The Brewing Process

In summary, the brewing process involves mashing, fermentation, and maturation processes. Beers are brewed using malted grain only or a blend of malted grain and adjunct, depending on the region. The grain used in the process is generally barley, wheat, or sometimes rye.

The cost of malt is high, brewers generally add an adjunct to minimize costs. Some brewers used a proportion of 20-30% that could be converted by natural enzymes present in the malt. Over the years, raw material cost pressures and tough competition resulted in a new demand for increasing adjunct proportion but the mashing process was compromised. The introduction of commercial enzymes to this process was a perfect fit for many breweries. The application of commercial enzymes brought technical and economic benefits such as:-

• Better control of the brewing processes

• Faster production resulting in increased capacity

• Potential for new and different beer types

• Use of cheaper and unconventional raw materials

In the traditional beer (opaque) brewing process, the use of malt is minimal (depending on the region), the bulk of the mash is composed of maize grits or maize meal which in its natural form cannot produce fermentable sugars. The heat-stable alpha-amylase enzyme is used to hydrolyze starch into dextrins and an additional step of saccharification is also needed to hydrolyze dextrins into fermentable sugars. In the latter process, an enzyme called amyloglucosidase (AMG) is used to achieve the required level of fermentable sugars to be used in the fermentation process.

The following enzymes are used in the brewing process:

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