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Contract Peated Malt

Irish Craft Malts is a specialty producer of peated malt in Ireland, offering a range of malts that are perfect for use in the production of whiskey, poteen, and other spirits. The company sources its raw materials, including malting barley and malted oats, from our own farm, ensuring that its products are of the highest quality.

We also provide contract malting services for customers who grow their own grain and we can batch malt and allow distillers to create their own unique mash bills with an authentic terroir and genuine claim to be malted in Ireland.

To create its peated malt, Irish Craft Malts follows a careful and precise process that has been honed over 6 years. The process begins with the soaking of the barley in water to begin the germination process.  Different grain will require separate steep processes whihc we program into our automated steeping system.  Water sensitivity is one of the more important considerations when designing our steep process.

Water sensitivity in Malting Barley

Water sensitivity in malting barley refers to the plant’s ability to withstand excess moisture or drought conditions during the growing season. Barley that is highly water sensitive is more prone to yield loss and reduced quality when exposed to extreme moisture conditions, while barley that is less water sensitive is more resilient and able to withstand such conditions.

Several factors can contribute to water sensitivity in barley, including genetics, environmental conditions, and soil type. Barley varieties that are more water sensitive tend to have a higher rate of vegetative growth, which can make them more vulnerable to drought and excess moisture. In contrast, varieties that are less water sensitive tend to have a higher rate of reproductive growth, which can make them more resistant to these conditions.

Environmental conditions, such as temperature and rainfall, can also affect the water sensitivity of barley. For example, barley that is grown in areas with high humidity or heavy rainfall may be more prone to water sensitivity, while barley that is grown in areas with low humidity or limited rainfall may be less sensitive to water.

Soil type can also play a role in water sensitivity, as certain types of soil are more prone to moisture retention or drainage than others. Barley grown in soil that is prone to excess moisture may be more water sensitive, while barley grown in soil with good drainage may be less sensitive to water

Add your own turf!

Some of our customers ask us to use their local turf.  Contact us about your requirements and we can advise how much is required to add a distinctive flavor to your malt.

Ideally, turf or peat should be from the high bog and contain fibrous content, often exactly opposite to the dark turf preferred for burning domestically.

Considerations when selecting barley for malting

Protein content: Malting barley with a high protein content can produce a more flavorful malt, as the protein contributes to the development of enzymes during the germination process. However, too much protein can also lead to problems during the distillation process, such as reduced yields and increased fouling of distillation equipment.

Germination rate: The germination rate of barley refers to the percentage of grains that sprout during the germination process. Malting barley with a high germination rate is generally considered more suitable for making distillers’ malt, as it indicates a strong and healthy plant.

Size and uniformity of grains: The size and uniformity of the grains can affect the efficiency of the malt production process. Grains that are too small or irregular in size can be difficult to handle and may not germinate evenly, whole grains that are too large may be more difficult to mill.

Quality of the grain: The overall quality of the grain is an important consideration when selecting malting barley for distillers’ malt. This includes factors such as cleanliness, moisture content, and freedom from disease and pests.  Grain must be securely stored at low moisture content.

Growing conditions: The growing conditions of the barley, including the soil type, climate, and farming practices, can also impact the suitability of the grain for making distillers’ malt. Barley grown in poor conditions may be more prone to disease or have lower protein content, which can affect the quality of the final product.

Non-GN variety – it is important to select a variety of malting barley that is Non-GN as Glycosidic nitrile can be produced during the malting process, and is an issue because it is a precursor to ethyl carbamate, a carcinogen.


Minimum batch sizes

We can process 500kg batches, which net down to around 400kg when the malt is finally produced.  Depending on our production schedule, we can normally take in 500kg to 2 tonnes at a time for malting.

Malting losses occur naturally during the malting process, factors such as initial moisture content (MC) compare to the final (MC) of the malt, which is normally lower added to the byproduct of culm created and removed during the deculming process. 

 Our peated malts have a high phenol content so it is very possible to produce a mash bill with low concentrations of our peated malt, a little goes a long way!