The Many Health Benefits of Fermented Beverages

The Many Health Benefits of Fermented Beverages

The Many Health Benefits of Fermented Beverages.

Fermented drinks have gained in popularity in recent years, mostly as a result of new research about the incredible health advantages they provide. While ready-made alternatives available on shop shelves might be convenient, they can also be pricey and high in sugar and preservatives. Homemade alternatives are often less time-consuming, healthier, and more cost-effective to prepare.

In this book, you’ll discover recipes for fermented beverages like as kombucha, kefir, kvass, and amazake, which are all wonder tonics that may be used to treat a range of health ailments.

Fermented Beverages are discussed in this book.


Kombucha is a somewhat sweet fermented tea prepared from a symbiotic symbiosis of bacteria and yeast cultures. It is considered to provide a broad variety of antioxidant effects due to the presence of a unique probiotic component in its composition.


Kefir is a fermented milk product that is similar to yogurt in taste and texture. Kefir is manufactured from kefir grains, which have a cauliflower-like appearance and taste. Kefir includes a plethora of beneficial bacteria.

Microorganisms, yeast, bacteria, and protein are all types of organisms. Kefir may be prepared using water or coconut milk as well.


Kvass is a probiotic beverage that has its origins in Russia. Salt and a starting culture are usually used in the preparation of this classic dish. When prepared from beets, it has a sweet taste.

Rich in vitamins and health advantages, this fruit helps to maintain proper digestion, alkalize the blood, and cleanse the liver.


Amazake is a Japanese fermented rice beverage that has its origins in the country of Japan. It has a pleasant and smooth taste, which distinguishes it from many other fermented beverages, and it is rich in fiber and digestive enzymes. Amazake is the first stage in the process of manufacturing miri and sake, and it is a natural sweetener that may be used to sweeten smoothies and baby food.

Fermented beverages provide a number of advantages.

However, although the health benefits of kombucha, kvass, kefir, and amazake are still being researched, it is believed that they all assist in improving digestion by cleansing the digestive system, easing intestinal issues, and improving bowel movements.

Increasing the effectiveness of the immune system Symptom reduction in HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions

Herpes, cancer, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression are among the conditions that might occur. lowering the incidence of allergies and allergic reactions Increased stamina and energy improved skin conditions including alleviation from acne, wrinkles, and other skin imperfections


Beet Kvass

1 1/2 quarts filtered water
1 kefir starter culture
3 pounds beets, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a large, sealable clean jar. Cover and allow to ferment
for 5-7 days. Strain, return to a sealable jar, and keep refrigerated.
Blueberry Kombucha
1/4 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons concentrated blueberry juice
1-3 cups fermented kombucha (depending on jar size)
Place blueberries into a clean jar, and pour in the kombucha, leaving 1-2 inches
of room at the top. Seal tightly, and leave to ferment for up to 72 hours. Strain
and keep refrigerated

Grain distillery processing

Pyke (1965), Rankin (1977), Bathgate (1989), Wilkin (1989), and Piggot and Conner (1989) have all looked at the technique of grain processing for Scotch whisky manufacturing (1995). Over the years, modifications in the underlying process and technology have occurred in response to demands for increased efficiency, changes in raw materials, and environmental regulations.
The processing of unmalted grains in grain distillation has two basic goals: to extract the starch from the grain and convert it to fermentable sugars.

The first of these goals is usually accomplished by heating grains at high temperatures or pressures, which gelatinizes the starch and allows it to be released and solubilized. The starch is subsequently converted to fermentable sugars by enzymes from high-enzyme malted barley, which are then fermented to alcohol by yeast.
The primary components of what may be considered a “normal” grain distilling process.

It’s a broad overview of how cereals are processed in grain distilleries, as they’re utilized in the Scotch whiskey business. In practice, each step of the procedure has a variety of possibilities. Table 3.1 shows the variety of alternatives available in Scotch whisky grain distilleries.
Each of these has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and each system is tailored to meet the needs of a certain company’s goals and objectives.

It arose mostly as a consequence of their own experiences with specific plant design and technology. In other instances, the methods are based on aspects of other grain spirit manufacturing techniques that have been established on the worldwide market.

