Alpha-Amylase - Distillers Enzyme - Still Spirits - 12g


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Still Spirits Distillers Enzyme Alpha-amylase is a bacterially-derived enzyme which breaks down starch into dextrins and simple sugars.


For use in mashing of starch-based substrates, such as raw grains and potato, for fermentation of alcohol to make distilled spirits.

Product Information:

  • Net Weight: 12 g (0.4 US oz)
  • Temperature: High Temperatures
  • Sufficient for: Up to 10 kg (22.0 lbs) liquefied starch for fermentation volumes up to 25 L (6.6 US Gal)
  • Enzyme Systematic Name: 1,4-Alpha-D-Glucan Glucanohydrolase Enzyme Activity (u/g): > 8,000
  • Temperature Tolerance: 80-110°C - Optimum 95-105°C (176-230°F - Optimum 203-221°F)
  • pH Tolerance: 5.5-8.0 (Optimum 6.0-6.5)
  • GMO Status: GMO free
  • Shelf Life: 24 Months
  • Storage: Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Place of Origin: Made in the UK from imported an local ingredients.
  • Danger: May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

Instructions for Use:

Add enzyme to starch substrate slurry, stir well and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes then turn off the heat, cover (or hold at 85-95°C (185–203°F)) and allow to stand for 60 minutes.


  • Dextrose monohydrate, Alpha-amylase enzyme.

High Temperature tolerant Amylase for conversion of Starch into Sugar. Common uses in brewing include Brut IPA or Dry Low Carb Brewing widely used in the production of “light beers.”

Common uses for Alpha Amylase Enzymes in Distilling are conversion of Starch into Sugar before High Yield Fermentation and then Distillation.

Alpha Amylase is a major mash enzyme of critical concern to brewers in their production of fermentable wort. It digests starch, a large polymer of glucose, into smaller units, exposing it to further digestion by beta amylase. Together these two amylases produce the spectrum of wort sugars essential in the production of a beer. Alpha amylase is an endo enzyme mainly digesting the alpha 1–4 bonds of starch at points within the chain, not at the ends.

Alpha amylase contributes to the digestion of starch by breaking internal bonds between glucose molecules. As a result it opens up the starch molecule, breaking it into a range of intermediate sizes. Beta amylase further digests these intermediate molecules mostly into maltose—a sugar of two glucose units—but also to glucose itself and to the three-glucose molecule maltotriose. 

The alpha amylase used in the mash comes from the malt, where it is entirely produced in the aleurone layer during malting. 

Levels of alpha amylase are typically high in pale malt but are virtually zero in roasted malt due to heat degradation. Levels vary according to malt variety and to malting conditions.

Alpha amylase is not restricted to barley but occurs in most organisms from bacteria to humans.

Enzymes tend to have specific temperature and pH ranges at which they will be active—this range is referred to as “optima.” Alpha amylase has a significantly different temperature and pH optima than beta amylase.

For alpha amylase the temperature optima is higher at around 70°C compared to 60°C–65°C for beta amylase as the enzyme may be stabilized by calcium ions. The pH optima of alpha amylase is also higher at 5.3–5.7 compared to 5.1–5.3 for beta amylase.

These differences can result in different wort sugar profiles from mashes conducted at different temperatures and are one means of varying beer character by control of mash conditions.

Benefits of Use of Enzymes:

  1. Improved mash saccharification and beer attenuation by production of maltose.
  2. Increase the fermentability of wort
  3. Maximizes the conversion of starch
  4. Eliminates residual starch in wort and prevent starch/dextrin turbidity in finished beer.
  5. Eliminates slow or “stuck” fermentation
  6. Provides a high degree of attenuation.
  7. Production of high alcohol and low carbohydrate beers
  8. Unlocks sweetness naturally.

Directions for Use:


  1. Add during the Mash, or
  2. Add with the Yeast at the start of the primary or secondary fermentation

Alpha Amylase, can be used either in the mash tun or in the fermenter. In the mash tun, the enzyme only works for a limited period of time. It’s deactivated at high temperatures, so if the sparge doesn’t kill it, the boil certainly will. In the fermenter, the enzyme is never deactivated. Be careful to make sure fermentation is fully complete when adding Alpha Amylase on the cold side to avoid on-going fermentation in your bottles - boom!


  1. Make up a soup with 15 L of water and 4 kg of starch.
  2. Add the 4 g sachet of Alpha Amylase and keep at 70 degrees C overnight and your starch will be converted to sugar.
  3. Measure using a refractometer or simply taste for sweetness.
  4. If you want a higher temperature, this Alpha Amylase unlike many others can handle temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius before denaturing.
  5. To be used with Distiller's Yeasts when starch is used in your recipe.

What are enzymes, anyway?

First and foremost, enzymes are proteins. They are a specific type of protein with an important role. They catalyze biochemical reactions, which means that they enable a reaction to occur quickly and at the temperature of living organisms.

The molecule the enzyme acts on is called the “substrate” and the enzyme is usually named after this substrate, with the letters “ase” added (beta glucanase acts on beta glucan, and alpha amylase is one enzyme that acts on amylose, a component of starch).

The rate at which a reaction occurs is affected by temperature, and enzymes catalyze reactions more quickly as temperature increases. But they also are denatured by heat, and reach peak activity just before they are destroyed.

Temperature Rests in the Mash
  • 45° to 50° C (113° to 122° F) protein and beta glucanase rest
  • 62° to 65° C (144° to 149° F) fermentability rest
  • 70° to 75° C (158° to 167° F) extract rest
  • 78° C (172° F) mash-off temperature

Further Reading and Knowledge:

How and Why we use Alpha or Beta Amylase Enzymes: