Application Note: Determination of Alpha Acids in Hops
7 June 2013

Hops play an important role in the brewing process, as they have an enormous effect on the flavor, bitterness and shelf life of beer. The alpha acids contained in hops are crucial for the bitterness of the beer. Bitterness is expressed in IBU (International Bittering Units), with one IBU equating to 1 mg of dissolved alpha acids. In order to achieve the required bitterness at the end of the brewing process, the quantity of hops added must be measured out accurately. Depending on the type of beer, different varieties of hops are used; they differ in their content of alpha acids. This application note illustrates a fast and cost effective system to determine alpha acid concentrations.