Before delving further into some of these processes, it’s vital to understand the fundamental biochemistry of grain processing and how it applies to the distillery’s raw material processing. The structure and content of starch, starch gelatinization and retrogradation, and starch-degrading enzymes and their functions are the key topics of interest. All of these factors have an influence on how grains are cooked and the subsequent conversion of starch into fermentable sugars.

Structure of starch

Because the fundamental goal of grain distilling is to create as much alcohol as possible from the raw materials, the effective conversion of starch into ethanol is a significant factor of distillery efficiency. The cost of raw materials is a significant part of the total expenditures of operating a distillery (Hardy and Brown, 1989; Nicol, 1990), therefore distillers place a premium on optimizing spirit production.

Distillers must have a thorough grasp of the structure and qualities of cereal starch, as well as the implications of these features for processing this material into a fermentable substrate that can be transformed into alcohol, in order to maximize the raw materials’ potential.

For many years, the structure and functions of starch have been well understood, and there is no intention in this work to provide a comprehensive review of what is a very broad subject area, as this has been well documented and reviewed in many fundamental sources (see, for example, Whistler et al., 1984; Pomeranz, 1988; MacGregor and Fincher, 1993).

The goal of this chapter is to provide a quick review of features of starch that are important in determining processing properties of grains used in Scotch grain whiskey manufacturing.

Wheat and maize (corn) are the most common sources of starch in Scotch grain whiskey, but barley, triticale, and rye have also been used (Lyons and Rose, 1977). Varied cereals have different starch compositions and structures, which has crucial consequences for how these cereals are processed in the distillery, both in terms of converting to fermentable sugars and optimizing cereal throughput efficiency.

Starch is the most abundant carbohydrate generated in plants after cellulose. Starch is a glucose condensation polymer present in all of a plant’s main organs and is the predominant type of store carbohydrate, providing a reserve food source during times of dormancy (Swinkels, 1985). Reserve starch is mostly kept in the starchy endosperm of cereals like wheat, barley, and maize, where it is embedded in a protein matrix.

Starch is put down as granules (diameter range 2–200 mm) that collect in endosperm cell organelles called amyloplasts. Large lenticular ‘A’ type granules (20–35 mm) and tiny spherical ‘B’ type granules (2–10 mm) make up the majority of starch granules in wheat. Small granules are usually far more numerous than big granules.

Despite the fact that big granules account for just 12–13% of total granules, they contain more than 90% of total starch (Bathgate and Palmer, 1973; Shannon and Garwood, 1984).

Unlike wheat starch granules, maize starch granules are irregular and polyhedral in form, and are typically smaller – up to 15 mm in diameter on average (Lynn et al., 1997). In the literature, 3–26 mm maize starch granule sizes have been described (Swinkels, 1985). Instead of the bimodal distribution seen with wheat, maize starch granules exhibit a single size distribution (Cochrane, 2000).

The size and shape of the starch granules have a significant impact on characteristics such as the gelatinization temperature, which determines the temperature necessary to effectively process the grain. Because the starch in tiny B granules is more firmly bonded and has a greater gelatinization temperature, extracting the starch completely needs more harsh conditions than in bigger A granules, where the starch is more accessible. At typical mashing temperatures, the tiny granules tend to stay ungelatinized (Bathgate et al., 1974).

Even though the little granules contain a small quantity of starch, they are nevertheless important in terms of total yield, and it is critical that they be used well to achieve acceptable alcohol yields. Because maize granules are very tiny, greater temperatures are needed to gelatinize and release the starch granules.

Non-carbohydrate components such as proteins and lipids are also found in starch granules (Cochrane, 2000), which may have ramifications for cereal digestion. It has been proposed that the addition of lipids might diminish the starch’s sensitivity to amylolytic degradation (Palmer, 1989). The presence of lipids has a significant impact on the tendency of starch to retrograde after cooking (Swinkells, 1985).

There are two primary components that make up starch. Amylose is a linear molecule made up of long chains of a(1-4)-linked glucose units that makes up roughly 15–37 percent of total starch. Amylopectin, which has a highly branched structure, is made up of a large number of short a(1-4)-linked chains connected to a(1-6)-linked branches and accounts for the majority of the starch. Amylose has a mainly crystalline structure, while amylopectin has a regular left-handed helical shape (French, 1984; Lineback and Rasper, 1988).

