the same thing.
Amylase breaks starch down into dextrose and maltose. Dextrose is further broken down into maltose by the amylase.

There are four kinds of enzymes we are interested in: Alpha Amylase, Beta Amylase, Glucoamylase, and Beta Glucanase.
Alpha-amylase cleaves the alpha-1,4 bonds at random. Beta-amylase breaks them systematically, from the ends of a polysaccharide. Beta-amylase from malt has a quadrilateral structure (beta-amylase from soybeans has a hexagonal structure). Glucoamylase cleaves the alpha-1,6 bonds to produce glucose.

Maltase=alpha-glucosidase, breaks one molecule of maltose down into two molecules of glucose and a molecule of water (hydrolysis) by breaking the alpha-glycoside bond. In humans this occurs in the small intestines after amylase has broken starch into dextrose and maltose and dextrose into maltose.

Beta and Gluco while different have the same overall purpose/outcome of breaking down the long grain starches into shorter chains, done differently.
Even without the shorter chains the yeast will still break these long chains down, but will need more time. Yeast will "eat" the dextrose, maltose, glucose and other sugar types as well, some faster than others.

So given proper time, the yield should not really change on home brew size batches as the yeast will convert nearly all of those sugars. That of course is not ideal in a commercial setting where you may want a fast 3 day ferment, and much shorter ferment preparation time as "time is money". Also the gluco can help to break down some unfermentable sugars which may start to become noticeable on very large batches that are fermented short since the yeast won't have the time to work on them.

On the other hand in my basement I have the luxury of time because I can add another big fermenter (for home use) that makes up for longer ferment time and can work my day around my ferment mash prep time which I find for me works better anyway.

I'll add something else as well, beta works well under pH of 5.0 which most people do not adjust to. Gluco is fine in the 5.2-5.5ish range which a lot of people adjust to.

Don't know if this helps but was a great post by CDE over on ADI:
Typically you are looking at a 3 step conversion process to turn grain starch into fermentable sugars.

Gelatinization – Process of solubilizing starch granules in water. Typically accomplished by grinding grain and heating in the presence of water.
Liquefaction – Initial breakdown of solubilized starch. Converts starch into dextrins (random sugars)
Saccharification – Final breakdown of dextrins into fermentable sugars.
These have to be done in order or, in some cases, simultaneously. It is not a good idea to try to saccharify liquefied starch, nor is it a good idea to try to liquefy un-gelatinized starch.

Enzymes do not assist gelatinization typically. They are generally used for liquefaction and/or saccharification.

Liquefaction we are talking alpha-amylases. Of which there are thee main temperature ranges (already listed in above posts). The ideal part about using a high temperature alpha-amylase is that simultaneous gelatinization and liquefaction can take place at 80-90 C.

Saccharification we are talking beta-amylases or glucoamylases (every enzyme that has “amylase” in it will work on starch because starch = “amylose”). Beta-amylases are common in brewing (as it is found in malted barley) and will work to produce maltose, glucose, and other unfermentable sugars. Glucoamylases are frequently used by distilleries because it will convert all dextrins (random sugars) into glucose. Additionally glucoamylase has a side 1, 6 activity which will allow further degradation of some sugars that were previously unfermentable.

Beta-Glucanases on the other hand are a hemicellulase that will work to break down a very specific compound found commonly in wheat, barley, rye, and oats called beta-glucan. Beta-glucans can cause viscosity issues and gum up a mash or an immersion heater. This enzyme has little to no effect on starch and sugar conversions/yields.

TL: DR. Alpha-amylase is used for Liquefaction, Glucoamylase is good for Saccharification, and Beta-Glucanase is generally only applicable to rye, wheat, or barley mashes.
So while Gluco might be preferable to Beta in distilleries making HUGE batches at a time, Beta comes free with your malted barley. :) With the size batches we do at home (50 gallon and under) it's just as easy to add a few ounce of any grain (prefer malted barley) to make up for the very limited loss of unfermentable sugars using Beta vs Gluco. Cheaper too and you add more flavor.

That's what I was getting at by flavor. Liquid and powder enzymes do not add flavor. Grains do, so use more malt. :)

As far as enzymes being inexpensive the 4oz package of HTL and GL costs $25. 4 oz = 118.3 mL. They are dosed at 0.36 ml/lb. If you don't overdose it that's enough enzymes to treat about 328 pounds of grains. That same $25 could have bought me 25 pounds of malted barley or 50 pound bag of unmalted barley which I can malt myself. But assuming I purchase the 25 pounds of malted barley and assuming it has a DP of 140 is good to convert 116 pounds of grain which includes all the malted barley goodness. So I'll skip using the enzymes when I don't need them and just buy more malted grains!

With that said, I do have a variety of enzymes on hand and use them when I need them. The George Washington Rye recipe with only 5% malted barley needs them to get good conversions. That's sort of the point I was getting at.

