Can an enzyme such as amylase survive within a fermenting liquid (like beer)?

June 21, 2014

Question by Now: Can an enzyme such as amylase survive within a fermenting liquid (like beer)?
And can it continue to do it’s job – breaking down a starch such as oatmeal?

Best answer:

Answer by William
The alpha amylase enzymes could probably still remain active in the beer while it’s fermenting but they are denatured above 167 degrees Farenheit. Even if you didn’t boil the beer, which is necessary for utilizing hops, there is a steep decline in amylase activity past 60 minutes into the mash. By the 12-24 hours it would take the yeast to start fermentation the enzymes wouldn’t really be doing there jobs very well, if at all.

Also, the temperature at which yeast ferments is far lower (70ish degrees) than the temperature range of the beta and alpha enzymes (140ish to 167degrees).

If you’re interested in getting the greatest amount of starches converted into fermentable sugars, try mashing at 145 degrees for 40 minutes then raise the mash temperature to 157 degrees for 20 minutes. If you don’t have the ability to do multiple rests, mash at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. You’ll have to find the optimum activity range for beta amylase and use the lowest temperature. It doesn’t hurt to mash for longer as long as you’re not losing temperature.

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