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Old 09-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #2821
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Yeah, it is not mentioned on the package. Mostly likely the yeast is sweet yeast.

The 'La' yeast can get high alcohol level, near 20%. So, the best way to know is the end result: the wine is 'dry' and not-sweet.

So what happens when the molds continue breaking down the starches into sugars after the 20% alc level has been reached? You can have the most powerful yeast on the market, but it can only stand alc levels to what it's designed. If there's sugars still left, you're going to get a sweet wine with a high level of alcohol. That's why you can have sweet meads even using champaign yeasts. Use more honey than the yeast can eat.

I believe what many are seeing here is very high alc content rice wine that is still very sweet. The yeast has reached it's max alcohol tolerance, but there's still lots of sugars left.
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Sorry if I'm rambling. Vicodin, Flexeril, mead and rice wine are a nasty combination. I highly recommend it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:30 PM   #2822
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I was wondering the same thing.

Unless, the molds that break down the rice die off due to the alcohol %. Once that happens, the sugar volume should level off right?

So the question in my mind becomes, what is the alcohol tolerance of the mold?

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Old 09-12-2013, 01:19 AM   #2823
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I was wondering the same thing.

Unless, the molds that break down the rice die off due to the alcohol %. Once that happens, the sugar volume should level off right?

So the question in my mind becomes, what is the alcohol tolerance of the mold?
A good question. Does the alcohol cause the mold to go dormant? Maybe the mold goes into high gear while the yeast is still idling on the line, and they stop together, but the mold made more sugar along the way?

Alcohol isn't really that good of a disinfectant, so my guess, just from seeing fairly regularly that all the rice has been converted to a mush ball, is that it laughs at 20% alcohol and keeps converting until there's no more starch to eat. Just my uneducated, slightly inebriated guess though..
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Sorry if I'm rambling. Vicodin, Flexeril, mead and rice wine are a nasty combination. I highly recommend it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:50 AM   #2824
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Really great to know that I've basically been using double the amount of ARL than I really need to. I can begin to scale it to what is needed. Thanks LG for an outstanding experiment and documentation to go along with it. In addition, your tasting notes are right on. I've been able to produce smooth, great tasting wine and now I'm looking forward to trying the vanilla bean idea.

If you decide to do further test batches, please share. I've got about 6 mason jars just begging me for tests. My next full scale gallon size batch will be ARL with Red Yeast Rice since the test batch worked out so well.
Oh, there shall definitely be more experiments. The initial one for the ARL ratio was just to establish an appropriate pitch rate for ARL. The next experiment I have planned is to do essentially a re-run of the grains experiment only with ARL. Though, I am planning on omitting both the wheat berries and the brown rice. Those were both abysmal failures.

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Originally Posted by jak1010 View Post
I was wondering the same thing.

Unless, the molds that break down the rice die off due to the alcohol %. Once that happens, the sugar volume should level off right?

So the question in my mind becomes, what is the alcohol tolerance of the mold?
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A good question. Does the alcohol cause the mold to go dormant? Maybe the mold goes into high gear while the yeast is still idling on the line, and they stop together, but the mold made more sugar along the way?

Alcohol isn't really that good of a disinfectant, so my guess, just from seeing fairly regularly that all the rice has been converted to a mush ball, is that it laughs at 20% alcohol and keeps converting until there's no more starch to eat. Just my uneducated, slightly inebriated guess though..
It should be possible to find out. I'll considering adding another experiment to my setup.

Basically, it would involve cooking the rice, letting it cool, Inoculating it, and then adding a 20% alcohol solution until you cover the rice. Granted, you will actually have a slightly lower alcohol solution as soon as the starch starts saccharification. Both from the sugar introduced and the water released from the rice. If the biological component of this process is unable to tolerate alcohol levels that high, very little conversion of the starch in the rice should occur. You should get some degree of conversion from leftover amylase enzyme present in your inoculation, but I doubt it would be significant.

I have data from other experiments that shows that the bug that is breaking down the starch is perfectly happy being submerged.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:43 AM   #2825
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Like Everclear and water? 1 part everclear and 3 parts water?

