Coopers plots darker malt offerings

Coopers Brewery hopes to gradually expand the range of products available to brewers from its new $65 million maltings.

Coopers will initially be offering lower modification pilsner malt and pale malt, along with ale malt using the heritage barley variety Schooner, maltings manager Dr Doug Stewart told Brews News in Adelaide.

“We’ll probably move up to Munich malt and maybe even a Vienna between Munich and ale, then we’ll cast an eye on the roasted malts,” he said.

Stewart said the Australian barley variety Schooner is similar to the popular English variety Maris Otter in that it produces a rich beer with appropriate mouthfeel to balance hoppy craft beers, is easy to brew with and is well regarded for its flavour.

The new Coopers Maltings was officially opened in Adelaide on Thursday November 30

And the two varieties also have breeders in common, he added. Schooner was bred by Associate Professor David Sparrow who was a plant breeder at the Plant Breeding Institute at Cambridge and helped breed Maris Otter.

By brewers for brewers
Dr Tim Cooper yesterday said that in terms of water usage, process control and automation, Coopers’ maltings is the most advanced in the world.

“This is what happens when a brewer designs a maltings, it’s everything that a brewer would want,” Dr Doug Stewart told Brews News.

“In Australia we have some family harsh climate, especially the hot summers. This maltings has great process control and bits of innovation that allow us, turn out high quality malt reliably, no matter what the weather or variable barley quality.

“We’ve got a few unique features, one is that we actually wash the barley. This is reasonably commonplace in Europe where they have problems with microtoxins, but I’m not aware of any other Australian maltings that pre-washes their barley.

“This allows us to leave the pre steeped barley in the steep for several hours, where it’s absorbing moisture, which starts the malting process off and the end result is we have a much better chance of getting good quality,” Stewart said.

The maltings has capacity to produce about 54,000 tonnes of malt a year, of which Coopers will require 17,000 to 18,000 tonnes for its own needs.

The balance will be sold to a range of domestic and export customers including independent
brewers looking for malt supplies, who will be able to source the Coopers malt through distributor Ellerslie Hop Australia.

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