I'm hoping that some homebrewers with experience using amylase enzyme may be able to provide some feedback on their experience, and whether it is close to mine...please read on...
On 6/19, I brewed a winter warmer w/spices, thinking that if I brewed early in the year, I would be able to let it age sufficiently before the winter. Everything went well with the mash/boil/etc, but the fermentation stopped at 1.030 after about 4 days of fermentation and didn't budge after about 2 more weeks in the primary. (OG=1.087, est. FG=1.020). I had a previous beer (imperial stout) that also stopped at 1.030 as well. On that one, I bottled it at that point. It was good, but very thick and sweet. I was hoping not to have this one to turn out quite like that.
So, I conducted the typical ministrations...roused yeast, pitched more yeast, brought to a warmer room, all to no avail. Still stuck at 1.030. I know many will say it's best just to chalk it up as a learning experience and bottle at that point. Perhaps another option would have been to let it sit for another month or so to see if it kicked back in. I did that the last time, as mentioned above, and so I wanted to try something different on this one. I then started reading some posts on amylase enzyme, and decided to give it a shot (no, I did not use beano).
So, with beer temp at about 70 deg. F, I swirled in 1/2 tsp of amylase enzyme and let it sit. About 24 hours later, I had some action on the airlock. This was on 7/9. Lo and behold, it kept going...and going...and going. I measured gravity on 7/14, 1.024...wow...noticeable improvement! So I let it keep going. I was getting a burble in the airlock at about every 5-6 seconds at this point. Another reading today measured 1.016. This is well below the estimate. My winter warmer is now at about 9.3% abv
Now, for me, the abv increase isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm pleased that the gravity is getting down to a more desireable range. The airlock is slowing down (yes, I know this isn't a substitute for the hydrometer, but it's a quick visual sign of activity), so that's nice to see. I imagine I'll need to leave it alone for another couple weeks or so just to make sure it's finished before bottling.
What I'm most concerned about is what might happen to the flavor, mouthfeel, etc... since fermentation has been so active after this addition. I really didn't expect FG to get this low. I didn't see in my forum searches that there was an outcry regarding negative experiences with adding this enzyme, so hopefully I didn't miss anything. Has anyone had a similar experience? If so, how did the addition of amylase enzyme affect the end result? Any unwanted flavors? Did it require a longer time to mature? If not, then I suppose I'll just wait and see for myself in a few months
Thanks in advance...