Revolutionary Innovations and Green Solutions
BY BELGIUM’S CASTLE MALTING
BELGIUM’S OLDEST MALTING PLANT
Castle Malting® (or Malterie du Château® S. A.), Belgium’s oldest malting plant and one of the oldest family-owned malting companies in the world, was established in 1868 beside a splendid castle in the small town of Beloeil in Hainaut, the south-west province of Belgium.
Cherishing the centuries-old Belgian malting traditions and introducing bold innovative technologies, Castle Malting® has today become a truly unique company able to respond to malt demands of any kind – from those of a homebrewer to the customized requirements of craft and industrial breweries.
BELGIUM’S BEER CULTURE- INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY
Today Castle Malting® is proud to be part of Belgium’s Beer Culture recently recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity to be preserved for future generations. Belgian beer is renowned throughout the world for its wide array of tastes, from extremely sour to bitter, brewed in numerous cities, towns and villages across the west European nation of 11 million people.
Today there are more and more countries developing their beer industry with more variation, and they always refer to the Belgian beer styles. Castle Malting® is proud that Belgian Beers serve as a solid point of reference and are a source of inspiration to beer industry and for the beer related activities in the rest of world.
ENTIRE SPECTRUM OF PREMIUM BASE & SPECIALTY MALTS
To satisfy the quality requirements of this enormous variety of beers, Belgian malting company Castle Malting® has developed an entire spectrum of premium base and specialty malts. The unique properties of Belgian malts are essential to all famous Belgian beer styles, just as much as the unique brewing processes.
Castle Malting® offers an impressive range of seventy different types of malts, including base and specialty barley and wheat malts from the palest to the darkest, specialty malts from rye, oat, spelt and even buckwheat for brewing any type of beer a creative brewer may think of. Whether kilned, caramelized or roasted, their malts are offered in conventional and organic versions, which can be customised according to the individual needs of the brewer.
Just like their ancestors did, Castle Malting® carefully selects the most suitable barley varieties for each type of malt, sourcing its raw materials from the best malting barley-growing regions in Europe. The company’s traditional nine-day malting process successfully applied with modern technology and 100% traceability from the barley field up to theshipping pallet are a guarantee of premium quality of the malts.
The taste revolution that occurred in the beer industry brought about an impressive growth of the craft and specialty brewing sector.
Castle Malting® is focused on research & development. The company believes in continuous development of products aimed at satisfying its customers’ specific needs arising as a consequence of current trends on the beer market.
It is well known that the global beer market has changed during the last decade and the key trend have been towards taste and variety. Standard, mass market products are on a steady decline in demand whereas specialty and niche segments enjoy impressive growth. Numerous studies show that once consumers switch to a more sophisticated or subtle (with regard to flavour) craft beer brand, they rarely return to the previous product, not withstanding its more affordable price or easier availability.
Within the spiraling demand for the diverse craft or specialty beers, one can easily discern the increase in interest in dark beer types, a category previously somewhat suffering not only from an old-fashioned image in many traditional beer drinking markets but also from a common misconception according to which all “dark” beers containing portions of highly kilned or roasted malts are strong and bitter and so are automatically dismissed, mostly without even being tried. Tenacious consumers, the true beer lovers, keep looking for full-flavored dark beers with a smoother taste, lower astringency and less pronounced malt bitterness, and their persistence is rewarded: Castle Malting® today is able to offer caramelized and roasted malts which do not impart the finished beer above-mentioned undesired characteristics.
SPECIAL MALT ROASTING EQUIPMENT CASTLE 8000
Caramel and roasted specialty malts, which impart unique colours, flavours and physical properties to the finished product, are manufactured in special malt roasting equipment. What makes Castle 8000, Castle Malting’s new roasting installation, different is its unique engineering design created by the Castle Malting® R&D Department after three years of detailed research and testing.
Castle 8000 (2x1000kW) is a double roasting system with an annual capacity of 8000 metric tons of malt. One of the peculiarities of this roaster is the possibility to exchange heat both internally (within the same drum, to save gas) but mainly externally from one roasting drum to another or from a roasting drum to the pre-heater. Both the internal and external recirculation can be carried out in phases. The heat exchange is automatically controlled by the system taking temperature and humidity probes and adjusting the necessary parameters.
