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Old 10-06-2005, 12:22 AM   #1
cdew4545
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Default Sugars Sugars Sugars

I have a few coneptual questions abouts sugars....
I know a fair amount I already I suppose. I know about monosaccharides, disaccharides, etc. I also know that yeasts can only metabolize certain sugars as well.

1) are disaccharides the most complex sugars yeast can metabolize?
2) do yeasts react equally with mono/disaccharides and also the different isomers? or better...would pure maltose or pure sucrose would yield the same effect?
3) do yeasts metabolize all of the sugar in a batch of beer, or if there is an overloaded amount where metabolizing it all would take forever. (assuming you have enough yeast propagated already so as not to have a slow fermentation from the crabtree effect)
4) Does yeast only rely on sugar for fermentation? (if you throw so yeast in some water with dissolved table sugar will it produce alcohol? not that this experiment is worth anything)

anything else you feel like stating for knowledge purposes would be great.

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Old 10-06-2005, 04:25 PM   #2
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I'm going off the top of my head here:

Yeast metabolize monosaccharides better then disaccharides, which I was under the impression that they don't handle as well. I am unsure if different isomers of the above are handled differently by yeast or not, as I don't recall ever reading a comparison.

Yeast use oxygen or sugar to function. Once oxygen supply has run out, the yeast switch to anerobic function, producing CO2 and ethanol from sugars.

One nice thing is that with all-grain, you can control the ratios of the different sugars produced from the malted grains. Different mashing temperatures activate seperate enzymes, which in turn produce different suger molecules from the grain starches.

Here's a decent article from BYO that covers the different enzymes.

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Old 10-08-2005, 02:33 AM   #3
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Good post LupusUmbrus. This will help alot of AGer's.

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Old 10-08-2005, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LupusUmbrus
I'm going off the top of my head here:
Showoff.

Thanks for the article...I for one need to read up on those things. It's nice to know why we do the things we do.
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:58 PM   #5
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After further research, it looks like my earlier assessment of how yeast react and use different types of sugars was partially incorrect.

Since alot of this relates better to the all grain process, and I have a related topic in the AG forums, I'm leaving a link here to that post.

Fermentability - mashing, the sugars produced, and how yeast eat them

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Old 10-18-2005, 06:44 PM   #6
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Yeasts will consume sugar until the alcohol content is too high for them to continue. Most ale yeasts "hit the wall" around 7-8% ABV. Wine yeasts can go as high as 15-16%. Saki and distiller's yeasts can handle 18-22% (I've seen claims of 24%, but not on a commercial product) An 8K distiller's yeast will eat its' way through 8KG of sucrose per 25 liters of water. In all cases, if there is sugar left over, there's sugar left over.

A distiller's yeast can live on water and sucrose, but a commercial yeast food can give you a better/faster ferment. I'm going to try some to finish my next batch of barley wine. I'll split the batch after the primary fermentation and use 8K on half and champaign yeast on the other half. Both a neutral yeasts, but the 8K should finish much faster.

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Old 10-18-2005, 06:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Most ale yeasts "hit the wall" around 7-8% ABV.
Is this independent of the pitching rate, or will a higher pitching rate help reach the higher abv's?
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Old 10-18-2005, 06:50 PM   #8
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independent. the high alcohol content kills the yeast (or maybe it just shuts it down). Either way, the yeast stop working in those conditions, no matter how many of them are in there.

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Old 11-04-2005, 01:10 PM   #9
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Two solutions to turn sugar into easily fermentable sugar:

Alpha-amylase enzymes will break down the unfermentable sugars to make sure that everything is fermentable. Of course, these may take up to three hours to completely work at below 140 degrees. Above 140 deactivates them.

Koji (Apsergillus Oryzae) is used to make japanese rice wine, and will convert sugars in ten-twenty minutes at 100 to 120 degrees.

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Old 11-04-2005, 02:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The happy mug
Two solutions to turn sugar into easily fermentable sugar:

Alpha-amylase enzymes will break down the unfermentable sugars to make sure that everything is fermentable. Of course, these may take up to three hours to completely work at below 140 degrees. Above 140 deactivates them.

Koji (Apsergillus Oryzae) is used to make japanese rice wine, and will convert sugars in ten-twenty minutes at 100 to 120 degrees.
You're on the right track there.

Beta-amylse gives you you're most fermentable wort, optimal temps ranging from 140 - 149 degrees. Only catch is that it requires the starches to be broken down a little before it can work on them.

Alpha-amylse produces you unfermentable sugars. It also does the initial breaking down of starches required by Beta. Optimal temps are around 154 - 159 degrees.

Note that both enzymes are active outside their optimal temp ranges, but do not work as quickly.
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