The process involves the following stages that are summarized below:
The Malting Process
The malting process consists of three stages:
Barley is immersed in water to encourage it to grow, followed by periods where water is drained. The moisture content of the barley is allowed to increase from approximately 12 percent to 45 percent.
Grain is allowed to grow under controlled conditions. During this stage, 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.
In this process, warm air is passed through grain to halt the growth and dry the grain to a stable state. During this stage, colour and flavour compounds are formed within the malt.
The malting process normally takes about seven days. While the process is highly automated to ensure the consistency of the finished malt, the art of the maltster still plays an important role. This integration of art and technology works harmoniously to ensure production of the best possible malt.