Midwest Hop and Beer Analysis, LLC

Providing a quality chemical analysis service for regional hop growers and craft beer brewers in the Midwest.



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Our ASBC Beer Testing Methods


Corporate Member:
Link to American Society of 
                  Brewing Chemists

Midwest Hop and Beer Analysis, LLC, is proud to be a Corporate Member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC). We are committed to following the testing protocols developed by both the (ASBC) and the European Brewing Convention (EBC). Both organizations cooperate to establish National and International Standards in the Brewing Industry.

Page Contents

Top Menu ABV, Brewer's ABV, Legal Acid Content Acidity, pH Appar Grav
& Extract
Bitterness (IBU) [Ca] & [Mg]
Calc'd Ferm Vals Calorie Content Cals, Carbs
& Proteins
Chill Haze Color (SRM, etc) Diacetyl FDA
Cal/Carb/Prot
Fermentable
Extract
Foam Collapse
Rate
Iron Content Protein Content Real Grav
& Extract
Spectroscopy
Combo
Sugars,
"Reducing"
Turbidity VDK


Alcohol Content, Brewer's

ASBC Beer-4B (Beer and Distillate Measured Gravimetrically)
Pricing
A 100.0 gram sample of decarbonated beer is carefully distilled to remove and capture the contained alcohol. Distilled water is added to the captured alcohol to return the total mass to 100.0 grams; the original mass of the sample, but without the remaining dissolved components. The specific gravity is determined (as in Apparent Gravity & Extract) and referenced to standard reference tables to determine the amount of alcohol in the initial sample. The results are reported as ABV and ABW (wt%) to two decimal places.
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Alcohol Content, Legal

ASBC Beer-4B (Beer and Distillate Measured Gravimetrically)
Pricing
We use the same method to determine the alcohol content as in Alcohol Content, Brewer's, however a second sample is also conducted to reconfirm the original finding. The final report includes a signed and dated statement confirming the validity of the results.
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Acid Content, Total

ASBC Beer-8A (by Potentiometric Titration)
Pricing
A 50.0 mL volume of degassed beer is titrated to a final pH of 8.20 with a sodium hydroxide solution of known concentration. Knowing the volume and concentration of the sodium hydroxide solution allows for the calculation of the total acid content in the beer sample. The process is repeated a minimum of two more times. The results are reported as:

  1. the volume of standard alkali solution (1.00 molar sodium hydroxide) required to completely neutralize the acid contained in 100g of beer ("mL of 1.0 M alkali per 100 g of beer"), and

  2. the equivalent weight percent of lactic acid (grams of lactic acid per 100 grams of beer) that would give the equivalent total acid content.
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Acidity, pH

ASBC Beer-9 (Hydrogen Ion Concentration)
Pricing
The sample to be measured is thoroughly degassed and the temperature is adjusted to 20°C. A lab-quality, bench-top pH meter (potentiometer) is calibrated using pH=7.00 and pH=4.00 buffers at 20°C. The pH of the sample is determined three times to within ±0.02 pH units and, finally, the meter is rechecked against the standard buffers to confirm system stability.
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Apparent Gravity and Extract

ASBC Beer-2A (by Pychnometer)
Pricing
[This is the Standard Method against which all other systems are calibrated.]
A pychnometer (pronounced as "pick-nom-eater") is a specially manufactured vial designed to hold a precise volume of liquid at a particular temperature. Each pychnometer is carefully cleaned, dried and weighed to the ±0.0002 g and filled with degassed, distilled water. The temperature is adjusted to 20.00 °C ±0.05°C and reweighed to determine the combined mass. The process is repeated using the degassed beer sample in place of the distilled water. The ratio of the mass of the beer divided by the mass of the distilled water provides the specific gravity at 20.0°C/20.0°C. A standard reference table is used to determine the "Extract", in °Plato, from the known specific gravity. Values are reported to the nearest 0.00005 units for the specific gravity and 0.1 °P for the extract.
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Bitterness

ASBC Beer-23A (International Method)
Pricing
A a measured volume of isooctane (2,2,4-trimethylpentane) is added to small sample of beer or wort that has been acidified with a small amount of hydrochloric acid. The mixture is shaken and the two layers are allowed to separate. A portion of the isooctane layer is diluted with a measured amount of alkaline methanol. The treated sample is placed in a quartz vial and placed in a calibrated ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer where the absorbance of UV light at a wavelength of 275 nm is measured. From the absorbance value, the International Bittering Units (IBU) can be calculated. All samples are run in duplicate, to ensure reliability, and reported to the nearest half-unit.
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Calcium & Magnesium

