ENZYMES, ATTENUATION CONTROL WITH SIBA
Attenuation is a key factor for the daily operations of a brewhouse, where RDF and ADF are used to describe the degree of fermentation of the worts produced. Measuring attenuation is important as brewers need to meet recipe specifications, and because different beer styles come with specific attenuation levels. An example is the production of low-calorie beers, also known as light beers, which have a high degree of attenuation requiring the use of exogenous glucoamylases.
However, it is somewhat challenging for the brewer to achieve predictable and targeted attenuation specifications. Not only the mashing parameters will influence the final degree of fermentation of the wort, but also malt quality will have a direct impact on this. Both malt gelatinization and diastatic power will have a saying in the attenuation of the wort, and often brewers need to cope with the fluctuating quality of the crop.
For this matter, the use of exogenous enzymes like glucoamylases has become a common practice to control attenuation, even when not producing high attenuation beers. Several factors will have an impact on the attenuation while using enzymes: type of enzymes, the enzymatic stability during the mashing process, and the mashing temperature and time. The complexity of accounting for all of these factors hence makes it complicated for the brewer to have full control over which enzymes to use, the necessary dosages, and how to compensate for the inherent variability of the malt quality.
With the Specshell In-line Brewing Analyzer (SIBA), the brewer can now have full control over the attenuation when using exogenous enzymes like glucoamylases. SIBA gives a live overview of the enzymatic activity using the degree of polymerization, glucose, and maltose and maltotriose concentrations of the mash. Based on these live parameters, the brewer can evaluate if the enzymatic activity is sufficient to achieve the targeted attenuation, or be critical about the enzymatic dosage used and meet the target without overdosing. The use of SIBA has become even more relevant with the current fluctuating malt quality, where the analyzer can be used as a warning to increase the glucoamylase dosages when the Fermentability Tool detects a decrease in the targeted attenuation without the need for any laboratory analysis.