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The Production Process – Mashing

糖化過程

Mashing begins by mixing malted barley with heated process water to produce a gruel-like liquid called mash.  Diastatic enzymes in the malt then act on the starch, converting it to sugar.  Once this mash is filtered, the resulting liquid, or wort, is then ready for fermentation.  Before mashing can occur, however, the malt must first be milled.  The malted barley is milled in the malt mill.  Milled malt, or grist is grouped according to its fineness, in descending order of fineness, they are flour, grits, and husks.

Wort is a sweet barley juice that is produced as enzymes in the malt act on its starch, converting them into sugars.  The key is to produce a wort that is high in fermentable sugars (e.g. glucose and maltose) that can be converted by yeast during fermentation process in order to produce wash, which has an alcohol content of 7-10% abv.

A mash tun is used for the mashing process, where the grist is steeped or infused in heated water, allowing sugar and nutrients to be extracted.  Finally the mash tun also filters, or separates the liquid from the solid.

The resulting wort can be either clear (semi-cloudy) or cloudy, depending on the style and character required by the distillery.  In Scotland, cloudy wort is normally used, which gives a more grainy character to the Scotch.  Japanese distillers prefer to use clear wort, which results in more aromatic and fruity characters.

 

 

糖化的過程由麥芽與熱水的混合,產生名為麥芽漿的糊狀物開始,然後麥芽中的轉化酶,將澱粉轉化為糖。麥芽漿經過濾後,所得的麥芽汁已可以準備發酵;然而在糖化發生之前,麥芽需先經研磨機研磨,磨碎的麥芽或穀物根據其細緻度,由大至小分別稱為麥粉、碎麥芽和穀殼。

 

麥芽中的酶澱粉轉化為糖後,生產出麥芽汁。 這過步驟的關鍵是,產生含足夠可發酵糖(例如葡萄糖和麥芽糖)的麥芽汁,這些糖份經發酵後可產出具有7-10%酒精度的Wash。

糖化過程中,穀物粉在糖化鍋浸泡在熱水中,萃取出糖份和養份。 最後,糖化鍋經過濾,將固體和液體分隔。

麥芽汁可以是半混濁的或混濁的,這取決於個別蒸餾廠所需的風格和特性。 在蘇格蘭,通常使用較為混濁的麥芽汁,賦予其威士忌更多質感。 日本蒸餾廠喜歡使用半混濁的麥芽汁,令其威士忌更富果香。