Daily Archives: September 17, 2011

What is Malt Whisky

Malt Whisky is made from a type of malted grain and it comes to the market as Single malt whisky or double malt whiskey which is also called vatted malt. These single malt whiskies are the best since it uses a single type of malt as it sounds. Double malts are not as expensive as single malt whisky, but they use multiple malts and produce a blend. 

The ingredients used to make malt whisky are water, barley and yeast. The production starts by mixing the barley with water and it is kept for some time to allow germination. The enzymes which are released in the malting process assist in breaking down the starch in the grain and result in converting them to sugars. Once the germination is complete the malted barley is dried. Famous distilleries such as Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Bowmore, Springbank and Highland Park have their specialised malting but produce only a small quantity. 

Next, the malted grain is carefully examined for any stones or other elements before they are milled. The malt goes through the milling machine and leaves the powdered grain at the bottom of the milling machine. This powdered dust which is called the grist is then mixed with hot water. The grist gets mixed with water for about 6 hours, until it produces a thick porridge. The moisture, the heating and the movement then extract the sugars or maltose from the grist which is now called wort. Next yeast is added to the wort in a large container or a vessel which is made out of stainless steel. These large vessels usually contain thousands of litres. When yeast is mixed it feeds on the maltose and transforms it to crude alcohol. 

The crude alcohol which contains a very low strength of alcohol next goes through boiling. The vapour is collected in a container which is submerged in cool water so that it gets back to its liquid form. This liquid gets distilled about twice or three times which finally contains 60 to 70% of alcohol. This new spirit is then stored in oak casks until it gets matured. The longer it is kept, the more flavour from the wooden cask it contains. For best results the newly malted whiskey is kept for a minimum of three to four years. Finally the malted barley produced at a single distillery is named as single malt whiskey while others will be called vatted malt, pure malt, double malt or blended malt. 

Malt whisky should be stored in a cool place, away from direct sunlight or heat in order to avoid evaporation. It is advised that the corked bottles should be stored upright to avoid contact between the cork and the spirit, since the taste of the alcohol can be ruined by mixing with the cork. 

Each malt whisky is different in its taste from the other and today there is a wide selection of malts in the market. Some people are obsessed with collecting whiskies such as Highland malt whiskey which range from more fragrant malts such as Glenmorangie to Talisker or Lagavulin. Although malt whiskey comes with a price today people are willing to spend more money for a good malt whiskey.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/wines-and-spirits-articles/what-is-malt-whisky-934896.html

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Liz Carter submitted the useful information on Malt Whisky. Whisky lovers can get more details on Malt Whisky here.

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