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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: brewsumore on May 17, 2022, 05:54:10 pm

Title: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: brewsumore on May 17, 2022, 05:54:10 pm
I got distracted and inserted a couple Bo Pils brewing practices for an AG German Pils that I brewed yesterday.  That is, in BCS, Jamil recommends mashing low (147F) for a German Pils and use no crystal malts, so you hit the crispness that would be detracted by residual sweetness of a hotter mash temp.  Makes total sense.  But trust me, I got distracted and mistakenly applied a Bo Pils approach in my German Pils, as follows. 

That is, for a 10-gallon batch my first mistake was that I added 1.5 lb CaraPils along with 20 lb pilsner malt + 1 lb melanoidin for the grist (so added a little body malt).  The good thing about the CaraPils is that it doesn't normally impart sweetness, only body. 

The doozy was instead of mashing low, I mashed at 154F (90 minutes - batch sparge - EOM mash temp 152F).  The chilled wort came in at 1.051 SG, pretty much spot on since target was 1.050.

Otherwise the brewday went awesome: I had a mash pH ~5.3, kettle pH of ~5.2, and my water profile was very close to the one recommended by Kai for German Pils.

Last night after brewing I quick ordered some glucoamylase (will arrive tomorrow) and was thinking I would add just enough (1/8 tsp) to both of my fermenters (each holding 5.5 gal wort) in which the ferment is just getting going at 50F.  It should be a good ferment: temp controlled, pitched last night with a good pitch (36 grams per fermenter) of Cellar Science German dry yeast/aerated/with Wyeast nutrient during the boil. 

In my experience, this tiny amount of added amylase should just slightly reduce the FG, so that I will end up, hopefully, around 1.009 FG instead of 1.012 or so, and that will yield a beer that is to style (low residual sweetness) and much more quaffable.  And there should be very little flavor impact to the finished beer.

Since I don't have a ton of experience with adding amylase (3-4 times previously) I'm just curious if you think this is the best approach, or if you think that the glucoamylase would reduce flavor quality and so be less enjoyable than just letting the ferment go as is until completion.

Thank you.
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: majorvices on May 17, 2022, 06:42:42 pm
Personally? I'd just stick with what you get and only ever use enzymes if you desperately need a rescue (or are distilling).
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: brewsumore on May 17, 2022, 08:37:32 pm
Personally? I'd just stick with what you get and only ever use enzymes if you desperately need a rescue (or are distilling).

Thanks Major.  I'll wait a bit to see if someone else chimes in, but will likely heed your advice.
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: chinaski on May 18, 2022, 06:31:02 am
Sounds like you have two fermenters going now with the same wort/yeast?  Why not add the enzyme just to one and see if it does what you think.  Then you could either dose the other later (or not), or blend the two, or keep them separate, etc. and learn.  I've brewed "mix-in" batches to correct things like high FG on occasion which is similar to this approach.

Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: denny on May 18, 2022, 08:50:42 am
Personally? I'd just stick with what you get and only ever use enzymes if you desperately need a rescue (or are distilling).

THIS.
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: brewsumore on May 18, 2022, 10:36:44 pm
Gentlemen, thank you.  I decided that I will not be adding any amylase to my fermenting beer.
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: brewsumore on June 05, 2022, 12:27:44 am
So, I kegged the beer tonight and it is delicious - no noticeably off-style residual sweetness even if it isn't dry as a bone, and actually the little extra body/mouthfeel is very enjoyable.  It finished at 1.012.  The beer still falls within the 2021 BJCP guidelines - well except one point higher than the top end for OG.

Thanks a bunch for helping me not overthink this.

I saved the yeast slurry and am brewing 10 gal of Oktoberfest tomorrow to re-use it.  I really like the Cellar Science German Lager dry yeast.  And it is highly flocculant which is very nice - there was no need to cold crash from the 50F ferment temp prior to kegging the beer.

Cheers!  A wise man once said "RDWHAHB!"
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 05, 2022, 05:47:55 am
Glad it turned out for you.

In my travels in Germany i have observed that not all German Pilsners are uniformly bone dry.
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: dmtaylor on June 05, 2022, 05:58:57 am
Homebrewers need to stop fixing stuff that ain't broken.  Save your enzyme for when that happens, or for when you know you want a bone dry beer (like saison).  Otherwise never use it.
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: Bel Air Brewing on June 05, 2022, 06:17:20 am
Homebrewers need to stop fixing stuff that ain't broken.  Save your enzyme for when that happens, or for when you know you want a bone dry beer (like saison).  Otherwise never use it.

^^^ This ^^^
Title: Re: yes or no: add glucoamylase to my fermenting pilsner
Post by: MNWayne on June 09, 2022, 09:25:47 am
It is common in the homebrewer community to overthink a situation and try to correct it.  Remember what Charlie said... Relax, don't worry....