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Author Topic: Malt House, Chatham  (Read 3541 times)

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Offline sandi_01

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Re: Malt House, Chatham
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 10:37:49 »
What lovely buildings Kyn! I have never noticed them before. It took me a while to get my bearings even when I studied a recent road map...but that's just me! I would never have believed they were situated just behind the high street. I will have a good look next time i'm shopping. Thanks for sharing! :)

Offline kyn

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Malt House, Chatham
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 10:07:49 »

Situated between Whittaker Street and Rhode Street is this old Malt House.  The malt house is shown on the 1879 Ordnance Survey Map.

Malt houses were used to convert cereal grain into malt, used in Beer and Whiskey.  The grain was soaked in water until it sprouted before being dried to halt growth.  The process involved soaking the grain in a steeping pit of cistern for a day or more.  The cistern was then drained and the grain was then transferred to a couch for a day or two it would generate heat and begin to germinate.  After this it was spread out on the growing floor to encourage vegetation, the grain was turned at intervals to ensure even growth; this took up to 14 days, and after this period it was moved towards the kiln.  The temperature was controlled by ventilation and after a day or two roots begun to appear.  A few days after this the stem began to appear.  The process was stopped before the stem burst the hulk when much of the starch in the grain had been converted into maltose, it was then left to dry.  The barley was them moved into the kiln for two to four days, the length of time determined whether the malt was to be light or dark, and was then left for a few months to develop flavour.

Malt houses could be found in many villages during the eighteenth century, they tended to be long low buildings normally of two storeys.  Due to the germination being hindered in hot weather the process usually took place in winter, providing work for agricultural workers during their slow season.


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