After steeping the barley germinates for 5-6 days, starting at a temperature of 18 °C, which then is lowered to 12-14 °C. The germination activates and forms enzymes, which make the starch of the malt accessible, while the walls of the cells are opened. At the same time the protein of the barley is converted to amino acids etc., which are important for the yeasts metabolism in the brewery. While the barley germinates, it is called green malt. Approximately 1,250 kg of barley are needed to produce 1,000 kg of malt.
At Fuglsang’s malting plant in Haderslev we have 10 germinating boxes of 80 tons each. At Dragsbaek malting in Thisted there are 18 germination boxes with up to 170 tons of green malt.
In case of high outdoor temperatures a cooling plant maintains adequate temperatures during germination. After processing each batch, the boxes are cleaned thoroughly with high pressure cleaners. Finally, the boxes are disinfected to ensure that the germination of the next steep can take place in an absolutely clean environment.