ASBC Beer-20A (by Eriochrome® Black T Indicator Method)
Pricing
A measured sample of the beer, wort or brewing water is titrated with a standardized EDTA solution, which determines the total (combined) calcium and magnesium content of the sample. A separate sample is first treated with an ammonium oxalate solution to remove the calcium from solution. Titrating the treated sample with the standardized EDTA solution then determines the magnesium (only) content. The calcium content is found by subtraction. Results are reported in milligrams per liter (to the nearest 0.1 mg/L), milligrams per 100 milliliter (to the nearest 0.01 mg/mL) and milligrams per 12-oz serving (to the nearest 0.1 mg/12-oz).
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Calculated Fermentation Values

ASBC Beer-6 (Calculated Values)
Pricing
This test includes the tests and results for ABV, Brewer's, Apparent Gravity & Extract and Real Gravity & Extract. The results of these tests are required for the calculation of:

  1. Original Extract ("OE" - aka, Extract of Original Wort) reported to 0.1°P,
  2. Apparent Degree of Fermentation ("ADF") reported to 0.1%, and
  3. Real Degree of Fermentation ("RDF") reported to 0.1%.
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Caloric Energy Content

ASBC Beer-33 (Caloric Content, Calculated)
Pricing
This test includes all the tests and results covered in Calculated Fermentation Values and Mineral Ash Content. The results of these tests are required for the calculation of Caloric Energy Content. Results for Caloric Energy Content are reported as Calories per 100 grams (to the nearest 0.1 Cal/100-g) and Calories per 12-oz serving (to the nearest 1 Cal/12-oz). (Results in kilojoules instead of Calories are available on request.)
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Carbohydrates, Calories & Proteins Combo

ASBC Beer-6, ASBC Beer-11 and ASBC Beer-33
Pricing
This test includes all the tests and results covered in Calculated Fermentation Values, Caloric Energy Content and Protein Content. The results of these tests are required for the determination of Carbohydrate Content.
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Chill Haze

ASBC Beer-27B (Nephelometric Method)
Pricing
To measure "Chill Haze", the sample is maintained at a constant temperature of 0°C for 24 hr, placed in a pre-chilled vial and placed in the nephelometer (see Turbidity). The amount of light scattered by haze-inducing compounds within the vial is recorded and compared to the light scattered by room temperature formazin solutions of known FTU values. The results are reported to the nearest whole number FTU.
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Color, SRM

ASBC Beer-10A (Spectrophotometric Color Method)
Pricing
A degassed sample of the beer or wort is placed in a 1-cm x 1-cm square quartz vial and placed into a calibrated UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The absorbance of the sample is measured at a wavelength of 430 nanometers (blue-violet colored light). The measured absorbance is directly proportional to the color of the sample in the ASBC "Standard Reference System" (°SRM), the Lovibond system (°L) and the European Brewing Convention system (°EBC), though the proportion is different in each system. Results are reported in all three systems to the nearest 0.1 degree.
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Diacetyl

ASBC Beer-25 (Dimethylglyoxime Method)
Pricing
Diacetyl (2,3-butanedione) is a type of compound known as a vicinal diketone see VDK). Diacetyl produces a "buttered pop-corn" flavor in beer and is often an indicator of bacterial contamination or incomplete fermentation in beer. This test is very specific to diacetyl!

A 250-mL sample of beer is carefully distilled in an anaerobic system to distill over the diacetyl with the alcohol of fermentation. The collected distillate is concentrated and treated with ammonium hydroxide to convert the diacetyl to dimethylglyoxime (DMG). An iron (II) sulfate solution is added, which reacts with the DMG to produce a pink-colored compound. The absorbance of this compound (measured with a calibrated UV-Vis spectrophotometer) is directly proportional to the amount of diacetyl in the original sample of beer. Results are reported in milligrams per liter of beer, to the nearest 0.01 mg/L. (Dividing the milligram per liter value by the apparent gravity of the beer will convert the value to parts per million, by weight.) The average taste threshold for diacetyl in beer is approximately 0.1 ppm.
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FDA - Calories, Carbohydrates and Proteins

ASBC Beer-6, ASBC Beer-11 and ASBC Beer-33
Pricing
These are the "Big Three" when it comes to Dietary Labeling requirements for beer. Unless the beer contains unusual additives or components (fruit beers, "bacon beers", "cock (chicken) ale", etc.), there are no sources of fats, oils, cholesterol, fiber or unfermentable sugars to be concerned about. This test is the same as our Calorie, Carbohydrate & Protein Combo test except that all the tests are run in duplicate and the results include: a signed and dated certification document, reportable values formatted in ASBC and/or FDA required formats, a check-list of items the FDA will require, a copy of the acceptable of USDA dietary component proxies for beer and an example of a fully formatted, and FDA compliant, dietary label for the tested beer.
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Fermentable Extract

ASBC Beer-16 (by Forced Fermentation)
Pricing
The Apparent Final Extract (AFE) of the sample is determined upon arrival. A known volume of the sample is then force fermented to completion. The AFE is redetermined and the amount of the residual fermentable extract in the original sample is calculated from the difference. Results are reported to the nearest 0.1%.
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Foam Collapse Rate