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Old 09-12-2013, 02:47 AM   #2826
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Like Everclear and water? 1 part everclear and 3 parts water?
Yeah, pretty much. That ratio would give you a solution of 22.5% alcohol. So it should simulate a finished rice wines high side for alcohol tolerance. If the alcohol is going to shut down the saccharification, it should do so immediately.
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Old 09-12-2013, 04:45 AM   #2827
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Basically, it would involve cooking the rice, letting it cool, Inoculating it, and then adding a 20% alcohol solution until you cover the rice.
Another way would be to innoculate different percentages of alcohol, then taking the alcohol and try to mash some rice with it and testing for conversion. It's easier to determine that there is no amylase activity as opposed to some, very little, more or less.
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You should get some degree of conversion from leftover amylase enzyme present in your inoculation, but I doubt it would be significant.
Why would you think that? When we make beer, we mash for an hour or so to get complete conversion. When we chew up our pasta, we do it for minutes. I suspect that the fungus produces amylase and there isn't anything in the fermenter that denatures the amylase so it just keeps converting the starch. But I really have no idea if this is actually what happens.

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I have data from other experiments that shows that the bug that is breaking down the starch is perfectly happy being submerged.
Was the bug submerged completely before it had a chance to produce amylase.

I was chewing (see what i did there?) on my theory and did a little searching but didn't get too far into it. The first is a graph on saliva amylase activity vs. temperature. Don't discount the source as a poster later in the thread points to a peer reviewed dental publication that has the same information.

From the graph, it appears that amylase is active at lower than mashing or body temperatures and is actually more active at room temperature than at body temperature.

The second link is one of those, how'd I stumble on that google freebies. It talks about denaturing stabilization tests on Aspergillus oryzae alpha-amylase. It's only the abstract but read the last two words first. It would appear that alpha-amylase gets denatured at some rate at the listed alcohol percentage.

So if the fungus produces amylase, I think that amylase hangs around and keeps on doing it's thing for a long time. Instead of giving it an hour to convert the starch, we are giving it days and days. But like I said, I don't know what is really happening there.


http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=61243.0
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1209773
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:07 AM   #2828
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Another way would be to innoculate different percentages of alcohol, then taking the alcohol and try to mash some rice with it and testing for conversion. It's easier to determine that there is no amylase activity as opposed to some, very little, more or less.
That would work too. The point being to expose the biological components of the process to an 20%ish solution of alcohol immediately.
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Why would you think that? When we make beer, we mash for an hour or so to get complete conversion. When we chew up our pasta, we do it for minutes. I suspect that the fungus produces amylase and there isn't anything in the fermenter that denatures the amylase so it just keeps converting the starch. But I really have no idea if this is actually what happens.
I find it hard to believe that any process that propagates an organism that produces amylase would not have any residual amylase in it. Therefore, I would have to assume the presence of some amylase in the rice yeast balls and/or ARL. Some conversion would occur from that residual, but nothing like what would happen with an active biological process that continues to produce amylase.

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Was the bug submerged completely before it had a chance to produce amylase.
Yes. The batch was actually a cooked mass of somewhat soupy red rice wine. That batch used both rice yeast balls and RYR. From my own observations, I do not believe the RYR contributes much to the saccharification process. It seems to act more to inhibit acid producing bacterial growth and to add certain flavor and color compounds. In addition, in sake production, fairly substantial amounts of water are added during the process. The initial rice portion has been inoculated while merely damp, but I rather doubt that you would get so much conversion if the aspergillus oryzae was have issues with the amount of water.

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Originally Posted by dgr View Post
I was chewing (see what i did there?) on my theory and did a little searching but didn't get too far into it. The first is a graph on saliva amylase activity vs. temperature. Don't discount the source as a poster later in the thread points to a peer reviewed dental publication that has the same information.

From the graph, it appears that amylase is active at lower than mashing or body temperatures and is actually more active at room temperature than at body temperature.

The second link is one of those, how'd I stumble on that google freebies. It talks about denaturing stabilization tests on Aspergillus oryzae alpha-amylase. It's only the abstract but read the last two words first. It would appear that alpha-amylase gets denatured at some rate at the listed alcohol percentage.

So if the fungus produces amylase, I think that amylase hangs around and keeps on doing it's thing for a long time. Instead of giving it an hour to convert the starch, we are giving it days and days. But like I said, I don't know what is really happening there.


http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=61243.0
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1209773
That's a reasonable supposition. So, even if little to no saccharification is measured that may be due to the denaturing of the amylase. As opposed to the halting of a biological process.

Even with that possibility, I believe it's an experiment worth running.

I'm to tired to read those right now, I'll bookmark them for later.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:15 PM   #2829
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I posted a new thread in the Sake forum named "Yeast Trouble". Responses are appreciated.

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Old 09-12-2013, 11:46 PM   #2830
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I posted a new thread in the Sake forum named "Yeast Trouble". Responses are appreciated.
OK.. First, why are you in the sake forum asking rice wine questions? 2nd, why didn't you just post a link for lazy drunk people like me? lol.
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