For other people they may want to cut pre-ferment/mash prep time as short as possible and will gladly use the enzymes to achieve that knowing they get good conversions and more time to spend doing other things. Nothing wrong with that approach either! If I'm short on time I'll do the same but try to just use malted grains when I can.
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Re: Amylase

Post by Tummydoc » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:44 pm

I toured Dry Fly distillery. They source all their grain from 3 farms in eastern Washington, none malted. They are 100% liquid enzyme for conversion, and run 1500 lbs grain per ferment. (Barley, wheat, and triticale depending on the recipe). I now understand for the commercial boys it's both faster and cheaper than malted grain.

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Re: Amylase

Post by cayars » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:56 pm

Tummydoc wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:44 pm
I toured Dry Fly distillery.
That's interesting. They went with 100% unmalted barley which would surely pay for the enzymes in cost reduction from malted grains since the unmalted is roughly 1/2 the price. But I wouldn't want to give up the malt taste which makes barley so nice in whiskey IMHO.

Did you do tastings? Did it taste/smell overly grainy compared to other whiskeys you normally drink?

I'm a Scotch single malt (blended malt) nut so I love malted barley which does influence my personal choices. :)
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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:56 am

OK, sorry its taken a while but here is a vague run down of what I did last night - a more detailed description will be put in a thread titled 'breakfast cereal Polugar.'

I mashed in 4.240kg of breakfast cereals and wheat flour and added the Ritchies Amylase at 65°c. After stirring every 15 minutes for 90 minutes and adding water to 25l I ended up with a SG of 1055. In the absence of iodine I can't tell you if I had complete conversion but will it be effective enough for a run? Yes I think it will!
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Re: Amylase

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:26 am

You have a potential alcohol of 7.2%, should be fine.

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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:47 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:26 am
You have a potential alcohol of 7.2%, should be fine.
Yeah I was pleasantly surprised! For a little over 4.2kg of "cereals" and an amylase that is intended to remove starch haze in wine I thought that was a good result!
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Re: Amylase

Post by Tummydoc » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:11 am

Your wheat and pale malt alone would have converted the mash, not sure your amylase did much.

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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:19 am

I didn't add any malt - weetabix, shredded wheat and white flour.
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Re: Amylase

Post by tom sawyer » Tue Dec 10, 2019 8:11 am

Alpha amylase will make soluble starch but it isn't necessarily going to convert. Your FG after fermentation will tell that tale. And I hope you had gelatinized corn or heated it to near boiling for proper gelatinization. I've had a devil of a time getting much sugar out of corn, but the high temp alpha enzyme and glucoamylase enzymes, along with a proper gelatinization process, solved that problem.

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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:10 am

I think there is some misunderstanding regarding the picture I posted - the pale malt and corn are for a separate whiskey. This amylase experiment was done entirely with wheat based breakfast cereals.
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Re: Amylase

Post by DrexelClaus » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:40 pm

Is it possible to achieve 100% conversion using only powdered Alpha and glucoamylase without any malted grain? It's been hell trying to find any malted cereal. The closest Brew Shop near me is over 3 hours away. I have tried quite a few times but I'm not getting much starch conversion. I'm trying to figure out whether it's my process or my adjunct.

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Re: Amylase

Post by MartinCash » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:53 pm

DrexelClaus wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:40 pm
Is it possible to achieve 100% conversion using only powdered Alpha and glucoamylase without any malted grain? It's been hell trying to find any malted cereal. The closest Brew Shop near me is over 3 hours away. I have tried quite a few times but I'm not getting much starch conversion. I'm trying to figure out whether it's my process or my adjunct.
Without knowing what you did it's hard to say. What recipe did you use?

BTW your question is better off as a separate topic, it's considered rude to hijack someone else's topic with an off-topic question.
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Re: Amylase

Post by DrexelClaus » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:11 pm

Thank you I'm still trying to understand the etiquette. First Forum I've ever seen or been involved with. Wasn't sure if I was able to start a new topic.

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Re: Amylase

Post by DSmith78 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:36 pm

Oh I don't mind - we're all friends here :wink:
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Re: Amylase

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:38 am

DrexelClaus wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:40 pm
Is it possible to achieve 100% conversion using only powdered Alpha and glucoamylase without any malted grain? It's been hell trying to find any malted cereal. The closest Brew Shop near me is over 3 hours away. I have tried quite a few times but I'm not getting much starch conversion. I'm trying to figure out whether it's my process or my adjunct.
If you gelatinize the starches properly and don't denature the enzymes, yes. Those enzymes should be all you need. Are the grains properly crushed? Are the enzymes old? Did you do a proper cereal mash? There are a lot of factors. Unmalted grains generally need higher temp for gelatinization than if they were malted.

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