Malt Whisky Process
“Malting” – Goal: winning sugar from starch
The barleycorn is processed to malt by soaking it in water and spreading it on the malting floor. In this process, starch is converted into sugar. When the “green malt” starts to germinate, it is dried over a peat fire to stop the process.
“Brewing” – Goal: winning alcohol from sugar
In the “mash tun” maltose sugar is extracted from the milled malt. The result is called “wort”, which is then cooled in the “washback”. After adding yeast, the fermentation begins, and a slightly alcoholic fluid similar to beer is generated called “wash”.
“Distilling” – Goal: purifying and concentrating the alcohol
Almost every distillery uses double distillation. In the first still (wash still), spirits called “low wines” are created. Afterwards, these are refined in the second still (spirit still) to approx. 70 % alcohol. The separation of the middle cut takes place in the “spirit safe”.“.
“Maturating” – Goal: winning sugar from giving the distillate time to develop maturity and sure the colour
The distillates of different runs (distillation processes) are collected in the “spirit receiver” and subsequently filled into oak casks. These are then stored for a long time in the warehouses (at least three years).
Whisky animation by courtesy of: Oliver Ende – www.endes-welten.de