StillDragon® Community Forum


Be part of our community & join our international next generation forum now!

In this Discussion

Enzymes in a UJSM type wash

If you use enzymes in a wash and the wash is restarted.... are there still any enzymes in with the yeast bed or are all the enzymes expended and used up... I have never heard or read this question discussed in a previous post....

Would be interesting to hear what others thoughts are on this? I am thinking the enzymes are used up...but am not sure Do the enzymes propagate in any manner? or is it just a chemical reaction kind of thing? FS

I posted this on AD hoping Pintoshine would give me an idea, however would love to get the thoughts on this from our group here!



  • I always thought of enzymes as either a zipper or a PAC man. They slide down a long carbohydrate chain and chop it up into smaller sugars fermentable by the yeast. I don't think they re-propagate themselves. They certainly don't biologically. I'm pretty sure the starch would be the limiting reagent, so if you added additional starch the reaction should start back up so long as the enzymes weren't denatured by too much heat.

    The problem is that most ujsm isn't cooked and doesn't have the temperature rests where the enzymes would do their magic so I'm not sure if adding enzymes would do anything at all.

  • Yes - Its something I use, but I dont count on the enzymes still being around, they dont settle to the bottom after the ferment.

    So any wash you rack off, there they go!...

  • How much conversion would you actually get using enzymes in a UJ being there is no mashing? I don't imagine there would be a heap of starch extracted from the corn if it isn't mashed?

  • Ok here is what I do.

    1Hr before I want to 'mash' my corn I turn the temperature up on my house water heater to maximum.

    I then take hot water out of the pressure relief valve outlet, comes out at ~80c

    ~80c hot water, 'HI-Temp' enzymes and CORN (or other grain) is added to my fermenter.

    My fermenter is wrapped in an electric blanket and old bed doona, I turn the electric blanket on high.

    When the temp drops to 70c I add the 'normal' enzymes.

    Biggest problem with this setup is cooling 180L from ~65c down under 30c! It will stay over 60c for 12hrs and drop very slowly.

    I need to get a better cooling device for my next ferment, simple copper coil worm with water pumped thru it should do it.

  • FS i know you haven't got a proper answer to your question here or at Artisan, let me take an uninformed (the reason i haven't weighed in yet) stab.

    As mentioned earlier, enzymes are not a living thing like yeast, so will not reproduce. They are a chemical that's made as a byproduct of reactions either micobiologically or synthetically.

    As far as i see it those chemicals do all the things that have been explained in this thread, acting like chainsaws to chop the long chain sugars up etc, but they spend themselves in doing so. Just like the difference tween using baking soda to raise flour or yeast.

    1 tsp of Yeast will raise an indefinate amount of flour, so long as conditions are right because it will continue to grow. It'll raise a mountain if you keep feeding it.

    1 tsp of baking soda however will raise about 100 gm of flour as it uses a different method. The more flour you add the less the reaction is visible (although it still raises the same amount).

    I think of enzymes the same way, if you need 1ml per kilo to convert, then that 1ml will be used up doing that conversion and if you add another kilo there will be little conversion. So in your UJSM situation using yeast with a/g you'd have to keep adding it each time, not for the yeast, but for the a/g.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Thank you Punkin, that maybe the best answer of any that have responded to this question on any of the boards I posted it to.... Well thought out and concise

    And along the lines of my initial thoughts about it expending itself...


  • You are very welcome. Hopefully it's correct too :D

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Technically, enzymes are not used up. They can keep on performing their duties as long as the environment lets them. Enzymes are basically proteins that act as a catalyst to make a reaction occur. In this case, AG is a catalyst that breaks small sugars off of a larger chain.

    That said, enzymes are folded up in a very particular way. When the environment gets bad (too hot, acidic, basic, etc etc), or enough time has passed, the enzymes begin to unfold and stop working. This is "denaturing."

    Also, enzymes don't re-produce or generate themselves. They are made by a living cell. When we buy them, they have been purified from the original cells that made them. In a living cell, when a particular enzyme is denatured and more are needed, the cell just makes more.

    Some enzymes are very stable, while others denature if you look at them wrong. I believe that the AG variety are generally pretty stable. The "Hi-Temp" ones definitely are.

    I definitely don't know how long they stay good at fermenting temps, but my guess is that they'd be good for a week. They won't stay down in the yeast bed so you'd need to add more if you're just re-using dunder. But they should be good if you're just trying to add a little more grain to your fermentation a few days later.

    A quick way to test if your enzymes are still good is to take a few ml's of your fermentation and mix it up with some mash, and let it sit for a few minutes. If an iodine test shows that the starches are gone (ie, it does not turn dark purple), the enzymes are still rockin' and rollin'. If you're not sure if it turned dark or not, you could do the same iodine test on some mashed grain that has been mixed with pure water instead of a few mls of your fermentation. This reaction should be very dark because the starches are still there. You can compare the two to see if they're the same shade of purple or not.

Sign In or Register to comment.