Every time we talk about whisky we always refer to malting, but do we know exactly what it is?
We could define the malting process as the infusion, germination and heating of barley with the aim of achieving the most important part of the grain: the starch. It is present in the endosperm of the seed and it is its main source of energy. The more starch is present in a grain, the more sugar we will have, and therefore, the more alcohol we will get.
The malting process releases enzymes that turn the starch into sugar.
During the barley infusion made with water, its hydration level increases and begins to germinate. This process is important to remove all barley so that all grains have a similar growth.
Once the desired state of germination is reached, we must avoid that it wastes energy and creates roots. To achieve this, we apply heat to stop the natural process and thus we avoid consuming all the starch. This process is made using smoke in order to dry the barley.