Saccharification of starch-containing raw materials with malt and enzymes - Alcohol and Tradition
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Saccharification of starch-containing raw materials with malt and enzymes

как осахаривать зерно

Yeast needs sugar to produce alcohol. In cereals, it is contained in the form of starch-a polysaccharide consisting of chains of glucose, fructose and sucrose molecules. Yeast feeds only on monosaccharides (one molecule), so before laying the braga, the molecular chain of starch must be divided into separate molecules, otherwise there will be no fermentation.

Saccharification is the process of splitting starch-containing raw materials (flour, cereals, potatoes, etc.) to simple sugars under the influence of natural (from malt) or artificial (synthetic) enzymes. Due to the temperature characteristics of the technology, the first method is called hot saccharification, the second – cold.

In most cases, grain raw materials are cheaper than pure sugar, so even taking into account the lower yield, it is profitable to make braga from cereals, and the taste of grain distillate is much more pleasant than sugar. The theoretical yield of absolute alcohol from different types of grain crops is presented in the table.

Raw materials Alcohol, ml / kg
Wheat 430
Barley 350
Rye 360
Corn 450
Oats 280
Peas 240
Millet 380
Rice 530
Pea 390
Potato 140
Starch 710
Sugar 640

Attention! These are theoretical values, and alcohol losses of up to 15% are possible at home.

Hot saccharification with malt

A classic method that has been used for centuries. In a humid environment, the grain sprouts, which activates the necessary enzymes that can process starch. Sprouted to a certain state, the grain is called malt, which is of two types: green and white.

Green malt is used for saccharification of raw materials immediately after the appearance of sprouts of optimal length, but it is stored for up to 3 days. If the sprouted grain is dried, you will get a white malt that can be stored much longer. Both types cope with their task with the same efficiency.

The advantage of saccharification with malt is that it takes a few hours to get sugar, as a result, the braga will play faster than with the addition of artificial enzymes.

But this method has a number of drawbacks:

  • we need a high temperature at which the raw material can burn;
  • it is required to maintain a stable temperature (60-72°C) for several hours, which is sometimes difficult at home;
  • sugared wort is subject to rapid souring.

The technology of saccharification of malt

1. Slowly pour the grits or flour with water 50-55°C, stirring constantly, so that no lumps form. For 1 kg of raw materials, 4-5 liters of water are required. Fill the container no more than 75%.

2. Raise the temperature to 60°C and maintain for 15 minutes.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Depending on the raw material, cook for 60-120 minutes until a homogeneous porridge-like mass is obtained. Flour is cooked less, cereals-longer.

4. Cool the porridge to 63-70°C, add the crushed malt (150 grams per 1 kg of raw material), stirring constantly.

5. When reaching 61-65°C, cover the container with a lid and wrap it in any available way to keep it warm. Maintain the specified temperature for 2-4 hours. For the first 50% of the time interval, mix every 30 minutes.

6. To prevent the raw material from turning sour, reduce the temperature to 25°C as quickly as possible, add yeast (usually 5 grams dry or 25 grams pressed per 1 kg of raw material), install a water seal and put it to ferment in a dark place with room temperature. Braga will play in 2-6 days.

горячее осахаривание сырья

Temperature control is the basis of the process
If the temperature regime is not observed, saccharification will not occur or will be incomplete, reheating is useless, since the enzymes will lose their activity. The proportions of water, malt and yeast are approximate, the exact values and cooking time intervals depend on the recipe and the type of raw material.

Cold saccharification with enzymes

The malt can be replaced by two enzymes Amilosubtilin and Glucosamine. The first partially breaks down the molecules, the second-processes starch into sugar. The technology of cold saccharification is much simpler and cheaper than malt cooking, and the result is about the same. Enzymes together with water are simply added to the raw material at the stage of braga preparation. The conversion of starch to sugar and fermentation are almost simultaneous.

Advantages of saccharification with enzymes:

  • easier for novice distillers who do not have special equipment;
  • does not require high temperatures and compliance with temperature pauses;
  • lower labor costs for the preparation of braga.


  • requires special enzymes;
  • the fermentation time of braga increases to 10-20 days;
  • there is an opinion that the enzymes of the product are not natural and leave an aftertaste even after several distillations, so in home distilling it is better to adhere to the traditional method using malt.

The technology of cold saccharification

1. In the fermentation tank, add the feedstock (cereals, flour, starch, pasta, etc.), water 30-35°C (3-4 liters per 1 kg of raw materials), the enzymes Amylosubtilin and Glucavamorin (3-5 grams per 1 kg), yeast (5 grams of dry or 25 bakery pressed per 1 kg).

холодное осахаривание сырья

When cold saccharification in the fermentation tank should be enough space for foam
The container can not be filled more than 70%, active foaming is possible.

2. Mix, close with a water seal, transfer to a dark place with a temperature of 20-28°C.

3. Fermentation will begin in 1-5 hours, the first couple of days will be active, then the intensity will decrease. The time of fermentation – 7-25 days. If a thin film appears on the surface, this is a sign of souring, the braga needs to be urgently distilled.

4. Remove the finished braga from the sediment and distill. Clarification with bentonite is ineffective.

Depending on the recipe, other ingredients can be added to the brew: antibiotics to prevent souring, yeast dressing for accelerated fermentation, acid that stabilizes the acidity of the wort and a defoamer. The proportions of Amylosubtilin and Glucavamorin depend on the activity of the enzymes and are indicated on the packaging by the manufacturer.

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