Barley Malting & Kilning

Kilchoman is one of only six distilleries in Scotland that carries out its own traditional floor maltings.

The majority of distillers purchase their malt from large commercial maltings.

Floor Maltings

Barley 2 tonne batches
Steep The barley is soaked in the evening and left to steep for the night, then drained the next morning. This process is repeated once more, then the barley is spread out on the floor.
Floor The barley now sprouts roots and is regularly turned and raked over a period of 4 days.
Peating 10 hours over a smokey fire to achieve 20 - 25 ppm
Drying 40 hours (indirect oil fired system)


2 tonnes of barley per week

Steep for 2 days. 12 hours on water and 12 hours resting. Repeated. Moisture content between 40 and 45%

Laid on the floor for 5 to 6 days. It is turned and raked regularly until it is fully germinated.

Taken to the kiln where the moisture content is still between 30 and 35%. Peated for 10 hours,which achieves approx. 20 ppm of phenols. It is then dried with warm air for up 35 hours down to 5% moisture. The finished malt is then transferred to a bin for storage prior to use.


1.2 tonnes of malt are milled for one mash. We do six mashes a week.


1st water 4600 litres of water @ 64degreesC

2nd water 1800 litres of water @ 80degreesC

3rd water 4600 litres of water @ 90degreesC


A mashing produces 6000 litres of worts with an original gravity (sugar level) of between 1056 to 1061

Fermentation ranges from 80 hours to 120 hours with a final gravity (sugar now converted to alcohol) of 998 to 999.  

The wash is now a warm, cloudy strong beer usually measuring 7- 8% ABV.