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Malting


A barley grain is like a small factory and, under the right conditions, it will convert its stored-up starch into sugar and then sugar into cellulose, in order to grow roots and a germ with leaves. This process is called germination. Malted barley is simply barley that has been moistened and stored in a warm, damp environment to fool the barley into starting to grow. Over the next 5 days the germinating barley releases enzymes that begin converting the starch in the barley into sugar. The barley must be constantly moved to ensure an even growth and to guard against mould formation. After the enzymes inside the grain have started to transform the starch into sugar the germination process is halted. This is done by quickly drying the barley in a large kiln, until only 4% moisture remains. The resultant, partly germinated grain, is now called malted barley or simply “malt”. We buy ours from growers on the Hook Head Peninsula in County Wexford. It is delivered by truck, which empties the malt into a hopper outside the building and computer-controlled conveyors bring it into our grain storage area. We store it in 3 grain silos each capable of holding a full truck load of 25 tons, which is enough grain for about 10 days production.



 
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