Achieve Better Wort Separation and Save Money on Raw Material

Achieve  Better Wort Separation and Save Money on Raw Material
In this blog we will go through a lab experiment that demonstrates how Novozymes’ products can be used to achieve better wort separation. Even with low dosing of enzymes you can potentially achieve:
  • +40 % faster filtration
  • +89 % reduction of β-glucan

Those numbers are just for a brew with 100 % malt! For inclusion of adjuncts such as rye, wheat or oat, enzymes can be even more beneficial.

Let’s dive in!


Inclusion of un-malted rye in brewing recipes enables brewers to achieve very distinct flavours in the final beer. However, rye is very difficult to process in the brewhouse, i.e. mash-separation is difficult to achieve within reasonable times. Furthermore, if beer filtration is applied similar process issues will occur. The use of specific enzymes present in Ultraflo® Max, in the mashing process, significantly reduces the impact of rye derived substances, causing the separation/filtration issues. Consequently, it enables the brewer master to:
  • ensure constant and reasonable process times
  • vary recipes with inclusion rates of rye up to 50%, without variations in process time
  • Brewing stronger beers (higher gravity) without impact on brewhouse process

Experimental Conditions

The goal of the experiment is to compare a filtration with a mashing that doesn’t include enzymes vs. a mashing that does include enzymes. We tested the effect of enzymes, for brews with varying amount of rye. The filtration test is run for 25 minutes:

Figure 1: The conditions of the experiment prior to filtration

Wort Separation Results

In Figure 2, a significant difference in the amount of wort collected after 25 minutes of filtration are seen. In the simplest example with 100 % malt (and only use of Ultraflo® Max), the filtration is 40 % faster. (114.6 ml. vs. 161 ml.)

For the most extreme example with 50 % rye and the use of adapted concentrations of Ultraflo® Max, Ondea® Pro and Shearzyme®, the filtration is 138 % faster (Over twice as fast, 89.3 ml vs. 213 ml).

Note: Malt is more brittle than un-malted rye, thus the particle size distribution after milling is different between them (malt is finer resulting in a denser filter-bed, which consequently is less permeable)

Figure 2a: Filtrate collected after 25 minutes, for varying degrees of rye and concentration of Novozymes’ products

Figure 2b: 25 minute time-lapse of experiment with 50 % malt and 50 % rye

Dynamic Viscosity

For viscosity you will normally be fine without using enzymes when you are brewing with pure malt. However, with higher amount of adjuncts such as oat, wheat and rye, you will get a significantly higher viscosity, which can lead to stuck mash filtrations. Novozymes’ products can reduce the viscosity and help with better wort separation.

Without enzymes, the dynamic viscosity increases significantly with higher amount of rye. As it can be seen in Figure 3, the dynamic viscosity changes from 2.2 to 6.3 mPa•s. With the use of enzymes, the dynamic viscosity only increases slightly. (from 2.0 to 2.6 mPa•s)

Figure 3: Dynamic viscosity, with varying degrees of rye and concentrations of enzymes


Ultraflo® Max contains a set of β-glucan hydrolyzing endo-glucanases This can help with process problem connected to high molecular β-glucan. Shown in Figure 4, the concentration of β-glucan in wort is reduced by 89 % with 100 % malt, and 94 % reduced with 50 % rye.

Figure 4: β-glucan concentration increases with higher level of rye. With the use of Novozymes enzymes, the level of β-glucan is almost constant


Increasing the inclusion rate of un-malted rye leads to a significant increase in high molecular arabinoxylan in wort. The use of Ultraflo® Max in mashing, strongly diminishes this effect, assuring that besides mash-filtration also beer filtration can be expected to run normal.

Figure 5: Arabinoxylan concentration increases with higher level of rye. With the use of Novozymes enzymes, the level is smaller

From the data obtained for arabinoxylan and β-glucan concentrations in wort, a clear correlation to wort viscosity i.e. for the wort produced without enzyme, can be made, indicating that these substances are mainly responsible for the latter. Correlation seen in Figure 5:

Figure 5: Correlation between dynamic viscosity and level of β-glucan and Arabinoxylan

If you are interested in achieving better wort separation, check out the product pages for Ultraflo® Max and Ondea® Pro

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