Company History
300 years of history... and now for the future!

French & Jupps is one of England's oldest manufacturing companies, tracing it roots to the late 17th century (1600's). What is really remarkable is that the same family has run the business for over 300 years.

The company moved to its current location over a century ago - to a group of buildings that have an important significance not only in the local history, but in English history in general. David Jupp, the Managing Director, says: "My great-grandfather, David Jupp, came here in 1885 from Brentford and built two malting buildings." French and Jupps are the only maltsters in the UK specialising solely in the manufacture of coloured malts. Their range of products is used to supply food and brewing companies across the UK and Europe.

Malting is the process applied to cereal grains prior to beer or whisky manufacture. The grains are made to germinate and are then quickly dried before the plant develops. In this way the sugars inside the grain are converted into a soluble form for the yeast to work on. The roasting process gives colour and flavour to the beer produced. The kiln at French and Jupps is used to produce white malt, which is roasted to yield dark malts such as black, chocolate and amber. These are used in the making of dark beer like stout elsewhere within the maltings complex.

State of the art technology

After 100 years of use the old kin was in need of major refurbishment. During the £1m rebuild the firm was able to bring the kiln into line with 'the most modern malting practices' while adopting 'a sympathetic approach to the history of the building', which is listed. The control engineering company Max Wright Ltd installed hi-tech touch-screen technology and automated process controls. This degree of control means that the pre-kilning germination, kiln drying, cooling and discharge can all be handled without an operator having to intervene in the process except from the control room.

Edwards Engineering (Perth) Ltd handled the mechanical detailing and manufacturing, taking the building from an empty shell to working kiln in just six weeks. To ensure the dimensions of the equipment were correct, the unit was test-built in Perth, then stripped down and reassembled in the maltings. French and Jupps also purchased a roasting drum from the Guinness Park Royal Brewery to help it build on its range of malted products.

Beautiful colours...

Coloured malt manufacture is a sensitive process that requires intensive energy usage, capital investment, supervision, technology and quality control. Most importantly it requires highly skilled and experienced operators. High capital investment is needed to purchase and maintain the specialised equipment needed in the modern roast house. All coloured malts are now produced in a roasting cylinder or drum. The size of these machines can vary from those handling a batch of 500kg to the modern high capacity machines capable of handling a batch of 3.5t. These machines, which are modified coffee roasters, rotate at approximately 30rpm. They are fitted with vanes which impart a dual mixing system on the grain. This ensures an even roast and minimises damage to the corn.

The drum is heated by oil or gas burners which provide uniform heat throughout. These burners are accurately controlled to enable the operator to maintain the correct temperature profile throughout the roast. With direct heating, hot dry air passes through the drum; for indirect heating the grain is heated at a constant moisture level giving a 'stewing' effect. Coloured malts provide an extensive range of brewing materials capable of imparting flavour characteristics as well as controlling the colour of beer.

In recent years high quality coloured malts have greatly increased in popularity as many more brewers experiment with speciality brews (especially now with the increased popularity of real ales). The production of seasonal ales, winter warmers, stouts, porters and head brewer's choice beers have grown as a result of the guest beer market and the increasing search for variety from the consumer.

Speciality malts provide key ingredients needed to create these new recipes, from low colour CaraMalt to highly coloured roasted barley, they can offer the brewer a convenient means of creating a diversity of flavour profiles in new recipe beers. Roasted and coloured malts need not only be used in darker beers, they can also be incorporated in lighter beers to impart new flavours and characteristics.

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  • contact information
French & Jupps
The Maltings
Stanstead Abbotts
Ware
Hertfordshire
SG12 8HG
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1920 870015
Fax: +44 (0)1920 871001

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