Both Spring & Winter varieties are grown in close proximity to our malthouses. Local farmers carefully nurture their crop until the grains are plump and ready for harvest. Deliveries of barley are received fresh from Suffolk farms to begin the malting process.
Fresh clean barley is tipped into steep tanks and submerged in water. This allows the moisture content to dramatically increase and kick start germination.
During germination the barley begins to grow. We create perfect growing conditions by keeping the grain bed temperature between 10 – 16 °C. A constant supply of fresh humidified air and turners move through the grain bed to keep it loose to allow for sufficient air-flow. Enzymes begin to develop which modify the structure of the barley’s endosperm. These enzymes are essential for craft brewers during mash conversion to ensure a good extract.
The aim in the kiln is to stop germination and reduce the moisture content dramatically. The moisture is reduced down from 40% to 5%. Kilning is done with precision to ensure enzymes are not denatured which could affect extraction. Kiln times vary depending on the variety of malt. For Varieties including Maris Otter, lager, pale malt and many other pales , the process finishes here.
Roasted varieties are completed at our specialist site in Knapton, Yorkshire. Kiln dried malt passes into our small batch roasting drums. The roasting drums omit intense amounts of heat to achieve certain flavours and colours. It depends entirely on the variety. Temperatures can reach as high as 240°C. Water is used to extend the roasting time and for quenching and cooling at the end of a roast to prevent combustion. Varieties such as chocolate & black are achieved during this process to create deep rich flavour profiles.
The different varieties of malt are then packaged into 25kg bags ready for delivery. Crushed malt passes through a mill before packaging. The mill is hand operated to ensure the grist composition is consistent and performs to a high standard in the brewhouse.