A bit of background -- I brewed a pumpkin ale recently. The mash temp was maintained fairly high (well above 150F) for at least a full hour. The sparge was a disastrous 3-4 hour experience (despite lots of rice hulls!) The beer turned out fairly thin in body, leaving me to ponder my question here. My theory is that the mash dropped well into the range which favored beta amylase conversion for an extended period of time, allowing the complex sugars previously formed to be further reduced into fermentable sugars.
So my question is this: can beta amylase continue to produce fermentable sugars from the more complex sugars produced by alpha amylase?
My chemistry is rusty, but I certainly invite some technical explanations.