Definition: Malt derives from the Old English word meltan (to melt) and refers to grain, often barley or rye, that is softened by steeping it in water and allowing it to germinate, the resulting malt is then used in brewing and distilling spirits. The enzyme, diastase, that is produced by the malting process helps starch in the grains turn into sugar and eventually alcohol.
The malting must be stopped to prevent loss of all starches, this is done by various drying methods. Specifically in the case of whiskey, drying is done in a kiln and the particular way in which it is dried is the first step in determining the type of whiskey produced although other factors do play an equally important role.
Also Known As: Malting