As an independent, family-owned maltster providing premium malt to the brewing, distilling and food industries worldwide, Simpsons Malt Ltd. has two malting plants in the UK, one in Tivetshall St. Margaret, Norwich and another in Berwick-Upon-Tweed in Northumberland.

Before the finished product can be released to the customer, Simpsons Malt must ensure that the malt is free from any metal contaminants. This contamination is a natural consequence of the passing of the product through the bulk movement cycle, where filings from wear and tear of the conveyors may be created. In order to remove any particles such as this, Simpsons needed a magnetic separation system that would ensure the maximum integrity of the finished product.

Eclipse Magnetics installed the Easy Clean Housed Grid Magnet at the very end of Simpsons Malt’s malting process, ensuring all contamination is effectively removed from the malt before it is bagged and allowed to be sold. The malt falls through an extended section of pipework before it reaches the magnetic separator, allowing the Housed Grid to effectively pick up any fine metal and para-magnetic contamination from the product. Simpsons Malt also benefit from the unit’s “Easy Clean” system, which allows all attracted contamination to be easily and quickly collected.

Tivetshall St. Margaret has five roasting drums for the production of speciality-roasted malts, including both base malt and roast house production. With the capacity to produce over 68,000 tonnes of malt each year for ale, lager and speciality roasted malts, Tivetshall St. Margaret was recently extended to accommodate the company’s state-of-the-art bagging facilities and warehouse.

In order for Simpsons Malt Ltd. to produce high-quality malt, the cereal grains typically go through a three-step process of steeping, germinating and drying/roasting.

The raw barley is sorted and cleaned to remove any oversized or undersized particles. The grain is passed through a sieve to remove any particles smaller than 2.5 mm.

After sorting and cleaning, the grain is transferred into steep tanks and immersed in water for two days. The absorbed water initiates the germination, whereby rootlets emerge from the embryo of the kernel.

The germinating barley is then transferred to the germination compartment, where the kernel’s protein and carbohydrates are broken down to open up the seeds’ starch reserves.

After several days, the germination process is then halted by drying, and the product is stored safely for three to four months in a clean environment to avoid contamination. The malt is also passed through de-stoners prior to milling and bagging to ensure that any stones are removed. At this point, the malt is passed through the Easy Clean Housed Grid Magnet, ensuring all contamination is effectively removed.

“The housed grid is perfect for this application and everything we need to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality malt,” says Pat Richards, chief engineer at Simpsons Malt. “We are very pleased with its performance and will more than likely be ordering more of the units as the business continues to grow.”

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