The malting process consists of three stages:
In the first stage, referred to as steeping, the barley is immersed in water to encourage it to grow, followed by periods where the water is drained away. The moisture content of the barley is allowed to increase from around 12 percent to 45 percent.
In the second step, known as germination, the wetted grain is allowed to grow under controlled conditions. During this step, the internal structure of the grain is altered, sugars are produced from the grain’s starch store and natural enzymes are developed within the grain kernel.
When sufficient growth has occurred, kilning, the third step of malting, is initiated. In this process, warm air is passed through the grain to halt the growth and dry the grain to a stable state. During this period, colour and flavour compounds are formed within the malt.
The malting process normally takes about seven days. While the process is highly automated to help ensure consistency of the finished malt, the art of the maltster still plays an important role in the process. This blend of art and technology works harmoniously to ensure production of the best possible malt for each customer.