Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a combination of natural local water sources and malted barley at a single distillery.
Barley is first steeped in water and then spread out on malting floors to germinate. It is turned regularly to prevent any build up of heat. Traditionally, this was done by tossing the barley into the air with wooden shovels in a malt barn adjacent to the kiln.
During this process enzymes are activated which convert the starch into sugar when the next step, mashing, takes place. After 6 to 7 days of germination the barley, now called green malt, goes to the kiln for drying. This halts the germination. The heat is kept below 70°C so that the enzymes are not destroyed. Peat may be added to the fire to impart flavour from the smoke.