When planning to build your own brewery, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. These include brewery technology, brewery configuration, brewery costs and prices, licensing and regulation, and more. In the production of brewing equipment, there are three important processes: germination, mash, and fermentation. Saccharification, which plays a crucial role, will be discussed today by our team of engineers and winemakers.
The Purpose of Saccharification
Saccharification is the process of converting starch into sugars and dextrins using enzymes in a saccharification plant. This process is essential in the formation of wort, a sugary solution that is later fermented into beer. By utilizing various hydrolytic enzymes found in malt, insoluble macromolecular substances present in malt and auxiliary materials are broken down into soluble low molecular substances. This breakdown process is known as saccharification.
The purpose of saccharification is to decompose and extract raw materials, allowing the soluble substances to dissolve as much as possible. Under the action of enzymes, insoluble substances become soluble, resulting in a certain amount of fermentable sugar. This provides yeast with nutrients and contributes to the flavors of the final beer.
Enzymes in Beer
The necessary enzymes for the transformation process are already present in the final malt. The malting process generates enzymes, with two main enzymes being crucial for brewing – alpha-amylase and beta-amylase.
Alpha-amylase breaks down large, complex, insoluble starch molecules into smaller soluble molecules, which are then used by beta-amylase. It remains stable in the hot aqueous mash and converts starch into soluble sugars within a temperature range of 145°F to 158°F. It is important to note that as the temperature increases, denaturation occurs more rapidly, causing the enzymes to become inactive within five minutes. Pouring the grain into hotter brewing water to compensate for temperature drops can also lead to problems. Even a few seconds of exposure to heat can negatively impact enzyme activity, so it is crucial to lower the temperature promptly.
Beta-amylase is another mash enzyme responsible for breaking down starch and producing soluble sugars. It converts maltose, glucose, and maltose from starch breakdown. These enzymes aid in creating lighter substances and increased alcohol content. They are most active within a temperature range of 131°F to 149°F. As the temperature approaches 149°F, these enzymes work quickly but are prone to denaturing. In summary, maintaining the mash within the beta-amylase temperature range ensures a higher proportion of fermentable sugars, particularly maltose.
In the commercial brewing process, various types of brewing equipment and transfer equipment are designed, creating opportunities to manage and optimize fluid transfer. This leads to the production of more delicious craft brews. Our team of engineers and brewers shared their knowledge and techniques on mashing. We hope that this information will assist brewers in their quest for a well-planned brewery. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
If you are planning to open or expand your brewery, we offer turnkey solutions for brewery equipment. You can directly contact us for custom-designed brewery equipment based on your brewing process. We provide complete turnkey solutions and customized options for brewery expansion.