The purpose of malting is to enrich the barley with enzymes, mainly celluloitic, proteolityczne i amylolityczne, giving it the appropriate aromatic characteristics and changing the grain structure, facilitating enzymatic transformations, occurring during mashing of malt in the brewery's brewhouse.
Malt technology, i.e. malting, is divided into the following main steps: preparation of barley or other cereals for production, soaking grain, germination, drying of malt, the so-called. wet and malt cleaning.
Barley cleaning is carried out in two stages. A distinction is made between initial and basic cleaning.
Pre-cleaning is carried out before the barley is sent to the warehouse. The rule applies, that barley should only be stored after pre-cleaning.
Before the barley batch is taken for malt production, it is subjected to basic cleaning and sorting. The barley is split into two fractions: the first - grains with a thickness of over 2,5 mm (stopping on a mesh screen 2,8 i 2,5 mm), the second - grains 2.2-2.5 mm thick (stopping on a mesh screen 2,2 mm).
The coarser fraction of barley is called technical barley, from which the malt is obtained.
Fine barley can also be malted, however, it produces a malt with lower quality characteristics.
The technical barley is then soaked. At this stage of the process, then moistening the malt to the content of approx. 44% water.
The moistened barley is then directed to the malting department called the sprouting plant. In old-style malt houses, barley is germinated in the threshing floor, constituting floors with large surfaces. In modern malting houses, sprouting boxes or drums are used to germinate barley, in which the process is completely mechanical.
The barley germination cycle continues 5-8 days at 12-20 ° C. The duration of germination depends on the barley variety, malting methods and malt assortment.
After the germination process is completed, wet barley with the formed roots (root sprouts) is dried in the flow of heated air. Drying takes place at the temperature measured in the malt 30-85 ° C and continues in the case of light malt 12-36 hours, depending on the method of -drying. The Munich-type dark malt is dried 48 hours, and the final temperature of this process should be 105 ° C (measured in malt). The drying process takes place on various types of dryers and large mesh surfaces.
After drying, the light malt contains approx. 4% water, and dark approx. 3%. The dried malt is subjected to the cleaning process (separation of sprouts) using a device called a sprouting machine. Accurate and efficient germination occurs then, while the malt is still hot. The cooled malt is directed from the de-germinator to the warehouse.