This ingredient is made from grain, usually barley, that has undergone a process of wetting and drying called malting before the brewer can use it. Raw grain is soaked and begins to germinate (sprout) releasing enzymes that help convert its carbohydrates into fermentable sugars. It is then roasted to stop the germination process. The roasting can vary in duration in order to create different degrees of roasty flavour. The germinated/roasted grain introduces to the beer; colour, malty sweet flavour, body, and protein to form a good head. The yeast will consume the sugars and produce beer’s intoxicating ingredient (ethanol) and its bubbles (carbon dioxide, CO2).

Single malt Scotch is basically distilled beer. The beer that is produced for distillation is not bittered with hops but the malted barley is often roasted over peat fires which imparts a distinctive smokiness to the whisky.