c IBULyzer - Automate Beer Bitterness Measurement


The predominant source of bitterness in beer is formed by the iso-alpha acids, derived from acids which are naturally present in the flowers of the female hop plant. With a huge variation in bitterness compounds and perceived differences in bitterness taste, beer bitterness tests have become an essential part of quality control in commercial beer production.

The IBULyzer is one of the finest examples of how instrument and tasting panel can work together with the shared sensory goal of measuring beer bitterness.

Automate IBU Measurement with an IBULyzer

Free up brewery lab time with automated beer bitterness measurement that is affordable, simple enough for anyone to use, processes samples in just 13 minutes, allows you to queue up to 8 samples at one time and provides the same accuracy as manual methods, with added consistency. A cost effective omplement to your internal quality control procedures allowing to brew with consistently tight control over the IBU/EBU values.

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Universal Method, Globally Validated

The IBULyzer® automates the manual iso-octane extraction method to measure bitterness in alignment with the standard approved methods of the American Association of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) and European Brewing Convention (EBC), as opposed to other highly selective and often expensive methods such as HPLC.

A cost effective analytical solution, IBULyzer's are in daily use at-line with both in-process and finished product samples at plants around the world with the backing some of the worlds largest beer brand owners.

Operation Principle

1. Present a degassed sample to the IBULyzer
2. Absorbance of pure iso-octane is measured
3. Sample is acidified and iso-octane is added in 1:2 ration
4. Extraction is promoted by forced aeration
5. Transfer for absorbance measurement at 275nm
6. Calculation of IBU and reporting of results
7. Cleaning cycle prevents cross-contamination

Analytical Performance

Initially trialed with one of the worlds largest beer brand owners, the performance of the IBULyzer results confirmed calibration with expected manual values. Now rolled out globally, the IBULyzer continues to impress.

Several samples with corresponding lab data were supplied by the brewing company enabling us to compare results with the reference lab method. In total 10 different beers, ranging from 8.8 up to 27.8 IBU, were used to assess precision within a single run (repeatability). Results were in fine agreement with the expected values at a RSD (relative standard deviation) of less than 2.2%. Taking into account the relatively large measuring range of the sample set this was indicative of the analyzer’s potential for automated bitterness tests, yet one which does not require special analytical skills. As expected, the test highlighted the importance of careful calibration by means of beers with known reference values, key to obtaining reliable results.

Overview of Operational Analytics Features:
+ Similar with internationally applied manual iso-octane extraction method
+ Bitterness as sum parameter: iso a-acids + other components
+ Excellent accuracy and precision (repeatability)
+ No sample pretreatment necessary (except degassing)
+ Straight-forward operation requiring no specialist analytical skills
+ Low cost of analysis relative to a large number of results
+ Smart features: autocleaning, autocalibration
+ 1, 4 or 8 sampling channels
+ Incorporated industrial panel PC with various remote access options

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