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Amylase, Beta Glucanase, and Specialty Grains


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Howdy, first time poster here.

I just did my first 20 gallon mash, and I had terrible conversion. Did a little bit of poking around and found that there were a number of things that I could have done better -- including adding amylase, and beta glucanase to the mix.

Two questions:

1) Does amylase, at a certain concentration, add any flavors to a mash/wash?

2) Can you buy beta glucanase (I couldn't find anything other than 10kg for $500) in an amount more practical for a small operator? Or am I misunderstanding something -- namely, am I confused in thinking that you can add beta glucanase, as opposed to just doing a beta glucanase "rest"?

Thank you!

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I plan to offer all needed enzymes in sizes small enough for small operators. What the enzyme companies have discovered is, there are a lot of small distilleries popping up, but they only offer five gallon pails of product. Well, it will go bad before being used, not to mention the cost. I will announce as soon as I have product available. As far as the question posed by the original poster, amylase will not add to the flavor. A beta glucan rest will help a lot, if you add malt or have a beta glucanase. I read lots of posts about distillers scorching or having rye stick in the still. This only happens if the mashing procedure was not carried out right. To keep from sticking, you need a beta glucan rest. This is true for wheat and bourbon with more than 20 percent of rye or wheat in the mashbill.

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Hey OP,

1. Has been answered sufficiently already, but to rehash "No, you cannot really add too much amylase..." within reason. If you want to add 10kg of amylase to a 20 gallon mash that would probably not be a good idea.

Cost effectiveness is the main reason why not to add too much enzyme.

2. The difference between a beta-glucan rest and adding exogenous beta-glucanase.

When people refer to a "rest" or the like, it is generally (not always) in reference to using malted grain as an enzyme source. Malted barley being the most common. Malted barley has several enzymes that activate at different temperature ranges and pHs, hence different "rest" temperatures etc. Make sure that you factor in the amount of malt being used in proportion to the rest of the mash when calculating the time of the rest. 5% malt (of the total mash bill) will require longer period of conversion or "resting" than 10% malt, and so on.

When adding enzymes from a manufacturer, you need only work within the stated pH and temperature range on the product data sheet for the given enzyme. It will tell you the optimum temp and pH, as well as a range to not go outside of usually.

Good luck!


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