Past and Present

The Five Steps of Whisky Production

Wednesday 21 December 2022|

The Scotch Whisky industry contributes almost five billion pounds to the UK economy, and it is only forecasted to grow. It is a truly historic, world-renowned industry that is popular with individuals all over the world. In this post, the team at Auction Your Cask explores the five steps involved in the whisky production process - keep reading to learn more about how whisky is produced and how it ends up maturing. If you’d like to find out more about our cask auctions, please visit our website today. 


The very first step in the production of whisky is known as malting. This is the process in which grain is soaked in water to promote germination. It is subsequently dried with hot air to create malt for the production process. When the malted barley has been dried, it is then ground down into grist before the mashing process; this is to increase the solubility of different sugars. 


Mashing is the second step in the process; it involves fermentable sugars being extracted from the grain. Next, the grist is soaked in hot water (around 62-70 degrees) for a period of time. This encourages the starch to be broken down into sugars through the activation of an enzyme known as amylase.


Thirdly, fermentation is where the sugars in the wort are turned into alcohol using yeast. It occurs in large washbacks. These are basically huge fermentation tanks, and cylindrical vessels for the fermentation of wort.


Distillation is the fourth step in the process. It is the process in which alcohol is extracted from the fermented wort or wash, through selective boiling and condensation. This is a physical separation process instead of a chemical reaction. The alcohol vapours evaporate and rise up the still and over the Lyne Arm. Following this, they condense, and the resulting new-make spirit is collected. 


The production process of whisky is what gives it around 20-30% of its style and flavour, with the rest being extracted from the maturation process. Oak is a durable wood but it’s also porous too, so it will enable the cask to breathe. Maturing casks are kept secured in bonded warehouses, and they will be in an environment with a consistent temperature and humidity.

Buy a Whisky Cask 

To learn more about our previous auctions and how you can buy and sell whisky casks, visit the Auction Your Cask website today. You can also get in touch with us via our email at info@auctionyourcask.com or by calling our team today on +44 (0)203 746 3030. We can answer any questions you have and guide you through the entire auction process step-by-step. We are leading whisky auctioneers with live whisky auctions for buyers and sellers to come together. You can participate in our auctions and buy a cask for yourself or future generations; it is a fantastic alternative asset that can potentially provide incredible returns.