Multi-disciplinary engineering firm, Edwards Engineering, has completed a unique 8-week project with Fife-based Crafty Maltsters, signalling a new dawn for the Scottish brewing and distilling industry.
Crafty Maltsters, a family team comprising Norman Milne and his son and daughter in law, Daniel and Alison Milne of Demperston Farms, identified an opportunity to diversify their family farm into the brewing and distilling industry, securing funding in 2018 to build a brand new 3,000 sq ft facility to house a state of the art micro-maltings, the first of its type in the UK.
Edwards Engineering specialist electrical expertise was essential in installing the complex malting equipment, shipped in from Italy, as well as supplying additional equipment including grain elevators, ducting and bespoke spoutwork.
The equipment will allow the finest quality malt barley to be processed at farm level, creating a product that can be fully tracked back to the field it was grown in. Highlighting the provenance of the malt and being able to map its journey has already attracted attention from both national and global drinks brands.
Sandy Knight at Edwards Engineering, said: “As this is the first system of its size and type in the UK and therefore our first experience installing one, naturally this came with its challenges. However, the installation has been a success and this is a project we are very proud to have worked with Crafty Maltsters on, especially as their vision for Scottish artisan malting has the potential to have a far reaching impact for the drinks industry.
“The equipment will allow the production of four tonnes per week of malted barley, creating specialist batches of grain all of which will be grown at Crafty Maltsters Farm, meaning they have full control of their product. The next step was to install a mill allowing them to mill their own malted grain and sell grist direct to small breweries.”
Alison Milne, Director, Crafty Malsters, said: “Edwards Engineering’s enthusiastic approach as well as their keenness to be involved truly brought this project to life. Where we struggled with the complexity of the installation, Edwards Engineering experience in grain handling and the specialist electronics involved as well as their flexibility and willingness meant they were able to identify solutions in a tight time frame.
“We have big ambitions to showcase Scottish malt, demonstrate the opportunity for added value and kickstart the Scottish micro-maltings industry. We’re well on our way to doing that, creating a quality product that shows the field of origin when previously malt was taken away in a lorry without being tracked and traced. We are even working with the James Hutton institute looking into how malt and nutrition can work together, as well as how we can improve growing conditions and influence flavour.”