The relative quantities of both amylose and amylopectin alter the characteristics of starch (Fredriksson et al., 1998).
Amylose has a molecular weight of 105–106 Da and a chain length of roughly 2000 glucose units in wheat (Barnes, 1989). Currently, it is thought that amylose has a limited number of a(1-6) branches (about 2–4 chains per 1000 glucose units, and 2–8 branch sites per molecule; Hoover, 1995), but behaves like a linear polymer (Lineback and Rasper, 1988).

Amylopectin, on the other hand, has one of the largest molecular weights of any naturally occurring polymer (up to roughly 108 Da), which is 1000 times that of amylose (Barnes, 1989). Amylopectin’s structure is highly branched, with a significant number of relatively short glucose chains (10–60 units, with an average length of around 20–25 units; Cochrane, 2000), while the total chain length may be as long as 2 107 glucose units.

Swinkells (1985) estimated that branch points account for around 5% of the total glucose units present, with one branch point for every 20–25 residues (Hoover, 1995). Amylopectin is thought to be a fundamental determinant of starch’s physical and chemical characteristics (Tester, 1997).

For starches from a single source, the relative proportions of amylose and amylopectin are rather stable. The majority of starches comprise 20–30% amylose and 70–80% amylopectin (Jane et al., 1999).

Variable sources of starch, however, have different amylose to amylopectin ratios, with cereals like wheat, maize, and sorghum having a substantially greater ratio of amylose (about 28%) than starches derived from tubers and roots (potato, tapioca, and arrowroot), which contain approximately 20% amylose.

Some starches, like waxy maize, have little or no amylose in them. More specialized cereals, such as amylomaize, may have up to 80% amylose content (Swinkells, 1985).
The relative amounts of amylose and amylopectin, as well as the distribution of A and B granules, have a significant impact on the physical and chemical properties of starch, and are important factors affecting processing characteristics of cereals, such as gelatinization temperature, viscosity, and the tendency for retrogradation or recrystallization, which are caused by high amylose levels.

These may have a significant impact on both processing efficiency and alcohol output.
The composition of the starch has a significant impact on its degradation by starch-degrading enzymes like a- and b-amylase, which are unable to degrade a(1-6) glycoside links by themselves, and the breakdown of amylopectin by these enzymes results in the presence of a and b limit-dextrins as well as fermentable sugars like maltose and maltotriose. Limit-dextrinase degrades the a(1-6) linkages in a and b limit-dextrins.


The starch is partially crystalline after deposition in starch granules and is mostly insoluble in water. It is important to break the granular structure of the starch so that it can absorb water in order to use it (Evers and Stevens, 1985).

Zobel (1984) described gelatinization as the swelling and hydration of starch granules in order for the starch to be solubilized. This is usually accomplished by slurrying the starch in water and heating it until it melts.

This produces a solution comprising amylose and amylopectin fragments, which are subsequently susceptible to amylolytic (starch-degrading) enzymes, which may convert the solubilized starch into fermentable sugars (Palmer, 1989).

There are various steps to gelatinization (see Figure 3.2). Dry starch granules experience minimal reversible swelling when exposed to excess water at low temperatures (0–408C) (the swelling or amorphous phase).

The crystalline starch started to lose its integrity when additional heat is applied (the melting phase) and, after merging with the non-crystalline portion, underwent degradation.

Swelling and dehydration are irreversible (French, 1984). This is accompanied by a significant rise in viscosity, which has been linked to amylose granule leaching. The loss of birefringence (Atwell et al., 1988; MacGregor and Fincher, 1993), which is a measure of the degree of order (or crystallinity) of starch granules when examined under polarized light, is followed by the swelling of the molecular order within the starch granule (Cochrane, 2000). The action of amylopectin has been blamed for a lot of the edema (Fredricksson et al., 1998).

According to French (1984), gelatinization of starch granules causes the helical sections of amylose to dissociate and uncoil, as well as the crystalline structure of amylopectin to break apart, enabling the hydration and swelling of freed amylopectin side chains. This causes the starch granule to enlarge, enabling linear amylose to diffuse out of the granule and eventually causing the granule structure to be completely disrupted.

The percentage of amylose and the temperature of onset of gelatinization seem to have a negative relationship (Fredriksson et al., 1998), thus as the relative quantity of amylose grows, the temperature of beginning of gelatinization lowers.

