First, mold exists pretty much everywhere, and anywhere you have moisture and a suitable food source, a particular mold is likely to grow. If mold and bacteria did not deconstruct the physical world, we would be buried beneath hundreds of feet of dead tree leaves, besides other things.
The cereal grain husk is a protection against mold. Once broken, mold has a pathway to the grain kernel. Barley has the toughest husk of all grains used in whisky production. From my experience on the farm, corn is probably the worst grain from a mold infestation viewpoint. Rye mold is especially dangerous, as rye ergot poisoning is like being on an LSD trip.
One thing that I learned in my study of mold, is that mold really doesn't die when moisture is removed from its food source. Established mold growth could go dormant for a million years after moisture was removed from its food source, and upon restablishment of moisture, mold growth takes over immediately where it left off. If that was in the middle of toxin production.....LOOK OUT!!! Not just "toxic mold" can produce toxins. Thousands of species of mold produce toxins. There are at least 1.5 million mold species, and only about 15,000 have been studied in any depth. Ochratoxin would be a common corn mold toxin, and it's in other grains as well.
If there is no established mold growth, then mold growth must be established from mold spores. That takes about 72 hours to get going, and longer than that to get a really good colony of mold established from a few spores. Thus, if grain is already moldy, it has over a 72 hour head start compared to fresh grain that is just being exposed to mold spores. Barley takes about 6 days to malt on a traditional malting floor, and it is steeped in water for a couple of days before being spread on the malting floor. Thus, if grain is moldy to begin with, it will be far moldier after 8 days than clean grain that received its first exposure to mold while being steeped in moldy water or spread on the malting floor.
Since Islay malts are generally steeped in peaty water that has to contain some mold, they will receive mold exposure, but remember that the husk is still intact while being steeped in water and can act as a filter to spores and bacteria. Grain with cracked husks will receive a far greater exposure. It is possible that the malting grain produces antitoxins to any mold exposure for a period of days before sprouts appear and begins making chemicals through photosynthesis. Thus, the husks of grain being used should remain intact while being steeped in water. Barley is the best grain for that purpose; also its huge excess of enzymes insures the malting process proceeds as swiftly as possible.
Once the dried malt is ground in a gristmill and water is added to produce a mash, it goes without saying that any established mold could grow in a rather wild manner. Any mold antitoxins in the mash would be an incredible asset to getting a finished mash that was free of mold byproducts. At this point, I have discovered nothing but Islay malts can counteract mold effects in a person like me that has been exposed to molds and is sensitive to mold and its byproducts.
The world's most qualified environmental medicine physician told me that the only way to counteract environmental mold was to EAT PLANTS THAT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE EXACT MOLDS YOU ARE EXPOSED TO. Green plants manufacture antitoxins that allow them to survive in the presence of molds. This has been known for decades, but medical schools funded by pharmaceutical companies hide these facts from medical students. Highland Park knows that scotch's medicinal value is tied to peat (but remember they own Hobbister Moor, the world's finest peat field for whisky production and would like an excuse to tout their peat). Peat is moldy, and the plants that grew to produce the peat also produced antitoxins to the mold while they were alive. Islay or Orkney peat is totally different from Caledonian forest peat that a Speyside distillery would use. Highland peat might work for some people, especially the locals who live there. For me, only island malts work, and their peat if formed from grasses, seaweed, and heather. Trees generally do not grow in the Hebrides, and Islay is a windswept grassy moor.
Northern Minnesota would be a good substitute for Speyside distilling, but the high tree and bush content in the peat means it cannot substitute for Islay, besides the greater climatic variations and occasional dry spells. I was subjected to a mold that grows in ONLY very moist conditions, so I suspect the Islay malts address my condition better because of that.
Dr. Rea told me that the alcohol in whisky will act as a magnifier, good or bad, for any chemical substances that I came in contact with. Thus, a whisky that was made from a moldy mash could be very dangerous. It looks like a barley malt is the best solution for a person like me, and that is what my experiments are leading me to believe.