Endogenous Enzyme Systems

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Endogenous Enzyme Systems

Unread postby cowdery » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:46 pm

How's that for a catchy subject line?

The Scotch Whisky Act of 1988 says that the mash must be "converted to a fermentable substrate only by endogenous enzyme systems."

Am I correct in assuming that "endogenous enzyme systems" means only enzymes produced by the malt itself? We know some American distillers add enzymes. If I'm reading this correctly, scotch producers cannot do that.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:17 pm

Chuck,
It looks that way to me as well. I say good for the Scots! I would rather see more barley malt and less artificial enzymes in bourbon. I think the enzymes are one of the flavor changes that makes post Van Winkle Stitzel-Weller whiskey inferior to the whiskey made when the Van Winkles ran the distillery. There is a nutty aweet flavor found in malted barley that is missing after they cut the amount of barley and added artificail enzymes.

It would also seem to me that this is a moot point with scotch whisky since most of it is made from barley malt anyway. There is no need to add enzymes if the mash is 10% or more barley malt.
Mike Veach
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Unread postby cowdery » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:17 am

bourbonv wrote:It would also seem to me that this is a moot point with scotch whisky since most of it is made from barley malt anyway. There is no need to add enzymes if the mash is 10% or more barley malt.


Your point is well taken but it's not quite moot when you consider that Scottish grain whiskies are made essentially like American whiskey and use as little malt as they can get away with. I'm sure some producers would love to be able to use enzymes instead of malt for those.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:21 am

Chuck,
Good point. I was thinking more about single malts, but they do make a lot of grain whiskey for blending purposes. People (myself included) sometimes forget that blended scotch is still the major market for scotch whiskey. All of the single malt sales in a year probably does not add up to half of the Johnny Walker sales.
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Unread postby cowdery » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:01 pm

Plus there are now quite a few Scottish grain whiskies on the market, e.g., Girvan, Loch Lomond, Invergordon, Port Dundas.
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