The trend towards lower carbohydrate beverages, especially beers, keeps reaching new heights. This may be best demonstrated by the Hard Seltzer trend in the U.S. Most beers, regardless of their potential bitterness or acidity, are generally high in sugar content (complex carbohydrates), which generally means higher in calories.
To help understand the sugar content in beer, we need to think about how beer is made. The starting point is your wort, made from a mix of malt and water. Malt is a grain, which is rich in sugars and starches – most of which will be converted into sugar during your mashing. When you pitch your usual SafAle™ or SafLager™ into the wort, the yeast cells will start “eating” the sugar content, producing various by-products: alcohol, carbon dioxide and, of course, aromatic compounds to give your beer a delicious flavour.
Yeast cells love sugar, but they’re not able to eat all of it! They’ll easily get through simple sugars such as glucose or maltose, but faced with more complex polysaccharides, like maltotriose and dextrins, the yeast just cannot cope.
That’s where enzymes come into play. In SafBrew™ LD-20, an amyloglucosidase (AMG) enzyme will break down all the complex carbohydrates into smaller “bite-sized” pieces (simple sugars) that the yeast can manage. That’s why the combination of yeast and enzymes can produce higher alcohol beers than standard yeast strains, as up to 100% of the sugar content can be fermented. That is also the reason why this product tends to create particularly dry beers.
Now you might be thinking, wasn’t this article about lower carb beers? We’re getting to that.
Imagine you want to produce a fairly low alcohol beer, e.g. 5% ABV, using a product containing enzymes. Since these mixes (yeast and enzyme) will ferment nearly all the sugar in the wort, you’ll need to start off with a wort containing less sugar to reach the same 5% ABV. Simple logic, right?
Depending on the specific beer you want to brew, we have determined you can drop the sugar content in the wort by up to 20%, meaning your finished beer will contain up to 20% less carbohydrates than a beer fermented with a standard yeast strain.
Using our SafBrew™ range, which includes several products including enzymes, you can now brew many different lower carb and potentially low-alcohol beers: all you need is a little imagination and creativity.
*meaning reduction of up to 20% carbohydrates in the beer vs same yeast without enzyme.
The information provided by Fermentis is for informational purposes to the attention of professionals only. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the information: regulatory and intellectual property requirements (including product use and claims) shall be reviewed locally for their particular purposes.