The pre-heater is another innovation introduced by Castle Malting® in the traditional roasting process. The green malt (the germinated barley which is transformed into caramel malt without being kilned) is loaded in the pre-heater where it undergoes treatment by heat and steam from the heat exchanger and a steam generator. This brilliant engineering solution allows for the malt to be caramelized before roasting, which is why the Château Cara malts are unique in their saccharification levels and don’t impart excessive bitterness, burnt flavour and astringency to the finished beer.
Another feature of the Castle Malting®’s roaster is that it can do double roasting (the stage compulsory, for example, to the production of the famous Belgian Spécial B malt) and even triple roasting without the necessity to unload the malt between the stages of the process.
Thus, after double or triple roasting, the malt colour achieves the desired intensity and homogeneity, and the finished beer acquires a specific flavour, aroma and a very balanced palate without a burnt, bitter or sour aftertaste.
Despite the complexity of the system, it can be fully-automatically controlled and permits switching from one process to another at every production batch. Trends may shift in the global beer industry, but whatever the changes are, there will always be Castle Malting® -an innovating malting company from the country of the beer, maintaining the highest quality standards day by day, bringing in organic solutions, and attending to a brewer’s needs for premium ingredients for their beers.
CASTLE MALTING® – A GREEN MALTING PLANT
Being one of the very few traditional malting companies still active in the world, Castle Malting® is fully aware of the impact a modern industrial plant may have on the environment. The company’s entire activity is based on principles of minimizing its energy consumption, applying a number of innovative solutions aimed at reducing energy input in the production process. Castle Malting®’s policy of continuous optimization enables it to prove that an invention as such has no effect on the environment and, if the concept based on eco-friendliness, its implementation, development and diffusion can have a beneficial impact on the environment.
Operating in an environmentally-conscious manner, Castle Malting® has successfully implemented a series of technologies transforming it into the world’s first Green Malthouse:
- the factory is equipped with a 400kW cogeneration unit-a primary source of green energy. The heat from the cogeneration unit is recovered by two plate heat exchangers and is used for kilning the malt (the traditional double-floor malt drying stage);
- the heat issued from kilning is recovered in its turn by two other heat exchangers and is returned to the kilning platforms, thus allowing the factory to obtain significant energy savings;
- the fans that control the air flow in the kiln are managed by two speed inverters allowing strict control of the engine power. The work of the speed inverters is as well controlled depending on the temperature and moisture content of the air. Thus, the motors consume only as much electricity as requested by a given malt production technology;
- the heat issued by the roasting unit is recovered by a glass tube exchanger and is reused in the roasting process;
- the malthouse is equipped with a photovoltaic power plant installed on 1000 square meters flat roof. Operating at an initial capacity of 50kWc since this spring, the plant is expected to produce 65MWh of electric power per year at full capacity;
Organic waste left after the production process at the malthouse will soon be processed within the project of biomethanization. Castle Malting’s Research & Development Department is currently studying the technical-economic aspects of building a biomethanization plant which would provide the factory with biogas. The cogeneration system is planned to switch over to biogas and so the plant’s natural gas consumption will be reduced by 75%, whereas its CO2 emission will drop by 50%. The biomethanization unit’s capacity will be of 600kW. The recovered heat will be as well consequently used for malt kilning.
With its pilot microbrewery and a state-of-the art laboratory Castle Malting® provides comprehensive technical support to brewers, assisting them in creating and testing new beer recipes. At Castle Brewing Academy brewers can learn more about the secrets behind the fabulous Belgian Beers by attending training seminars and taking part in brewing workshops. All Castle Malting’s products are available in India and Sri Lanka through their business partner representative DVKSP IMPEX PRIVATE LIMITED which stock the entire range of Chateau malts in India in several warehouses: Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Chandigarh.
Today, besides enjoying an excellent reputation among the demanding Belgian brewing community, the Château malts by Castle Malting® are successfully exported to more than 2500 brewers in 123 countries worldwide.