Project : Thornbridge Brewery

Alan Ruddock Engineering Ltd were delighted to be contracted to upgrade  the malt handing and milling system at the progressive Thornbridge Brewery. The scope of this project was to design a system that would enable the brewery to purchase and store malt in bulk, and also to replace their existing agricultural mill with an AR 2000 Precision Malt Mill.

Following an initial meeting and site visit, we presented Thornbridge with a range of options that would meet their specification. As we design and manufacture everything in-house we are able to offer bespoke solutions to perfectly match a clients criteria. Thornbridge’s preferred layout incorporated two 30 tonne capacity silos. Supplied in Merlin Grey, they blend in well with the brewery’s facade. With nearly 60 tonnes of malt storage this will enable the brewery to make considerable cost savings from receiving bulk deliveries.

Fitted to the outlet of each silo is an AR Pneumatic Slide to enable automatic system operation. The silos discharge into AR Screw Conveyors, which feed a centrally positioned AR Bucket Elevator. The AR Bucket Elevator then lifts the malt 6 metres into the air to feed a horizontal AR Chain and Flight Conveyor. This part of the system was designed to bring malt into the brewery without interfering with the tractor and trailer that deals with spent grain. The conveyor then fills a hopper, which has replaced the bulk sacks, and feeds into the existing system that transports malt to the mill.

The mill that Thornbridge had been using, had been giving far from satisfactory results. In order to gain a consistent high quality grist sample, improve extract figures, improve energy efficiency, and increase process control, the brewery decided the best way to achieve this would be the installation of an AR 2000 Precision Malt Mill. The AR 2000 range of mills are proper malt mills designed specifically for the brewing and distilling industry. Features such as precise roll gap setting, accurate to within 0.05mm, ensure brewers are able to obtain the exact grist spectrum they are looking for. During the malting season the malt grain may vary in size, but with the instant roll gap adjustability, enabled by the dual analogue dials, maximum extract from the malt can still be achieved.

The natural balance of the mill coupled with the specialised drive system makes the AR 2000 Precision Malt Mill highly energy efficient and extremely quiet in operation. Unlike many of the mills in use at breweries around the country, The AR 2000 has been designed in strict compliance with ATEX directives, so that you can have peace of mind that the equipment you are using is safe and fit for purpose.

Following the installation, Rob Lovatt, Head Brewer commented, “The system delivered and installed is really impressive and the quality of workmanship is absolutely superb. All in all, the complete project, from the design stage to final installation, was handled in an extremely professional and efficient manner. I would therefore have no problem in recommending Alan Ruddock Engineering as specialist malt handling and milling contractors.”

Thornbridge Brewery, Derbyshire, UK -



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