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Old 04-04-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Benedict's Solution for Mash Conversion?

Anybody ever use Benedict's solution for testing mash conversion? It changes color with respect to the concentration of monosaccharides in solution, and I was thinking it might be a better test than iodine. Has anyone ever tried this, or do you have much experience with the solution that might indicate it would be a good/bad idea? It's not very expensive, and I was thinking about buying some on my last trip to the chemistry supply website.

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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If it only measures monosaccharides, I don't think it would be a useful test. Glucose only makes up 8-10% by weight of wort sugars. Now if there were a test to measure proportions of mono- AND disaccharides vs. dextrins, that would be useful to do post boil to predict attenuation.

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:37 PM   #3
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I use my tongue as a scientific instrument. I find it measures conversion quite well.

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
If it only measures monosaccharides, I don't think it would be a useful test. Glucose only makes up 8-10% by weight of wort sugars. Now if there were a test to measure proportions of mono- AND disaccharides vs. dextrins, that would be useful to do post boil to predict attenuation.
Actually, Benedict's solution reacts with any reducing sugar. This would include maltose. Where is the breakdown of wort sugars by weight?
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:14 PM   #5
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I found a website showing typical wort profiles here. If that's right, then about 90% of the fermentable sugars will react to the Benedict solution (all except maltotriose and sucrose). So, I assume Benedict's solution, at some concentration, might be a very good test.

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Old 04-04-2009, 08:04 PM   #6
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How exactly would this solution be of benefit? Wouldn't knowing that there is still starch present (iodine) work better? Just asking.

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Old 04-04-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Well, this brings up an interesting possibility. If there is an at-home way, whether with Benedict's solution or something else (or a combination of), to measure/calculate a proportion of unfermentable to fermentable sugars. That could be useful information for understanding how your brewhouse works in regards to mash and yeast performance.

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Old 04-04-2009, 10:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
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How exactly would this solution be of benefit? Wouldn't knowing that there is still starch present (iodine) work better? Just asking.
Two reasons...

First, iodine does not react with amylopectin (a branched starch). So, it does not entirely tell the whole truth of starch conversion.

Second, Benedict's solution will actually tell you the DEGREE of conversion since it has a whole range of colors. Iodine is basically binary...it's black or it's not.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketman768 View Post
Two reasons...

First, iodine does not react with amylopectin (a branched starch). So, it does not entirely tell the whole truth of starch conversion.

Second, Benedict's solution will actually tell you the DEGREE of conversion since it has a whole range of colors. Iodine is basically binary...it's black or it's not.
OK usefull to know.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:08 PM   #10
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I'll agree with that, any amount of movement from the aldehyde group to the hydroxyl group via the Benedict's reagent will cause a color change to a certain degree. Still....why not use our tongues :-)?

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