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Old 03-24-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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Is anyone using Amylase Enzyme in their mash schedules to help bump up efficiency? I've had about 65% efficiency pretty steady and the local HBS recommended adding this to the mash... I've been hitting target temps in the 152 range but just having issue converting. This is supposed to help ensure that conversions happen.... anyone using it?

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Old 03-24-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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Conversion and efficiency are two different things. Conversion refers to converting the available starches to sugars. Efficiency is getting all the starches and sugars out of the grain (i.e. making the starches available to the enzymes)...the enzymes then convert whatever available starches there are. But if those starches are still 'trapped' in the grain...they aren't available for conversion.

I'd be surprised if it's a lack of enzymes unless you're using a ton of specialty malts and little base malt.

Who crushes your grain? If it's the LHBS then maybe that's it. My eff went from 75% to 83% just by crushing my own...then I tightened the gap on the crusher and it went up to 88%. No other changes...just the crush.

Another big efficiency loss is in the lauter/sparge. You may just need to tweek your process.

Between the crush and your lauter...I'll bet you could increase your efficiency quite a bit.

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Old 03-24-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Yeah, Amylase is really only used when you are trying to convert a lot of specialty grains (flaked wheat, oats, honey malt, etc) and your base malt is not high in enzymes (some Munich malts for example).

Can be usefull for a PM brewer that wants to use a non-coverting grain in their recipe without using a base malt along side it. Canadian Malting Liquid Extract (sold in giant bins to ubrews) has amylase added to it, making it a diastatic malt extract.

Also used to convert potatoes, corn, rice, etc for er.. experimental reasons. Usually sold along with an abundence of coiled copper tubing...

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:22 PM   #4
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Try increasing the amount of mash water you are using by 25-50%. Homebrewers tend to mash very thick. I was over at a Fermentation Sciences demo Sunday and they said most of their mashes are 5:1 and they rarely go below 3:1. Dropping from 5:1 to 3:1 costs them about 9% in extraction efficiency.

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