Sunoco barley malting operation up and running in Oswego County

Oswego County is helping lead the way for New York's burgeoning craft beer brewery industry. 

When you first step into the 1886 Malt House in Volney, it's hard not to be impressed by the sparkling new facility and equipment. What really stands out is what appears to be a lack of activity. but what might also hit you is what appears to be a lack of activity.

The machines do most of the work. 

After the barley is cleaned in a machine and the right size grains sorted out, it goes into tanks full of water for about a day and a half to start waking up the sleeping seeds.

Next the barley goes into germination tanks where cool, humid air pumped in for about five days to create the enzymes critical in the beer making process. The grains are turned over every few hours to prevent clumping and mold, about eight days start to finish before it lands in the malt bins and eventually into the climate controlled warehouse.

Every step of the way, critical lab analysis of the barley is tested and checked.

"Every single step is very important.  Initially, you have to hydrate to get the grain to grow and also to allow that enzyme migration to occur eventually,”  said Noel McCarthy, operations manager at the 1886 Malt House. 

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