Whisky Magazine Issue 113
This article is 3 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.
Copyright Whisky Magazine © 1999-2016. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.
We investigate the process and the significance of milling
?Milling the malt (ie. crushing the malted barley) is typically considered entirely pragmatic, compared to distillation and aging which are hailed as creative, and instrumental in forming the character of the resulting malt whisky.
However, each stage of the production process is equally important, in the sense that it must be concluded successfully, otherwise each successive stage will be compromised.
The malt is initially passed through a dresser, effectively a revolving drum fitted with mesh that acts as a sieve, allowing malt to pass through but catching extraneous items such as twigs, pieces of straw and larger stones from the harvesting process.
The malt subsequently passes through a de-stoner, which operates
on a similar principle to a dresser and catches smaller stones. This is vital
as stones can damage the rollers of
the milling machine. Additionally,
stones striking the rollers, or each other, can create sparks which are potentially very dangerous. That's because this process creates a lot of dust, which could be ignited by a spark and start
a fire or even cause an explosion.
This also explains why dust extraction units are an integral part of the process.
The malt is then conveyed to a weighing machine positioned above the mill. A slide at the base of the weighing machine opens to release specific amounts of malt.
“Our weighing machine tips 50 kg batches of malt into the mill at regular intervals. Each tip of malt is known
as a coup, and this is an o...