Barley being harvested


Other Products:

Brewing Malts

Roasted Malts



Distilling Malts

Distilling Malt (Pot Still Malt)

Two row spring malting barley, which has recovered from dormancy and is mature enough to promote vigorous and even germination, is selected for the production of our Distilling malt. The barley nitrogen will not normally exceed 1.65% (10.3% protein).

Barley steeping regimes for distilling normally attain final moisture of 44% - 46% in green malt prior to germination, slightly higher than normally required for Pilsen lager style malts.

Germination temperatures are cool ( 12 - 14 o C) over 4 - 5 days. This type of regime promotes high fermentabilities, adequate enzyme potential and soluble nitrogen (protein) levels.

A gentle distilling malt kiln cycle is crucial to limit the loss of heat sensitive enzyme systems built up during germination and to maximise fermentability. Kiln cycles will start at 50 - 60 o C rising to 70 - 75 oC towards the end of the programme to attain the desired final moisture content.

Typical Distilling Malt Specification:

  IoB Analysis units Typical value
Moisture % 4.5 max
Extract course grind asis basis % 77.0 min
Fermentability (course grind) % 87.0 min
Fermentable extract (course grind) % 67.0
Predicted spirit yield (course grind) Litre alcohol/tonne 405 min
Total nitrogen % 1.65 min
Soluble / Total nitrogen % 35 - 40



Distilling Malt (High Enzyme Activity)

To achieve the required level of enzyme activity the barley nitrogen will normally exceed 1.95% (12.0% protein) as the nitrogen component contains much of the latent protein enzyme in the form of beta-amlyase. Only varieties that are designated as non-producers of glycosidic nitrile (GN) are selected thus ensuring that ethyl carbamate (EC) levels in the final spirit are within current food safety limits.
Barley steeping regimes for grain distilling are selected to achieve high final cast moistures of 47% - 49% in green malt which will promote a high level of modification during germination. This is necessary to achieve the optimum level of enzyme activity for these malt types.
The green malt is lightly kilned to preserve the heat sensitive enzymes produced during germination. Kiln cycles will start at 50 - 55 oC rising to 60 - 65 oC towards the end of the programme.
Typical Grain Distilling Malt Specification:



IoB Analysis units

Typical value



6.5 max

Diastatic Power


165 min

Alpha Amylase Activity


70 min

Free Amino-nitrogen (FAN)


200 min

Glycosidic Nitrile (GN)


0.5 max




Peated Malt

Bairds malt has taken steps to address the continuing demand for peated malt. The Inverness maltings has been re-established as a site for peated malt production following further investment in this process. The plant can manufacture peated malt in a range of intensities, including at the very high phenolic levels typically required by Islay Distillers.

Peated malt is used by some malt distillers to impart a smoked or peaty flavour to their spirit. This type of malt may also occasionally be used as a very small inclusion in brewers' mashes to produce beer with a smoked character.

Peated malt is made using exactly the same production regimes and barley as (plain) distilling malt. The main difference is that peat smoke or 'reek' is introduced into the air drying the malt during kilning. The peat smoke is absorbed onto the the surface of the drying malt which, when processed, imparts the smoked peaty flavour to the finished product.

Typical Peated Malt Specification:


  IoB Analysis units Typical value
Moisture % 4.5 max
Extract course grind asis basis % 77.5 min
Fermentability (course grind) % 86.0 min

Predicted spirit yield (will depend on peating level)

Litre alcohol/tonne 403
Lightly Peated ppm 2 - 5
Medium Peated ppm 8 - 10
Heavy Peated ppm 25 - 50






Company Details:-

The Registered office of Bairds Malt Limited is situated at Station Maltings, Witham, Essex, CM8 2DU. Registered in England. Company registration number 3580592.