What is the difference between drum malting, saladin malting and tower malting system?
Drum mash was once the hotel owner's star, replacing floor mash and saladin boxes. These are footnotes in whiskey history. Learn more about making malt in a spinning drum via Whiskipedia.
What is barrel malt
Cylindric systems are used for soaking and malting barley and other grains. The soaking system allows the grain to be cleaned, extracting any dust and other foreign impurities, while wetting the grain to begin the malting process. The barley is mechanically turned in large industrial rollers to ensure that the sprouted barley does not tangle.
This allows for more control and personalization in the germination process of each batch of barley. Important factors such as temperature and airflow can be better controlled than traditional floor malting. This allows winemakers to ensure consistent and personalized customer quality. The technology is now largely obsolete and rarely used.
Who invented the method of making malt in barrels
Nicholas Galland, a pioneer of saladin boxes, developed the drum malting process and established his first factory in 1873. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, barrel malting became the most common commercial malt processing process. Drum malt fermentation uses rotating drums to germinate. The rotating drum gently turns the green malt, preventing matting of the roots, providing temperature regulation, and promoting air flow.
Barrel malt is introduced
Burghead Malings was made from 24 barrels of beer by Scottish Malt Distillers in 1967. In 1971, industrial malt fermentation was increased to 48 sprouting barrels, making it one of the largest barrel malt fermentation in Europe.
A distillery that produces malt in barrels
Many wineries, including Port Allen and Glenord, have introduced drum malt. These often replace saladin boxes or floor malts. In 1905 the Speyburn Company introduced an earlier model based on the 1883 Galland built in Pankow, Berlin.
Drum mash from Port Allen
In 1973, seven malt barrels were installed at the Port Allen Brewery to serve Diageo's three distilleries on Islay: Port Allen, Kayla and Lagavulin. The ale itself has outlived the Port Ellen distillery, which closed in 1983 because there was not enough interest in it as a single ale and the blending market was experiencing oversupply. Among Diageo's other breweries, Ale and Jura still supply most of their beer from malt breweries. The jolly Port Allen distillery is now being rebuilt.
Drum malt at Glen Ord
Glen Ord's floor ale was replaced by a Saladin box in 1961 and another drum ale was added in 1968. The Saladin box was removed in 1983 and today only contains drum malt. Gleno malt distillery supplies malt to many Diageo distilleries, such as Talisker.
An older drum mash, garland and Henning pneumatic drum mash was installed at Speyburn in 1905, but these drum mash were discontinued in 1967. Although Speyburn's old drum malting machines are no longer in use, they are protected by Historic Scotland and can be seen by visitors.
What is a Saladin box?
Saladin Malting is an alternative to the floor Malting and whiskey making of earlier distilleries. There are two common versions: the "Saladin box" and the "round Saladin". A saladin box is a horizontal box fitted with a spinner that moves over the bed several times a day to increase the barley, thereby preventing root entanglement. As the name suggests, the circular Saladin circular container is attached to an arm that rotates around the container. Both versions allow air to be cooled through the barley. The sprouted "green malt" is then transferred from the Saladin box to the oven. Saladin boxes can batch process 200 tons of bed barley at depths between 60 cm and 80 cm, and have been phased out when drum malts were introduced. The Glen Ord Saladin box was processed in 1983 and today only has drum malt. Today, most breweries rely on industrial malt rather than producing their own.
Invented by French Colonel Charles Saladin at the end of the 19th century to reduce the backbreaking manual labor involved in traditional floor malt brewing. Saladin boxes have largely gone out of fashion and have been replaced by more advanced drum malt brewing techniques, with Tamdu being the only distillery in Scotland still using saladin boxes. The winery still uses two of these boxes to fill the kiln and two steps to fill the box. Tamdhu, incidentally, was also one of the first Scottish distilleries to install Saladin boxes since Glen Mor distillery in 1950. The first Saladin box factory (for use outside whisky making) was in Winford, Norfolk, in 1891.
How does a Saladin box work?
Malting in saladin boxes, the malted barley is placed in large boxes made of concrete and the grain is turned by spiral lathes powered by belts and pulleys. This mechanical work helps to lift wet, budding barley out of the field again and again.
In addition to separating growing barley grains, this lifting process means better distribution and control of temperature within individual grain layers, while also ensuring more favourable ventilation. Saladin malt processing allows for deeper malting beds (and therefore greater capacity) than ground malt processing, however these have been replaced by drum malt processing or industrial combined processing equipment used by commercial malt merchants.
The first attempt to mechanize the malt-brewing process was made in 1873 in Nicholas Galland's pneumatic malt room. Unfortunately, since the original version did not allow for grain flipping, the fine roots of the sprouted barley quickly became entangled, forming an indivisible and useless wet grain mat. So In 1876 Garland introduced a modified method that allowed grain to be turned over by hand twice a day.
Saladin's box malt fermentation is essentially the same mechanical improvement that does not require muscle power to transform barley. It might be fairer to call Saladin's design an improvement rather than a new invention, since Garland's design was adopted in both Britain and the United States. Saladin's design is still recognizable in Thamdu mash, the main differences being the use of stainless steel, the scale of the individual containers, and the use of direct drive motors instead of pulleys and belts.
Tower systems are currently used for barley malt production. The largest tower malt processing system provided by our company is 700 tons/batch, and the annual output of malt can reach 1.8 million tons.
The main parameters: high automation, low energy consumption, short conveying distance.
In contrast, one of the directions taken by the industry to increase production and reduce Labour costs was the second "tower" malt brewery built in burton, Trent, England, in 1983 for Allbrew Maltsters.
The site is now owned and operated by Soufflet Malt (UK) LTD. Gravity is used very efficiently in this design, where water and grain are transported to the top of the tower, where soaking takes place. At each stage the sprouted grain descends to the next level in the tower, eventually becoming dried malt at the bottom. Modern kilns reuse heat in a variety of ways, using about half as much heat to produce malt as traditional high-cone kilns.
Tower brewing, pictured here, produces about 17 times more malt per person than ground brewing.
Tower malt is just one option for modern malt merchants, a range of mills can produce very precise process controlled quality malt. In recent years, technological developments have moved into the area of monitoring and process control.