Differential thermal analysis (Zobel, 1984) or differential scanning calorimetry were the primary methods for evaluating gelatinization temperature of grains in the past (Atwell et al., 1988). However, the Brabender Visco Amylograph (Zobel, 1984), which monitors variations in viscosity (pasting) while a grain slurry is exposed to a programmed temperature cycle, has been used to investigate the development of gelatinization.

Following gelatinization, pasting is described as the granular expansion and exudation of molecular components (Atwell et al., 1988). The Rapid Visco Analyser1 (Calibre Control Inc., **13) is a more recent version of the Brabender Visco Amylograph. Figure 3.3 is an idealized RVA amylogram, or pasting curve, intended to depict the major steps of the gelatinization (pasting) process.

The increase in viscosity as the temperature rises to about 95–1008C demonstrates that starch granules do not gelatinize at the same rate, but rather across a wide temperature range. This is determined by the degree of crystallinity of certain locations inside each granule, which varies significantly between granules.

Small granules, on the other hand, seem to gelatinize at greater temperatures and across a larger temperature range (MacGregor and Fincher, 1993). According to Jane et al. (1999), amylopectin with longer branch chain lengths has a higher gelatinization temperature. As the gelatinized starch is solubilized, the viscosity starts to diminish as the temperature is maintained.

When the temperature is lowered, the viscosity rises to a considerably greater level than before, as the gelatinized starch agglomerates and recrystallizes to create a refractory gel. Setback or retrogradation is the term for this event.

The technique used to assess gelatinization temperatures for cereals is extremely reliant on the method used to measure them (MacGregor and Fincher, 1993); nonetheless, the gelatinization temperatures of maize and wheat are substantially different, with maize having a higher gelatinization temperature.


When cereals are processed in a distillery, milling the grains is usually the first step following input, while other distilleries prefer to process whole grains. While unmilled cereal processing has reduced in recent years, at least one grain distillery continues to do so.

The decision is mostly based on the trade-off between the cost of milling and the energy saved via shorter cooking durations (Piggott and Conner, 1995). Cereal hammer milling is now the rule rather than the exception.

Milling is used to break up the structure of cereal grains in order to allow water to penetrate the cereal endosperm during subsequent cooking (Kelsall and Lyons, 1999).

Fine milling also damages starch granules physically, promoting water absorption and facilitating the mechanical release of starch from the grain’s protein matrix, as well as lowering the gelatinization temperature (Evers and Stevens, 1985). (Lynn et al., 1997).

Milling also aids in the breakdown of gums (such as arabinoxylans and b-glucans) and other cell wall components, as well as the subsequent solubilization of proteins.

Roller mills and hammer mills are the two major types of mills used in the Scotch whiskey industry. Disintegrators (pin mills) have also been utilized. Wet milling may be utilized in certain cases, although it is most often employed to treat green malt.

Roller mills are often employed in the manufacturing of malt whiskey, but they may also be utilized in grain distillation and are especially well adapted to the grinding of small-grain cereals like barley malt and wheat. Cereal grains are crushed in a roller mill as they move between sets of rollers (usually three sets of two).

In certain circumstances, the sets of rollers run at various speeds to generate a shearing force that allows for more effective grain grinding.
Because the husk may function as a filter bed during mashing, roller mills allow a reasonably gentle separation of the grain while leaving the husk fraction relatively unharmed. This makes them especially appropriate for use in procedures requiring the separation of wort in a lauter tun (Kelsall and Lyons, 1999).

Hammer mills, on the other hand, are often employed in grain distilleries because they can break the grains down into a fine, homogenous flour that can be handled easily. Grain distillers may also employ short-term heating and mashing procedures with hammer milling, and it’s especially well-suited to continuous processes (Wilkin, 1983).

Cereal grains (maize, wheat) are fed into a grinding chamber and crushed uniformly into flour by a number of spinning hammers in a hammer mill.
A fixed-size retention screen (usually 0.3 cm (1/8″) or 0.5 cm (3/16″) is used to control the grain size, retaining bigger particles until they are reduced down to a consistent size (Kelsall and Lyons, 1999).

It’s vital not to grind too finely in a hammer mill since this might cause ‘balling,’ which enables minute quantities of uncooked starch to get through the process. Grinding too finely can reduce the solids content of the post-distillation stillage (spent wash) and provide an additional strain on evaporators, perhaps causing downstream processing issues.