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Old 03-11-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
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So as I sit here watching America's Test Kitchen, I realized something. As a banana ripens, the starch is converted to sugar. I assume this is through enzymatic activity but I don't really know. So my question is can you take a bunch of bananas, mash (squish) them to get easier access to the starch and mash them instead of or in conjunction with 2-row?


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Old 03-11-2012, 01:37 AM   #2
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Well, I've never used bananas in beer. But I make banana wine (recipe is posted). It's like any other fruit- the sugars are simple sugars (fructose) and easily fermented by ale or wine yeast. But it wouldn't have the diastastic power (enzymes) to convert other substances. It'd be like adding pineapple to a mash- simple sugars, not amylase.


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Old 03-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Well, I've never used bananas in beer. But I make banana wine (recipe is posted). It's like any other fruit- the sugars are simple sugars (fructose) and easily fermented by ale or wine yeast. But it wouldn't have the diastastic power (enzymes) to convert other substances. It'd be like adding pineapple to a mash- simple sugars, not amylase.
Banana wine sounds awesome!

But it seems that as a fruit ripens, amalyase is actually present (either in the peel or in the fruit itself). I don't know how much I trust this source, but it references two enzymes, amalyase and pectinase.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/scienc...Sci_p063.shtml

Now, any beer created from this would most likely have no body because, as you said, the sugar present would be fructose. But it would be fermentable...in theory. The difficult thing, as far as I can tell, is getting the starches to dissolve in water and getting the enzymes out of the fruit. I'm not sure it would actually add anything to the beer, but it may be a little...unique, if very water-like.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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I bottled a beer a couple weeks ago that had real banana in it. Maybe 2#, I didn't weigh it. You can definately get the banana note in the beer. And not an extracty presence. A real fruit presence. I wasn't thinking when I did it though... It was in the freezer being saved for baking banana bread, and I didn't thaw it and treat it with metabisulphite first. I think I got some wild yeast character....belgian soury....something "different"

I just threw it in the primary and racked the beer off the banana a week later. Let if finish fermenting (I thought), then put it out in the cold to clear it out a bit. Racked, primed and bottled. I think there is still some fermenting going on in the bottles though. I ran into one last night that foamed over a bit, not rocket foam, but I probably should've let this one have more time in secondary.


 
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Looks like you're right about the amylase linky. All I have access to is the abstract... I do know that ripening is controlled by the amount of ethylene the fruit is exposed to - I'm sure the amylase is activated by same...

Try it - do a weizen with a few pounds of bannana and report back. I'm sure the mash'll be a blast.



That said, I don't know that I'd count on the enzymes from the


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