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Issue 113 - Grinding Time

Whisky Magazine Issue 113
July 2013

 

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Grinding Time

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...

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