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Are fermented grains low in starch, higher in sugars?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 11, 2011 at 2:47 AM

Are fermented grains low in starch, higher in sugars?

I know that, with milk, a 24 hour fermentation time will result in nearly all the lactose being converted to simple sugars (or I think acids too). Does similar happen with all the starch in grains? Is it converted into simple sugars? What's the relation between fermentation time and amount of starch leftover in the final product?

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(5801)

on September 11, 2011
at 04:18 AM

It depends on what is fermenting the grain and the condition. For instance, the starch in barley (for beer) is converted to simple sugars while the grain is soaking in 150ish degree water. The temperature that this conversion takes place affects the amount of fermentable sugars are in the wort (pre-fermented beer). Also, the yeast variety used will only be able to ferment so much of the sugars because, among other things, its tolerance to alcohol.

There can be secondary fermentation with bacteria, but again, it will depend on the strain and how much of the residual sugar that is fermented.

The fermentation affects the flavor and too dry of a beer caused by excess bacteria or wild yeast strains usually produces an undrinkable beer.

This was pretty simplified and many details were left out, but in short, there are plenty of residual sugars left in a fermented grain product - in beer, there is so much sugar left over that hops or some other bittering spice is used to balance the flavor to make it drinkable.

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