Hop ‘til you drop…


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The people have spoken. After a second day of frenzied cross-platform voting on #MashTag 2016 the results of the multitudinous Malt Jury are in. Without any further introduction, here are the scores on the doors from ‘Malt Tuesday’ – and how the IPA voted for at the start of the week will be mashed…

#MashTag 2016 Malt Bill & ABV:

10.5% Triple IPA – 34%

5.5% Vienna IPA – 23%

8.0% Old World Double IPA – 22%

4.0% Oatmeal Session IPA – 21%

So the India Pale Ale that constitutes this year’s #MashTag is going to be a big one! And with the second piece of the puzzle in place we are ready to move onto a component of IPA’s that every lover of the style will be infinitely familiar with – the hops! You can vote by scrolling down to the poll below, as we spell out the four different options in detail. But first, if you’re unfamiliar with #MashTag – here’s a quick re-cap of the process…

Each day this week we will be blogging with four potential options for you to select from – it’s then entirely up to you and your fellow BrewDog fans in which direction #MashTag 2016 proceeds. You can cast your vote on the blog using the poll or by leaving a comment, and also vote via our Facebook page, a poll on our Twitter feed, and via Instagram.

Here’s where we have got to so far:

Monday: Beer Style – IPA.

Tuesday: Malt Bill & ABV – 10.5% Triple IPA.

Wednesday: Hops & IBU

Thursday: Special Twist

Friday: Label

Voting is open until 7pm each evening, with the exception of Friday (when the artwork magic commences, to a longer deadline). We’ll tally up all of the votes across the different platforms each evening, and every blog post will then include the results from the day before. As the week moves ahead, the ingredients and methods involved will all be fully explained, so you can feel confident in your selection at every stage of the process. It also doubles as a chance for us to expound on our thinking behind each of the multiple options!

So with the Rulebooks perused, let’s turn our attention to the hop catalogues shall we?

Day Three: Hops & IBU

Aroma, bitterness, flavour. How to augment our Triple IPA?

75 IBU English Hops

Hops: Bramling Cross, Goldings, Fuggles

Traditionally, 10.5% Triple IPA’s are oily, resinous hop bombs (see later) – but #MashTag is anything but traditional. The addition of three classic varietals of home-grown hops would lead the beer into something of a rounded, warming English Barley Wine feel – opening up all kinds of possibilities.

85 IBU Amarillo Single Hop

Hops: Amarillo!

It takes a hop with a big personality to carry the payload of a 10.5% Triple IPA single-handed. But Amarillo is just such a hop. From the fields of Washington State, Amarillo delivers a characteristic orange bite – bringing huge amounts of pithy, zesty citrus. All of your five a day in a single beer.

90IBU Mash/First Wort Hopped

Hops: Centennial, Columbus

Classic hops used in unconventional ways, our third option exists to ramp up the flavour from the start – by cramming hops into the mash, and then the wort before bringing it to the boil. These techniques massively increase hop flavour and aroma in the final beer, resulting in a frenzy of citrus.

100 IBU Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo

Hops: Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Amarillo

Finally, a full-bodied, hugely hopped monster. Triple IPA’s developed in the States, so in homage to their experimentation and boldness, a charter plane-load of piney, citrusy hops from the Pacific Northwest. America doing exactly what it does best. Big, bold and pushing the IBU limits to the hilt.

Speaking of IBUs, this stands for International Bitterness Units; the quantifiable measurement of how bitter a brew is. As alpha acids from the hops are broken down during the boil, this ‘isomerisation’ means hops with higher levels of alpha acids will give more bitter beers (as will using more of them). So industrial lagers are typically under 10 IBU, pilsners up to 40, US IPA’s top out at around 70 IBU and double IPA’s can smash through the theoretical 100 IBU limit.

From whimsical floral notes to monumental sap-like piney resins, hops have every situation and flavour covered. They truly are amazing, imparting bitterness, aroma and flavour into beers. How a brewer uses them will also dramatically affect the final beer – early additions, long boils, whirlpool blasts and extensive dry-hopping – all will produce a different outcome. If malt is the canvas, hops are very definitely the colours.

But waxing lyrical is all we can do – the rest of the process is up to you! You have until 7pm tonight to vote on the all-important hop/IBU decision for the Triple IPA that will be #MashTag 2016. Once that is sorted we will be taking things in a new direction with the Thursday Twist! But until then, get those Hopvotes in!

You can find out more about investing in BrewDog at www.brewdog.com/equityforpunks

#MashTag 2016 - Hops & IBU!

Our 2016 #MashTag crowdsourced brew moves into the third day!

It's the all-important hop vote. And how bitter would you like your Triple IPA?

We hope you managed to make your voice heard - the vote is now closed!

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Comments (7)

dan 23.03.2016 @ 12:23pm
Not the 100 IBU. Not a fan of Simcoe, ruined 3/4 of the recent prototypes for me.

75 IBU for me. Could create a Nice complex brew.
GreekToe 23.03.2016 @ 12:21pm
Bramling Cross!!!
Pete H 23.03.2016 @ 12:11pm
Is Cloudwater DIPA V2 the bar, against which all else is measured ?
Possibly !
After trying it the other week, it has stormed into my top 3 (non Brewdog) favourite beers ....
Uncle 23.03.2016 @ 11:15am
Single hop!
Jeff Elly 23.03.2016 @ 11:12am
Brewdog have a chance here to prove they can make a big IPA as good as Cloudwater DIPA v1 and v2.
ElJefe 23.03.2016 @ 11:04am
85 IBU all the way!
Nitin 23.03.2016 @ 10:52am
Show me the way to Amarilloooo