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I've heard a lot of mixed stories about people adding additional enzymes (Beano, GasX, etc) to their beers to drop the final gravity down very (sometimes undesirably) low. I've also hear mixed ideas on when it should be added.

As per a comment in a previous question of mine, there's been experience with adding it at kegging to assist with dropping the FG after the fact in the case of a botched attenuation, with the consequence of having to lengthen the aging to allow the enzyme to convert all the sugars it possibly can. I've also heard that people may add it during the mash (supposedly common in distillation). If it were added during the mash, would the enzymes denature in the boil, negating the need to lengthen the aging? Would it have enough time during a 60/90 minute mash and the lautering to have any significance?

Are there any other times/methods to adding enzymes or controlling their conversion to assist with dropping the FG in high gravity beers?

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I'd not used Beano, but something similar "dry beer enzyme", which is beta amylase. The yeast had stopped fermenting at 1.016 for a regular strength beer. I wasn't happy with the result after using the enzyme, but left it a year. Then it was a very pleasant Pils. –  mdma Mar 20 at 21:29
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I would try WLP099 before going the enzyme route. I had a beer go from 1.110 to 1.042 on WLP-004. I tried CBC-1, which did nothing. I pitched WLP-099 and it went to 1.008 (13.5% ABV barley wine). –  Dale Mar 28 at 16:14

2 Answers 2

You should not let your enzymes get above 60 degrees Celcius. According to this article the Beano enzyme works best at 40 degrees Celcius.

You should add your enzymes on cooldown of the wort.

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Is your goal in high gravity beers to make it lighter bodied? Adding enzymes after fermentation will accomplish this, but it will take time (like you said) and it will not lead to any more alcohol production.

Might I suggest a more popular and proven alternative to using enzymes to thin your high gravity beer: mash at a lower temperature (or conduct a step mash) and use simple sugars (e.g. table sugar, syrups, honey etc) in your recipe to achieve a lower F.G.

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