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Under the Microscope: Getting to Know Exogenous Enzymes

Better brewing through chemistry? From avoiding stuck mashes to boosting hop aroma while dodging diacetyl (and decreasing tank time), there may be multiple uses for exogenous enzymes in your brewery.

Don Tse Apr 17, 2023 - 11 min read

Under the Microscope: Getting to Know Exogenous Enzymes Primary Image

Photo: Courtesy Murphy & Son

John Midgley saw a problem he wanted to solve. While taking a brewing course, he learned that great improvements had been made in the energy and water efficiency of beer making—but not so much in the production of malt. “Malting is incredibly old-school and inefficient,” he says.

His solution is unconventional: Midgley has been brewing small batches at home in Brooklyn, New York, with unmalted barley, relying entirely on a cocktail of exogenous enzymes to do the work that malting normally does. He says he plans to launch his Cool Cousin brand in 2023 by having his lager brewed on contract.

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Don Tse is an internationally recognized beer writer and beer judge, working from his home base in the middle of North America’s barley belt.