• Malt has been made forever, by hand, on floors.
• 20th century technology brought about the industrialisation of malting, as well as brewing.
• In 1971, the formation of CAMRA, then in 2002, the introduction of ‘Small Brewers Relief’, exploded a modern era of Craft Brewers and ‘Real Ale’.
• A revived demand for Traditional Malt (‘Real Malt’) followed.
The broad principles of Traditional Malt:
- Steeping in open water vessels over 72 hours to raise the moisture level in the grain to well above 32% at which germination is precipitated.
- Controlled germination, on floors, for approximately 5 days when the modification of the ‘green malt’ from starch to maltose is managed courtesy of hand operated tools.
- Rapid transfer of the ‘green malt’ to the kiln to be dried and cured down to a long term storage moisture of just 4%.
At Warminster Maltings the whole process is conducted within the ambient temperatures of the malt floors, regulated by the opening and closing of the non-glazed windows spaced all along their length. It is a very natural process which allows the individual batches of barley to express themselves to the optimum. This emphasises the character of the malt, and creates the maximum extracts for the brewer.