The journey of malt – Kilning

When the germination is finished – or rather, when we want it to be finished – the malt will be kilned. Since last year, we have a brand-new kiln (a specialized oven) that enables us to produce higher quantities without losing any quality.

To understand kilning we need to go back a step, because it all starts at the germination process. We established the fact that we want the grain to come to life. But at the same time, we don’t want it to undergo the entire process of natural germination.

For the right amount of fermentable sugars in your malt we need to stop the process in time. This is done by kilning, which means the germinated malt is first dried and then heated to become the right building block for your beer. In this phase, we also make sure the malt develops the desired flavour and colour characteristics. This is called modification, a measure of enzymatic activity.

We have a state-of-the-art kiln that allows us to create large amounts of malt, while still being able to make the tiniest adjustments. For example, Swaen Pilsner will need another procedure than what will become Gold Swaen Brown. The first needs the right amount of fermentable to become the perfect base malt, while the second needs to be prepared for roasting and focusses more on flavour and colour.

After the malt has been kilned to the desired specifications, it is cooled to prevent further development and stored in our silos. This is the final step in the malting process for our Swaen base malts. But if you want Gold Swaen cara or Black Swaen roasted malts, there is one additional step. These malts will undergo treatment in our special roaster.

But that is a story for another time…