The Malting Process
"...craft malt is fast becoming the essential, enigmatic ingredient that fills craft beer, craft foods, and craft spirits with color, flavor, strength, personality, and 'terroir'" - Dave Thomas
After cleaning our grain, the grain is put in steeping tanks and undergoes a process of steeping in water and periods of air rest until the grain reaches a moisture level of 44%.
The steeping grain is then laid out on the floor, carefully spread in a four inch layer. Every six hours it is manually turned. Slow air movement throughout the grain bed causes a localized blanket of CO2 around every kernel. This slows respiration and modification and gives a rich aroma and flavor that is difficult to duplicate in modern pneumatic systems. The measuring of the length of the acrospires is used to estimate internal malt modifications.
The last step of the process is to put the “green malt” in our fully automated kiln for about 25 hours. The last hours determine the colour of the malt. The moisture level is tested to determine when to let it cool down. The grain is then put into bags and a sample of each batch is sent to Hartwick College Center for Craft Food and Beverages for analysis.