Bitterness analysis with the SP2000 beer analyzer

Beer would not be beer without hops - hops   provide the balance and is the signature in many styles. The bitterness of beer is provided by compounds such as humulones and/or iso-α-acids from hops used during brewing. Skalar has automated the analysis of bitterness compounds such as iso-α-acids in beer according to international  methods for example EBC, ASBC, Mebak and other standards.

Heineken in  Zoeterwoude, NL uses the SP2000 robot for the automation of the bitterness analysis in their various types of beer.

The robotic analyzer automates all the necessary steps for complete and unattended analysis. The operator inserts the beer samples and starts the robot. The analyzer degases the samples and automatically performs the bitterness analysis by acidifying the beer and adding the iso-octane extraction solution. After extraction, the organic phase is measured at 275 nm in a flow-through cell  spectrophotometrically.                                                                                                          The bitterness value is automatically calculated.

The robot has 15 sample positions for the sample treatment and all analyses can be carried out in duplicate. The sample throughput is 8 analyses per hour for bitterness, including the degassing pre-treatment.

Besides the analysis of bitterness in beer, the SP2000 robot can also automate the measurement of Color, pH,  Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN), SO2 on the same platform.


  • Complete automation includes: degassing of the samples, (de)-capping the sample tube, sample dilution, addition of reagents, mixing and measurement of the absorbance
  • Batch-wise analysis, which fits perfectly into each brewery production site
  • Flexibility to process small or large batches and run single or multiparameter analysis
  • No calibration required for Bitterness value calculation
  • Can be used for various types of beers with low and high bitterness values
  • Iso-octane reagent consumption of the automatic bitterness method is reduced by a factor of 5 compared to the manual method
  • Possibility to combine the bitterness application with pH, color, FAN, SO2  etc.
  • RoboticAccess™ software for instrument control, data handling, result calculation and QC
  • Methods according EBC, ASBC, Mebak, etc.

For more information regarding bitterness analysis in beer with the SP2000 bitterness analyzer or other applications. Then please contact Skalar.