What is a Saladin Box?
Saladin Malting were an early replacement for distillery floor malting for brewing and whisky making. There were two common versions: Saladin boxes and Round Saladin. Saladin boxes are horizontal boxes equipped with a spinner that move through the bed several times a day, increasing the barley thus preventing the roots from getting tangled. As the name suggests, Circular Saladin circular vessels are attached to an arm that rotates around the container. Both versions also allow air to be blown through the barley for cooling. The germinated ‘green malt’ is then transferred from the Saladin Box to the oven. Saladin boxes can be processed in batches of 200 tons bed of barley at a time between 60 cm and 80 cm deep and became obsolete when drum malting was introduced.
Invented by a Frenchman, Colonel Charles Saladin in the late 1800s with the intent of reducing the strenuous manual labor involved in traditional floor malting. The Saladin box has largely had its day and has been replaced by the more up-to-date drum malting technology, in Scotland Tamdhu is the only distillery that still uses the Saladin box. This distillery still uses two such boxes to fill the kiln, and two steeps to fill the box. Tamdhu was, incidentally, also one of the first Scottish distilleries to install a Saladin box.
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