Enzymes for attenuation control

Consistent, cost-effective production of highly attenuated beers

Brewmaster checking beer quality

Predictable and targeted attenuation

In brewing, attenuation is a measure of the degree to which sugars (i.e. glucose, fructose, maltotriose) in the wort can be fermented into alcohol. Measuring attenuation is important because it is an indicator of yeast health, and because specific attenuation levels are important for certain styles of beer.

The challenge for brewers is that it can be difficult to achieve predictable and targeted attenuation specifications. This is due to the inherent variability in raw materials and the mashing process.

Simple and cost-effective

Novozymes offers a broad range of attenuation enzymes that give brewers a simple and cost-effective way to create highly attenuated beers, as well as managing attenuation fluctuations due to deficiencies in raw materials.

With these solutions, brewers can produce highly attenuated beers in a cost-effective manner. It’s possible to increase the attenuation level by 4-5% with the same amount of raw materials. Brewers can produce a super-attenuated malt base for flavored alcoholic beverage production. They can also maintain consistent fermentability - despite raw material variability.

Two young women enjoying a beer

New degree of control

The basic premise of controlling attenuation of wort is to increase, or maintain at a specific level, the percentage of fermentable sugars derived from starch. Attenuation enzymes are useful to achieve a predictable result, and can be used in the brewhouse, or possibly during fermentation.

The degree of attenuation is governed by these factors: The choice of enzyme (glucoamylase, alpha-amylase, pullulanase or combination), enzyme stability at various temperatures and pH, conversion temperature and time.

brewing fermentation

25% fewer calories - same alcohol

An example of targeted attenuation is the production of light, or low-calorie beers. This requires an increase in the degree of attenuation of the wort, which decreases the proportion of non-fermentable and short-chain dextrin material. 

The result is a highly attenuated beer.  A beer made this way will have 25-30% fewer calories than a normally attenuated beer, assuming the same alcohol content in both beers.

Man tasting his beer


Malt worts produced under standard brewing conditions with traditional raw materials typically yield a real degree of fermentation (RDF) of 67-72% or apparent degree of fermentation (ADF) of 80-85%. Both RDF and ADF are used to describe the “degree of attenuation” of the wort.  

The difference between RDF and ADF is that ADF does not take into account the lower density of alcohol compared to water in the final gravity of the fermented beer.

Beer ottle being poured into glass

Which solution is the right one for you?


What could this mean for your business? Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch