The 16th January 2015 was a very important day for Kingsbarns Distillery as it marked the first mash in our new distillery.
The mashtun was filled with our milled malted barley and water for the first time around noon. Understandably, as with any new equipment, there were a few teething problems on the first run, with the final collection in the washback some 10 hours later.
The collective memories of the day from our distillery team were ably summed up by our distillery manager, Peter: "It was an exceptionally long day, but very rewarding to get into production at last. It wasn't too long before we had our mashing time down around 7 hours, so we've come a long way. Andy and I were also really pleased to start mashing so that the distillery warmed up a bit!"
Mashing Quick Facts
The first delivery of malted Fife barley in late 2014 was of the optic variety and lasted us for about a month or 16 mashes. Thereafter, we have been using the concerto barley variety which delivers a higher yield.
Our mashtun is made from stainless steel and was manufactured in England. We use one and a half tonnes of malted barley per mash and use three different rinses of ever increasing temperature of hot water to extract the sugars from the malted barley. The third water is saved and used as the first water at the start of the next mash. The resultant sugary liquid is collected in one of our 4 washbacks where we add yeast to ferment into alcohol prior to distillation.
The spent barley grains at the end of each mash are collected by a local farmer and used as cattle feed which results in very happy cows!