Overview and Background
Our range of fully automated Micromaltings is used by a variety of clients, including major breweries, distilleries, malting companies and leading research institutions worldwide.
Using laboratory-scale malt samples (100g – 8kg per tank), these machines are designed for testing new malting regimes or analysing and overcoming production problems encountered in full-scale plants.
Our Micromaltings are unparalleled in their analytical capability, data logging, comprehensive application and ease of use. Enabling full control of recipe creation and exploration of new and novel malting grains and seeds.
MMSG - Steep and Germinator
The steep/germinator unit is a single, 2 or 4 tank system where each tank is capable of holding different sizes of samples (8 kilograms, 500g, 250g or 100g).
Each tank is a stand-alone unit and can run a steep/germinate program independently of the other three tanks, i.e. each tank can run independent programs using different time and temperature values.
Programming the steep/germinator is by a localised touchscreen PLC. The program allows for up to 5 steeping periods with corresponding air rests in between and 7 germinating periods. In both cases the time for each period is programmable between 1 and 48 hours, and the temperature for each period is programmable between 10 degrees C and 30 degrees C at 0.1-degree intervals. The steep/germinator ensures that the air used to aspirate the tanks is fully humidified.
Independent tests have shown that the minimum relative humidity of the aspirating air was 98%. For our steep/germinator designs we use the principle of bubbling air through water to humidify the air. We believe that this method of humidification gives more consistent results. It means that our steep/germinators use compressed air rather than air fans for steep aeration and germination. We believe that compressed air is much more controllable than the air stream from a fan. In essence, our steep/germinators are pneumatic, and should you wish to introduce other gasses into the grain bed, then this is possible in a completely controllable way.
Our latest design allows the user to set the ratio of humidified air to dry air, so as to allow progressive root withering during germination. We believe that this is going to become an increasingly important tool in full scale malting to help reduce the energy demands of kilning the malt.
Where 4 samples are in the unit, they are turned automatically. The bulk sample must be turned manually. Throughout steeping and germination, the air on, air off and water temperatures are continuously monitored and logged.
MMK - Kiln
The kiln is designed to mimic a full-scale kiln. The kiln is a single, 2 or 4 unit system where each unit can be programmed and run independently of the other unit i.e. each kiln can run independent programs using different time, temperature, airflow, humidity and recirculation values.
Each unit can hold different sample sizes (500 g or 250g rectangular sample containers, 100g samples containers or single bulk sample container holding up to 8 kilograms). These samples are not turned. Each kiln includes a programmable recirculation valve such that during kilning it is possible to vary how much of the air is fed back to the fan intake. In this way the kiln can, if required, produce fully stewed malt.
Programming the kiln is by a localised touchscreen PLC. The program allows for up to 7 periods, the time for each period is programmable between 1 and 48 hours, and the temperature for each period is programmable between 30 degrees C and 110 degrees C at 1-degree intervals. Airflow and air recirculation are also programmable via the PLC. Varying the amount of recirculated air effects humidity control in the kiln.
We have developed a damper valve that allows us to vary the air from fully exhausted to fully recirculated, such that if required the kiln can produce coloured malts as well as very gently dried distilling malts, with all the intermediary types in between. Throughout kilning, the following parameters are continuously monitored and logged; air-on temperature, air-off temperature, humidity, damper position and airflow.
Our latest kiln design allows for the kilning of multiple small samples or single bulk samples up to 8 kilograms per chamber of as-is weight barley. The malt beds are static and because the air is forced through the grain rather than around it, as in other machines, representative kilning is achieved.