Barley is a principal source of carbohydrates and amino acids, its energy stored as starch encased in a protein matrix in the endosperm. The malting process is initiated by steeping or immersing the cleaned barley kernels in water. The hydration will stimulate the embryo into growth and activate the enzymes needed to modify the endosperm.

The second step of the malting process is germination, where the grain undergoes modification. Proteolytic enzymes (proteases) are formed and activated to break down the protein matrix of cellular walls. This then provides a pathway for the starch degrading enzymes (amylases) that have developed during germination, to convert the starch into fermentable sugars in the mash tun later on in the brewing process.

The final stage of malting is kilning, which has 3 functions. The heat halts germination and promotes the Maillard reaction between amino acids and sugars, producing colour and flavour. Kilning also reduces moisture from 42% to 4-5% whilst preserving essential enzymes for the brewing process. The result is a friable malt that can then be safely stored and readily milled by the brewer.





“Green Malt” taken moist directly out of germination, is heated in the roaster, where the endosperm liquefies into a sugary solution and crystallizes during kilning to a glassy sugar. The Maillard reaction that takes place in this process gives it the specific caramel flavours.

Kilned malts are roasted until they reach the desired colour and flavour profile.

The malt is then cleaned which includes deculming, grading, and aspiration.
Once the malt is analysed, it’s packed and dispatched to Joe White customers.


Joe White Specialty Malt Plant in Ballarat is Australia’s only dedicated specialty plant. Its focus is a range of roasted products ranging from lighter coloured amber malt, to the full spectrum of crystal malts and heavily roasted grain and malts.