The process of malting is traditionally broken down into three main stages, these being Steeping, Germination and Kilning with the aim of tricking the grain into thinking its springtime and planted in the soil. This encourages the grain to germinate- a process which sees the grain starch imbibe water and undergo a physiochemical change whereby the starch is converted to fermentable sugars which of course is what brewers and distillers require for their yeast to feed on to produce alcohol.
Kilning involves the careful addition of heat in a controlled manner to gently dry the germinated grain and hence cause respiration to cease thus leaving the sugars in a state suitable for storage and crushing ahead of addition to the tun. The greater the heat applied, the darker the eventual colour of the malt which is desirable for brewers flavouring their beer whilst distillers traditionally prefer lighter malts (perhaps with the exception of peated malt) naturally higher in enzymic activity.
We also hope to experiment with green malt in the future, which skips the final kilning step to produce a malt high in diastatic power but inherently perishable. However, we feel our size will allow experimentation with a malt offering different conversion efficiency, flavour and an inherently lower environmental impact.
However because we grow the grain there are a lot more stages involved.