ASBC Beer-22A (by Modified Carlsberg Method)
Pricing
This foam-collapse method measures the volume of liquid that drains from a large head of foam in a specific amount of time. The remaining foam is collapsed and the volume of liquid from the remaining foam is measured. The measured volumes and times are used to calculate a "sigma value". Results are reported to the nearest whole number value.
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Iron Content

ASBC Beer-18A (International Method)
Pricing
A 2-mL volume of color-indicator solution is added to a 50-mL sample of degassed beer and placed in a 60 °:C water-bath for to develop the color. The colored sample is cooled to rom temperature and the absorbance is measured using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer. The measured absorbance is used to determine the amount of iron in the sample. Results are reported in milligrams of iron per liter of beer (to the nearest 0.01 mg/L) and milligrams of iron per 12-oz serving (to the nearest 0.01 mg/12-oz).
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Protein Content

ASBC Beer-11C (by UV Spectrophotometry)
Pricing
The weight of a degassed sample of the beer to be studied is determined. The sample is diluted by a known amount and the absorbances of ultraviolet light at 225 nm and 215 nm are determined. From the recorded absorbances the protein content of the sample can be determined. Results are reported as grams per 100 grams of beer (wt%) and grams per 12-oz serving (to the nearest 0.01 g/100g).
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Real Gravity & Extract

ASBC Beer-5 & ASBC Beer-2A (by Pychnometer)
Pricing
A 100.0 gram sample of decarbonated beer is carefully distilled to remove the contained alcohol, leaving approximately half of the initial sample as "residue". Distilled water is added to the cooled residue to return the total mass to 100.0 grams; the original mass of the sample, but without the alcohol. The specific gravity of the reconstituted "beer" is determined as in Apparent Gravity & Extract). Values are reported to the nearest 0.00005 units for the specific gravity and 0.1 °P for the extract.
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Spectroscopy Combo

ASBC Beer-10A, ASBC Beer-11C & ASBC Beer-23A (by UV/Vis Spectrophotometry)
Pricing
This test includes all the tests and results covered in Bitterness, Color and Protein Content.
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Sugars, "Reducing"

ASBC Beer-12B (by Lane-Eynon Volumetric Method)
Pricing
"Reducing sugars" are sugars that are capable of acting as a chemical "reducing agent" in certain chemical reactions. All simple sugars (monosaccharides) can act as reducing sugars, but not all dimers (disaccharides) can act as reducing sugars. Fortunately, essentially all fermentable sugars of importance to brewers are reducing sugars, so a test for reducing sugars is also a test of fermentable sugars. Results are reported as if all of the reducing sugar was only maltose an reported in grams maltose per 100 grams of beer (to the nearest 0.01 g/100g) and in grams of maltose per 12-oz serving (to the nearest 0.01 g/12-oz).
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Turbidity

ASBC Beer-27B (Nephelometric Method)
Pricing
The term "nephelometry" comes from the Greek words "nephele" ("cloud") and "metron" ("to measure"). In a "nephelometer," a beam of light is sent through a 1 cm x 1 cm square glass vial containing the liquid sample. A photocell at 90° to the beam detects and measures the amount of scattered light striking its surface. To calibrate the nephelometer, a Standard Solution of known cloudiness is prepared by combining aqueous solutions of hydrazine sulfate and formin (hexamethylenetetramine). The reaction produces a highly reproducible hazy suspension with very predictable light scattering properties. This Standard Solution is diluted several times to produce a comparative scale called the Formazin Turbidity Scale, measured in Formazin Turbidity Units (FTU's). The amount of light scattered by haze-inducing compounds within the beer or wort is recorded and compared to the light scattered by formazin solutions of known FTU values. The results are reported to the nearest whole number FTU.
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Viscinal Diketones (VDK)

ASBC Beer-25B (by α-Naphthol/Creatine Indicator Method)
Pricing
"VDK" refers to a related group of chemical compounds known as "vicinal diketones", which contain two ("di-") neighboring ("vicinal" - vicinity) ketone functional groups. The most recognized VDK in the brewing industry, is known by brewers as "diacetyl" and by chemists as "2,3-propanedione." It produces a "buttered popcorn" flavor that is considered a disagreeable off-flavor in most styles of beer. A second VDK compound associated with beer, but usually at a much lower amount than diacetyl, is 2-3-pentanedione, which produces a honey-like flavor.

Though this test is not specific for diacetyl, it is cheaper and the predominant VDK detected is likely to be diacetyl. Results are reported in milligrams per liter of beer, to the nearest 0.01 mg/L. (Dividing the milligram per liter value by the apparent gravity of the beer will convert the value to parts per million, by weight.) The average taste threshold for diacetyl in beer is approximately 0.1 ppm. The average taste threshold for 2,3-pentanedione in beer is approximately 1.0 ppm.
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