The Malt Production Process: Roasting


Our Tivetshall Maltings is where some of the Simpsons Malt magic happens – find out exactly what goes on at our Norfolk site as we take you behind the scenes of our malt production process.

Germination and kilning were the topics of our last blog, so you can look back there to find out about what, for many malts, is the last stage in the malt production process before they are bagged up and sent out to our brewers.

This week, we’re diving into the roasting process, where our speciality malts can take on a variety of beautiful colours and flavours.


While many malts are bagged after kilning, roasting is where we can create speciality malts, providing many options for our brewers to fine-tune their product exactly the way they like it. Malt is roasted at temperatures of up to 225 °C in the five roasting drums on site, and  operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

These drums create two distinctive types of product…

Crystal Malts

Our crystal malts are made from green malt – malt that has been steeped and allowed to germinate for up to four days but not kilned.

The malts enter a special stewing phase after being fed into the hot drum. During this phase, saccharification occurs inside the starchy interior of the grain – this is essential for the malt to achieve its characteristic caramel sweetness.

Once it is done stewing, we increase the temperature, dry the malt out, roast it and voila – the malt is crystallised!

Chocolate and black malts

Other products created at our Tivetshall Maltings are our chocolate and black malts. These malts are put into the roasting drum dry, so they don’t release the same sweetness as the crystal malts. Instead, they develop a deep flavour and hue that adds colour to your beer.

These malts are made from grain that has been steeped, germinated, and kilned. We go to a much higher temperature than crystal malts to achieve the distinctive notes of chocolate and coffee that characterise many darker malts – up to 225 °C in fact.

At the end of the roasting process, we sparge the malt in the drum, which immediately flash boils off into steam. The front of the drum rotates, discharges the product and then it all goes into a cooler, ready to be shipped off to our lovely brewers!

We will explore the bagging phase in our next blog. While you’re waiting, why not leave us a #BrewersTip or speak to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram about any and all things malty!

Now that you you’re clued up on how your malt is made, why not get in touch with our team to find out how you can get your hands on some of our malt, or simply drop us a question.