About Barrett Burston Malting

What is Malt?

Malted barley (or malt as it is more commonly known) is one of the raw materials utilised by brewers & distillers for the production of beer & certain spirits. Barley (or other cereal grains) is turned into malt by allowing the grain to germinate under controlled environmental conditions, and then hot air dried to stabilize the internal biochemical processes and development of the characteristic flavour.

Starch contained within the malted barley is later converted into fermentable sugars in the brewing process. As well as starch, the malted barley also contains enzymes, proteins, vitamins & minerals.

There are three main stages of the malting process; steeping, germination, and kilning.

Steeping

Steeping is performed to introduce sufficient moisture into the barley grain which signals and initiates the germination cycle of the grain to begin. The grain enters the steeping phase at a moisture of around 12%, and increases to a moisture in the range of 42-46% by the end of the phase, whilst generating heat and carbon dioxide during the process.

A steeping phase consists of the grain being immersed in aerated temperature controlled water for a period of time, then the water is drained off and the grain is allowed to rest whilst air is drawn through the grain and carbon dioxide is removed.

Steeping can take up to two days total, and a successful steeping phase is evident by the production of evenly hydrated grains that have the first appearance of coleoptile tissue (the ‘chit’) which signals that the germination phase has commenced.

Germination

Steeping is performed to introduce sufficient moisture into the barley grain which signals and initiates the germination cycle of the grain to begin. The grain enters the steeping phase at a moisture of around 12%, and increases to a moisture in the range of 42-46% by the end of the phase, whilst generating heat and carbon dioxide during the process.

A steeping phase consists of the grain being immersed in aerated temperature controlled water for a period of time, then the water is drained off and the grain is allowed to rest whilst air is drawn through the grain and carbon dioxide is removed.

Steeping can take up to two days total, and a successful steeping phase is evident by the production of evenly hydrated grains that have the first appearance of coleoptile tissue (the ‘chit’) which signals that the germination phase has commenced.

History of the
Malting Process

History of the
Malting Process

View information on the history of malting.