Malt Production | Eclipse Magnetics

Malt Production

Company Name: Simpsons Malt Ltd

Location: Tivetshall St Margaret, Norwich 

Eclipse Product Installed: Housed Grid

Industry: Food – Malt Production

Process Type: Magnetic Separation


Simpsons Malt Ltd is an independent, family-owned maltster providing premium malt to the brewing, distilling and food industries worldwide.

The company has 2 malting plants in the UK, one in Tivetshall St Margaret, Norwich and another in Berwick-Upon-Tweed in Northumberland. The craft maltings in Tivetshall St Margaret has 5 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, the maltings at 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, specialist white malt for brewing craft ale, the company buys malting barley from farmers or merchants which is then processed at the Tivetshall St Margaret plant. To achieve the end result of 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 that are under 2.5 mm, such as small damaged corns and dust. The residue that is collected at this stage is mostly dust and husk from the product, which can then be sold on as animal feed.

Steeping involves the absorption of water by the raw barley kernel which initiates germination. After sorting and cleaning, the grain is transferred into steep tanks and immersed in water. The process of steeping is carried out for 2 days, whereby the barley is alternated between being submerged in water and drained until its moisture content increases. The absorbed water initiates the germination, whereby rootlets emerge from the embryo of the kernel.

The germinating barley is then transferred from the steep tank to the germination compartment, where the kernel’s protein and carbohydrate are broken down to open up the seeds’ starch reserves. This enables the product to be suitable for use by the brewery or distiller, as the starches and sugars in the malt are readily available. After several days, the germination process is then halted by drying, and the product is stored safely for 3 to 4 months in a clean environment to avoid contamination. The malt is also passed through de-stoners prior to milling and bagging to ensure to that any grain sized stones are removed.

The Challenge

Before the finished product can be released to the customer, Simpsons Malt Ltd 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 Malt Ltd needed a magnetic separation system that would ensure the maximum integrity of the finished product.

The Solution

Eclipse Magnetics supplied Simpsons Malt Ltd with a Housed Grid magnet suitable for the removal of fine metal and para-magnetic contamination from a range of dry free flowing products including grains. This high intensity magnetic housed grid offers high levels of contamination removal and fine particle separation in the most demanding processing environments. The unit is comprised of a 9,000 gauss rare earth magnet incorporated into an easy clean grid, which is secured into the housing by ‘quick release’ swing clamps to ensure that even pressure is generated around the food grade seal.

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 up 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.


Pat Richards, Chief Engineer at Simpsons Malt said “We chose Eclipse Magnetics to supply our housed grid because they are a respected and well-established brand. They offered us a very competitive price, and the process of ordering and installation was straightforward and reliable.

The housed grid is perfect for this application and everything we need to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality 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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