#Mashtag 2014 Day 2: Malt Bill & ABV

#Mashtag 2014 Day 2: Malt Bill & ABV

Poll: #Mashtag 2014 Day 2: Malt Bill & ABV

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We're pleased to announce we have a clear winner in round one of voting for this years #Mashtag. If you feel like providing your own drum roll, do so now.

#Mashtag 2014 Day 1: the chosen beer style is... RED ALE!


Over 1700 votes were placed by 8pm last night, with the following breakdown:

Pilsner - 20.8%
Red ale - 48.9%
Porter - 30.3%

We won't linger on this for too long, as we've still got a lot of work to do! Now three more choices present themselves (it's like one of those adventure novels). 

In case you're new to #Mashtag, here's a run-down of how it works:

Every day this week we'll post a blog at 10am. Each post will present you with three options; it's up to you to decide which one we go with. To make the decision, you can cast your vote here on the blog, on twitter, or on facebook. Here's how the week will pan out:

Monday: Beer style - red ale

Tuesday: Malt Bill & ABV

Wednesday: Hops & IBU

Thursday: Special Twist (Infused with berries? Wine barrel aged? Matured aboard an X-Wing?)

Friday: Label

Voting is open from 10am - 8pm each day, with the exception of Friday (more details will be revealed, but there's no harm in getting your artistic hats on early). Simcoe and his little helpers will tally up the votes each evening and each day we'll include the results from the day before in the blog. As we go we'll explain the ingredients and methods involved in each option, to give you the chance to make an informed opinion and give you an insight into how we come up with some of the ideas for our beer.

Day 2: Malt Bill & ABV

Your choices for the next stage are:

4% ABV Session Red Ale


Malt bill: Extra Pale, Cara, Crystal, Dark Crystal, Rye

This would be a light and spicy blend of speciality malted barley and rye. Providing ample opportunity for a range of hop options, this could become a summery session ale.

6% ABV Amber Ale


Malt bill: Extra Pale, Cara, Dark Crystal, Munich, Wheat

Bridging the low and the high ABV options is this punchy 6% ABV malt bill, providing a broad canvas for hops and twists, and utilising wheat for mouthfeel, with a touch of black malt to deepen the colour. This malt bill uses elements from UK and US amber ales.

9% ABV Imperial Red Ale


Malt bill: Extra Pale, Cara, Crystal, Dark Crystal, black malt

Weighing in at the heavier end of the spectrum is a big and bold imperial red, using copious amounts of speciality malts, which will give a luxurious body and a rich toffee sweetness.


Malt brings many things to a beer - flavour, colour, aroma, and probably the most important element: sugar, which ultimately creates the alcohol. When mixed with hot water the complex sugars in the malt are broken down and extracted into the liquid, which we then call wort.

The amount of malt we use in relation to water, ultimately determines the ABV. More malt in relation to the water = more sugar in the solution = more fermentation = higher alcohol content.


Here we have some Pale Malt, Munich Malt, Caramalt, De-husked roasted Crystal Malt and Chocolate Malt.

After the mash has converted the starch to sugars and drawn colour, flavour and aroma from the malt we gently add hot water (a process called sparging) to help flush out all this goodness and transfer the sweet solution to our kettle for boiling (more on the boiling process tomorrow).


Once again, make your choice and vote by 8pm tonight. Tomorrow, you get to choose our favourite ingredient - the hops!

Your response so far has been amazing - keep it up, and be sure to share this with your craft beer brothers- and sisters-in-arms; it's their beer too!

Posted in - brewdog-news


  • I Love 9% lRA!!
  • tough choice between the 6% Amber and 9% Imperial
  • I love the adventurous stuff that you do, but you cant have a few pints of most of it. Id like to see a new twist on the session ale.
  • Most certainly the Session for rye.
  • brewdog already does 5 am saint, so that leaves out the amber, and theres always plenty of imperial reds to choose from on the west coast. The session will be an awesome change. Less abv, more ibu!
  • 9% Imperial with lots of fruit flavors, the Punk IPA is the best reference but with lots more fruits and sweet flavors.
  • Get me an Imperial Brewtrooper!! Bring this muthfuka on. Big shout out to Rosco!!
  • Voted for session! :D
  • Nice one, I was hoping Red Ale would come through. 9% Imperial hands down
  • 4% session ale, just for the extra added rye.
    Pete H., Nottm11.03.2014
  • If you want a session go for the 5am saint. Imperial all the way.
  • Go imperial or go home!
  • Session all the way !
    bucks 11.03.2014
  • Love a good session! See what I did there?! #Brewbants
  • 9% ImperialOF COURSE!
  • IMPERIAL! Of course!
  • Session
  • I fucking love #MashTag. Its just such a damn good idea and makes beer even MORE fun :) This one is shaping up to be an awesome democratic brew! Big ups Brewdog. Never stop doing what you do!
    Dave Cowell11.03.2014
  • Session or Imperial? Session or Imperial? Session or Imperial? Flip a coin, tales wins. My votes in for Imperial.
  • voted session last year, but for this one : imperial !
  • 4% session for me. We need more quality down that end of the spectrum, especially heading into the summer months!
  • Has to be the imperial!
    heavy metal brewer11.03.2014
  • 4% Session Red Ale
  • Think a session beer would be nice for a change.
    Baldy Steve11.03.2014
  • mmmmm, rye. underused in beers but always distinctive. swings it from the imperial to the session for me :)
  • All about the 9% Imperial

    Consider me voting that way
    Imperial Footsoldier11.03.2014
  • 9% Imperial Red Ale
  • 9% Imperial please. (Says the Oskar Blues GKnight fanatic in the corner)

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