Malt Whisky Distillation Process:

Mashing 

The next stage for the malted barley is passage through a mill, from which it emerges roughly ground as grist. From here it is moved to a mash tun, a large vat where it is mixed with hot water and agitated, so that its sugars dissolve to produce wort, a sweet, non-alcoholic liquid. This process is repeated in order to ensure that all the sugars have been collected. The solid remains of the barley are removed at this point for conversion to cattle food.

Carol P. Shaw, Whisky. HarperCollins, 1993.

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