Joe White in Hot Water

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manticle

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http://m.theaustralian.com.au/news/substandard-malt-by-joe-white-leaves-brewers-bitter/story-e6frg6n6-1227083028367

Sorry subscription only article, so here's the copy/paste text:


Substandard malt by Joe White leaves brewers bitter


· BEN BUTLER

· THE AUSTRALIAN

· OCTOBER 08, 2014 12:00AM


BREWERS have been routinely supplied with substandard malt by the country’s biggest producer, Joe White Maltings, which covered up the deception by altering chemical analysis certificates, a court has been told.

The accusations are made in a lawsuit filed against former Joe White owner Viterra, a subsidiary of controversial Swiss commodities group Glencore, by the maltster’s new owner, US agribusiness behemoth Cargill.

Cargill, which paid $420 million for Joe White last year, claims it was deceived by Viterra and was forced to slash production by 60,000 tonnes in the first six months it controlled the ­company.

Malt is a key ingredient in beer and about a quarter of Joe White’s output goes to brewers in Australia — including Tooheys owner Lion, CUB owner SABMiller and Adelaide-based Coopers — with the remainder exported, mostly to Asia.

In a statement of claim filed with the Victorian Supreme Court, Cargill alleged that during a sales process run by Merrill Lynch in July last year, Viterra executives said Joe White made “high quality malt” whereas in fact it could not produce malt in the quantity and quality required by customers.

Cargill said Joe White could now produce only 60 per cent of its contracted output, which is believed to be about 500,000 tonnes a year, to the specifications set by customers, and would need to spend $30m to upgrade its plants.

The company said that Joe White’s previous financial performance was “substantially underpinned” by Viterra’s deceptive practices.

“We’re still determining the full damages and will provide further particulars prior to trial,” Cargill spokesman Peter McBride said.

Viterra did not return calls.

A Coopers spokesman confirmed the family-owned brewer bought its malt from Joe White. CUB and Lion spokeswomen declined to comment.

Swiss-headquartered Glencore agreed to buy Canada’s ­Viterra for $US6.1 billion in March 2012, but the deal did not close until January last year.

Viterra then moved quickly to sell Joe White, instructing Merrill Lynch to send out an information memorandum in early May.

Cargill told the court it made an offer to buy the business on June 7 based on claims in the memo saying that Joe White “utilised technical analysis and strict quality control procedures to ensure that customer specifi­cations were consistently met”.

Cargill allegedly approached Viterra in late October after reports from Joe White executives that the company had supplied customers with malt made from the wrong variety of barley, had used additive gibberellic acid, which speeds up the malting process, and had supplied chemical analysis certificates to customers that “misstated the results of ­analytical testing on the malt”.

In response, Viterra allegedly admitted there had been “instances” where the wrong barley had been used but said there was no “fundamental issue” with Joe White.
--


Interesting to see how it unfolds - we all know media stories and the underlying research can be downright terrible.
 

schoey

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Interesting article. I haven't used JW malts for years, even then it was only spec malts so can't comment on quality. Has anyone experienced anything? I would imagine the likes of Tooheys and CUB would analyse incoming malt so why wouldn't they have picked it up earlier?
 

wobbly

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[SIZE=11pt]When in Broome earlier this year I had the opportunity to have a number of chats with the head brewer at Matsos and the following is his comments on malts[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I do exclusively NOT use Joe White Maltings.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I used until recently (for the last six months) Barrett Burston.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]But their quality variations have also put me off and I will be using Weyermann Pils for the next 6-12 months.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Prices are $1.63 compared to $1.34 for BBM......[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I also have switched to Mangrove Jack Yeast, away from Fermentis, which I used exclusively for the last 14 years!![/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Recently, the phenolics in both Lager and Ale plus banana and clove esters in the Pale Ale, fermented at 22 – 23 degrees.....[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Unacceptable, so I try everything new and see, where we come out.....[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]I have no experience with any other grain than BBM, JW or Weyermann, so can’t comment on Maris Otter, but I don’t believe in the hype.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Except, when certain companies germinate feeding barley and sell it for brewing barley, like JW did once, long time ago.....[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt]Wobbly[/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=11pt] [/SIZE]
 

klangers

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While the big brewers do contact conduct extract, colour and nitrogen tests, it's possible that other chemical analysis slipped under the radar.
 

Dan Pratt

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The local brewery here on the C/Coast was using JW and about 6-8 months ago swapped over to BB.

Sounds like it was industry knowlegde.

P.s - for sale 1 x 25kg JW Ale malt :ph34r:
 

SimoB

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dam have traditional ale left, about 15kg. Get through that and I'm moving on.
 

mckenry

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Yob said:
Won't be changing because of an unknown verified article. If I notice a difference in taste.. Sure
Exactly. If anyone is shitting their pants about using JW Malts, I'll happily take it off your hands for free. :ph34r:
 

Spiesy

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I don't use a great of JW Ale, truth be told.
The difference between the cheapest and more expensive base malts is like $5-10 (at full retail) for 2.5 slabs worth.
That's like an extra $0.33 to $0.66 per six pack.

I'm certainly no rich man, but I can justify that.
 

manticle

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Even if the article is completely true, the new owners are obviously changing things so if you've used JW and been happy, it's only going to improve. I don't use it but nothing to do with the article.
 

AndrewQLD

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Been using JW malts in fairly high volume for the last 18 mths and have not noticed any variation in the quality.
 

AndrewQLD

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Pratty1 said:
The local brewery here on the C/Coast was using JW and about 6-8 months ago swapped over to BB.

Sounds like it was industry knowlegde.

P.s - for sale 1 x 25kg JW Ale malt :ph34r:
More likely they were able to get a better volume discount from BB.
 

Bribie G

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I once got 80k from Oakey Maltings that had been malted for Nestle to make Milo. It made a passable beer.
 

Hippy

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Seems Joe White is not all it's cracked up to be according to the Australian they've been fudging analysis data. I did have a link up but it doesn't seem to be working.
 

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