Fine locally grown winter barley is harvested in early summer. In the hands of our maltsters and roasters, the very finest roasted speciality malts are made. Our malts provide a rich base of flavours, body and colour to a wide range of classical and contemporary beers. Here you can follow the journey and provenance of the fine malts supplied by French and Jupps.
Early autumn, our winter barley is sown by local farmers. Many of the local fields have been home to barley cultivation since Roman times.
The plant’s roots begin to develop and leaf production becomes noticeable in late autumn. The barley plant then begins to tiller with side shoots developing as the weather warms and the days become longer. The stem extends in the Spring, ears emerge through May, followed by grain fill and final ripening early summer. Our golden barley fields are harvested through the month of July.
Our barley makes the short daily local journey from the farm to our maltings in Stanstead Abbotts.
On arrival, we carefully sample the load and complete a detailed evaluation. On approval, the barley is slowly offloaded, passing through our screening system into dedicated storage silos.
After being cleaned and dressed, the barley is loaded into the steep where it undergoes the steeping process, which takes approximately 2-3 days.
This process allows the grain to absorb moisture, encouraging embryonic growth. The grain is regularly aerated whilst underwater to ensure even hydration throughout the batch.
Periodically the water is drained, allowing the barley to have an air rest. Through this time, the air is drawn through the batch to control the temperature and remove carbon dioxide.
The steep is then drained and the grain can move on to its next step in the process. For Patent malts, it’s on to the kiln for drying, but for the Crystal malts, the grain is released into the germination drums.
During the germination phase (4-5 days), humidified air is blown through the drum to control the temperature of the grain and remove carbon dioxide.
During this process, enzymes are activated which break down the cell walls, allowing additional enzymes to break down the starch/protein matrix.
The green malt is then moved to the roasting drums for the production of the Crystal malts.
To stop the germination process, the green malt is kiln-dried. A constant flow of heated air is passed through the malt to dry it to the desired moisture level.
This malt is then stored until it is moved to the roasting drum to be used in the production of Patent malt.
The first stage of roasting is to stew the malt, which allows enzymes to convert the starch into sugars. The grain is then dried and roasted to caramelise the sugars which deliver a fine range of colours and flavours.
When the malt is near completion, the roasting operator will regularly sample the drum, grind it and precisely compare the flour to a known sample.
Once the two samples match, the drum is discharged to the cooler and blown with ambient air to stop colour development and stabilise the product.
Once the product is cooled, it is sampled and moved to a holding bin until the full laboratory analysis is completed.
It is then moved into a dedicated storage bin ready for packaging.
The kiln-dried malt is loaded into the roasting drum and heated by gas-fired burners to a high temperature to achieve a unique flavour profile.
Once the grain is sufficiently heated, the burners are turned off and the airflow is reduced to a minimum and the grain is allowed to heat spontaneously.
During this time it is regularly sampled, ground and checked against a known sample until the desired colour has been achieved.
At this point, the grain is then quenched with water to stop this process to maintain the desired colour.
The finished patent malt is then discharged to a cooler and once at ambient temperature is sampled and moved to a storage bin.
Each roasting drum here at French & Jupps is dedicated to the production of specific roasted malts.
The roasting process takes between 2-3 hours and involves constant monitoring and adjustment of the processing temperatures.
Our warehouse team are responsible for carefully preparing the malt for delivery to our customers.
The majority of our malt is put into 25Kg bags. We can pack into 1-tonne tote bags and can also fill bulk lorries and containers.
Each batch is coded to ensure full traceability.
Our wide range of malts, each with individual and unique sensory and colour profiles, form a key ingredient in beers of every style. We salute the brewers who with great passion, expertise and dedication to their craft produce truly outstanding, characterful, award winnings beers.
We welcome all brewers to make contact with us, we welcome the opportunity to be a part of your story.
We are currently in the process of expanding this page to show our malt being brewed at McMullens & Sons (brewery just 5 miles from French & Jupps Maltings). Please check back in the coming months for details on both this and harvest at the farm.
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Visit the Government website for guidlines and advice
To learn about the journey from field to glass and more detailed explanation of the malting process click below.
Proudly delivering outstanding quality and services for centuries to come.
We pride ourselves in:
Producing the finest quality speciality malts
Providing an inspiring environment for businesses to develop and grow
Supporting the community and local youth programmes
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We are: One team, supportive, honest, respectful and care greatly about our community, local talented youth and the environment.