Let’s talk about barley!
One of the key components of making top quality whisky is barley. To keep in line with all our other spirits, we have carefully selected the barley for our whisky production.
We had to find someone with an eye for detail and quality. After a visit to Warminster Maltings we left very impressed and with a batch of crushed malt to test at the distillery. Their traditional floor malting methods and individually prepared batches were the main reasons for us to choose to work with them.
What is traditional floor malting?
During malting, the barley is soaked for over three days in warm water after which it is traditionally spread on the floor of a malting house. It is turned regularly to maintain a constant temperature. This controlled germination takes place approximately five days and when the barley starts to sprout, the germination has to be stopped by drying it in a kiln.
Nowadays the malting is mainly carried out in large rotating drums due to the larger scales of production, which is why Warminster Maltings is so unique with their traditional floor malting. We appreciate the time and effort they put in to produce the best quality malt.
Like mentioned above we have chosen Warminster Maltings due to their special traditional floor malting and small batch production. It fits with Bimber Distillery’s artisanal production methods like a glove fits the hand!
As we appreciate all-natural products it was important for us to find like-minded company to source our malt from. Warminster Maltings is one of only three UK maltsters with Organic certification. Few of the key criteria for judging the best growers are:
-Track record of top quality malting barley performance
-Timely and tidy management of all field operations
-Bespoke harvesting, conditioning and storage facilities
-Understanding what is needed for distilling/brewing
After the barley have been harvested Warminster Maltings analyze the quality and test brew samples to make sure they will only be selling the best for their customers.
At the distillery
As soon as the crushed malt is delivered to the distillery the whole place smells like freshly baked bread, it’s beautiful and fresh. We do the mashing here at the distillery and the wort is very sweet and malty.
Just to clarify, the liquid combination of malt and water is called the ‘mash’. It is put into a large vessel called a mash tun and stirred for several hours. During this process, the sugars in the malt dissolve and these are drawn off through the bottom of the mash tun. The resulting liquid is called wort.
Before we chose Warminster Maltings we tested few other options but the malt from Warminster was the most suitable for our production. We extract around 20% more sugar from their malt than from any other we tested, the final gravity being about 1,080.
The wort ferments very well and the final spirit is light, delicate and very fresh. You can taste the sweetness from the malt, which brings out fruity and slightly honey notes.
This new make is the essence of our whisky and we are very proud of the outcome. The new make is so delicious we can’t wait to get our hands on the whisky, you can already tell it will be a great addition to our award winning spirit range!
Do you have questions about our production? Please feel free to contact us to arrange a visit!