Come On In
Before and After
First, for the drying phase, hot air (up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit) is gently pushed through the malt to stop germination without killing the enzymatic potential necessary for brewing.
To cure the malt, the temperature is then gradually raised to almost 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, the malt is almost completely dry, and the its signature flavors have developed. The temperature at which the malt is kilned and for how long dictates the type of malt that is created. Munich malt, for example, is kilned at a higher temperature than the pale malt pictured here.
After kilning, the grain's moisture content is below 10% of its weight. All of that moisture is in the center of the kernel—if it were used for brewing at that stage, the outside of the grain would crumble to dust, while the inside would gum up a brewer's mash—not good for brewing. So the last process of malting is aging; at MillerCoors, the now-malted barley is aged for 21 days. This redistributes the moisture content throughout each barley kernel, perfecting it for brewers.