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Old 03-31-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
forces
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Default Using powdered alpha amylase

From what I understand, using alpha amylase in primary fermentation will convert dextrines into fermentable maltose and dextrose. Maybe not all of it, but some at least, right?

How does that work? I've read multiple places that alpha amylase works at temps between roughly 152 and 160 degrees... That's why we heat the mash water to specific temps (at least to a temp where A. amylase and B. amylase are both able to work). Why/ how does the powdered stuff skirt these temp requirements? Or is my understanding the application of supplemental alpha amylase all out of whack?


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Old 03-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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I read about this once too, not to long ago. Our mash temp has a lot to do with activating the enzymes. Maybe adding powered concentrated a. amylase allows enough of it to work. Only a guess though.


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Old 03-31-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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Good question, not sure, but 150F is probably where they work the fastest. At fermentation temps they probably still work but very slowly. I've used AE and it does work but it takes a week or so to convert sugars and ferment out. Do a search for "Escape from Stuck Fermentation Mountain" and you'll find my thread.

If you mashed for a week at room temp you would have a very sour beer.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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AA is good if your fermentation hits a "wall" because there are no fermentable sugars left but there's still longer chain sugars around keeping your gravity up. Usually this happens with higher g extract beers or AGs where your mash didn't go as planned.

It's also good for boosting the diastatic power of your mash if it's a little low.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
Good question, not sure, but 150F is probably where they work the fastest. At fermentation temps they probably still work but very slowly. I've used AE and it does work but it takes a week or so to convert sugars and ferment out. Do a search for "Escape from Stuck Fermentation Mountain" and you'll find my thread.

If you mashed for a week at room temp you would have a very sour beer.
I just read about your experience with it. It's here if anyone else is interested.

Sounds like heat (in a mash) might just drives the reaction faster if it took collectively 6 days to drop your beer from 1.030 to 1.012 after adding the AE.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:28 PM   #6
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I've used it when brewing an ultra "light" ale. Low gravity and hit it with a teaspoon or so of amylase enzyme for the last week of a 3 week primary. It boosts the alcohol a touch and lightens the body a bit.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
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A master brewer once old me a tab of beano would do the same thing. Allow a beer to ferment all the way by breaking down more complex sugars. Any one try this?
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Old 04-03-2012, 09:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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A master brewer once old me a tab of beano would do the same thing. Allow a beer to ferment all the way by breaking down more complex sugars. Any one try this?
Beano is a different enzyme and it will go too far. You want to leave some of the sugars. To learn much more about Beano and gas (it is truly educational), check out University of Gas.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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I do remember him saying "its guna make it really really dry, but if your stuck at 1.025+ it may be better then what you have" but I never tried it.


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