Beer laboratory services

We carry out laboratory tests of the highest quality

We offer lab service for all relevant brewing parameters. Based on provided tests results we offer consultancy regarding protocols for brewing new types of beer and brewery sustainability.

Below you will find our full offer along with the basic principles of cooperation and tests descriptions.



Alcohol Content / Plato reading














Sulphur Dioxide


Total Protein


Turbidity / ß-Glucans


Bacterial Presence


Species Identification Tests

25 (per species test)

Full process microbiological analysis



Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) testing


Yeast Count and Viability


If you know you’ll be testing often, we offer a discount starting at 15% for customers paying on a monthly subscription


Monthly Subscription from €250 (with 15% reduction against listed test costs)


Before any order can be processed we must receive a completed order form. Our standard terms and conditions apply. First time customers must pay in advance. Invoices are emailed to clients upon agreement of order terms.

Tests are completed within 2 days of receipt of sample. Usually this is done the same day. In the case of microbial tests we provide results within 3 days of sample being received. 

All results and reports are confidential and for the use of the client only. Consultation based on results is available from staff. 


Local Submission

If you are near our Lab (Zernikelaan 8, 9747 AW Groningen) you may deliver samples in person to avoid shipping and handling fees.

Alternatively, we are also able to pick up samples locally sometimes by agreement. The advantages of direct interaction with us regarding shipping are considerable:

  • You save on large shipping costs.
  • Unfavourable temperatures during beer shipping are avoided
  • You get results much faster

General Shipping

If you are shipping samples to us please follow the following procedures to ensure that samples quality is maintained: 

  • Please label samples Fragile, “this side up” etc to ensure they are handled with care 
  • Samples for testing should be kept cold (refrigerated / on-ice) 
  • Higher temperatures result in premature aging of samples and may impact accuracy 
  • Two standard cans / bottles are sufficient for most tests. If you are testing prior to product finish or are requesting numerous tests, please consult us. 
  • If you are providing sample tests from earlier in process, use sterile sample tubes such as these. If you are struggling to find, please contact us.




Standard Testing

Brewing is both an art and a science. Your beer has distinct aromas, colour, foam structure, hints, and aftertastes you have worked hard to create. We can quantify those characteristics with concrete, consistent, and usable data.

Listed below are tests that take the guesswork out of your brewing process. Tailor your finished beer, develop new flavour profiles, or alter existing ones without deviating from quality.

Find out exactly what attributes are most prominent in your most successful brews! What is the chemistry like in your beer? 

Acetaldehyde is an organic compound that occurs widely in nature: coffee, bread, and fruit for example. During the breakdown of glucose into ethanol, yeast generates acetaldehyde; it is also produced by the liver when metabolizing ethanol. Excess amounts of acetaldehyde in beer create “off flavours” reminiscent of green apple and dry cider. Acetaldehyde is a contributing factor for hangovers, but most importantly, it is a carcinogen. It is therefore recommended to keep its concentration as low as technologically possible. 

ABV (Alcohol by Volume) is required for bottling and Plato for taxation purposes in NL . Legal requirement is to be within 0.5% ABV for bottling and there are benefits to a precise reading if you are close to the tariff boundaries. 

Bitterness in beer comes from Humulus lupulus, the hops flower. The alpha-acids that are extracted from the flower are what create that iconic bitter taste in beers like India Pale Ales (IPA’s). Furthermore, hops act as a preservative and have antimicrobial properties. The Lab uses extraction with organic solvents to quantify the bittering components in the sample. Reports are provided in IBU’s (international bitterness units), which represent the concentration of hops acid in parts per million (ppm). 

When malted grains are boiled starch is broken down into simple sugars. Then, during fermentation, yeast utilize these sugars and create alcohol. Carbohydrates in beer are the sugars that remain after fermentation. The Lab measures carbohydrate content via colorimetric tests on a spectrophotometer. 

Beer colour is the first characteristic noticed by customers and is usually an indicator of the style and flavour of the brew. Colour originates mainly from the malt, pH, wort boiling, yeast strain, fermentation, oxidation, colorants (like caramel), and filtering. Colour is measured via spectrophotometer and reported in EBC(European) units. The most common beer colour is a pale amber, EBC c.12. 

Diacetyl is a flavour compound present in most beers to some extent and imparting aroma characteristics described as butter, butterscotch, or buttermilk when detected above its flavour threshold of 0.04 mg/l. Diacetyl (butane 2,3 dione) is generated as a by-product of amino-acid metabolism in yeast during fermentation. Diacetyl is tested via spectrophotometry in our lab. 

pH is a measurement of acidity. This measurement is critical because particular enzymes, yeasts, and brewing reactions all require a specific pH range to function effectively. In beer, low pH is often an indicator of lactic acid formation by contaminant bacteria by Lactobacillus species. However, sometimes Lactobacillus is added to a specialty brew to achieve a desired taste, in which case pH may be used for confirmation. 

Polyphenols in beer are important because of their antioxidant properties, role in haze formation, and colloidal stability—in essence: the look of beer. Polyphenols also contribute to astringency, an essence of “dryness”, in the beer. Many polyphenols have been linked to the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. For the craft brewer, polyphenol management requires a delicate balance—too much or too little can cause “off flavours” or create a “murky” beer. Finally, shelf-life is also affected by polyphenol content. Polyphenols are expressed in mg/L. 

Concentrations above 350 ppm are unsafe for human consumption. Sulphur dioxide is an allergen, has a strong aroma, and a low taste threshold. The smell and taste of sulphur dioxide can be detected even in miniscule amounts – even at concentrations of parts per billion. Sulphur compounds are one of the primary causes of “off flavours” in beer, especially in lighter beers. Sulphur dioxide is expressed in mg/L. 

Protein content in beer affects viscosity, foam stability, and haze formation. The Lab analyses protein content via colorimetric assay (primarily Bradford method). On average, a domestic 12-oz beer contains 1.6 g of protein. 

Beta-glucans are important because of their role in haze formation and the viscosity of the beer. Beta-glucans are glucose polymers present in the cell-walls of barley and malt, similar to starch in structure. Although largely contributing to brew turbidity, proper management of beta-glucans is also essential to the brewing process, as it can cause slow run-off from your mash, clog process filters, or even impede the production of fermentable sugars during mashing. Turbidity is expressed in arbitrary units [AU]. 

Contamination Testing

Contamination is the presence of foreign microbes like Lactobacillus, Megasphaera, Pectinatus, and Pediococcus. These microbes propagate inside the container, cause “off flavours”, and spoil the brew.

Microbe management and contamination testing is critical for quality assurance, maintaining a consistent and reproducible final product, and of course for consumer safety. 

Using a sterile laminar hood and specialized media, the Lab attempts to grow any spoilage bacteria that may be present in your sample. Visible colonies suggest contamination at specific points in the brewing process, depending on the bacterial strain. The specific bacterial strain, however, must be identified via additional testing — see “Species Identification”.

If spoilage bacteria have been found using our Bacterial Presence test or you have initial suspicions and have requested this, the species of the bacteria can then be identified. The Lab uses a selective media allowing only a specific bacteria to grow to identify the culprit. Different species are very specific to certain types of environments. So, knowing the strain of bacteria present, Lab specialists can deduce the likely source of the contamination in the brewing process. 

Yeast Health and Growth

Contributing to flavour, colour and alcohol intensity, yeast is primarily responsible for the consistency of your finished product.

We provide several tests to assess the growth and efficiency of your yeast, as well as reliable long-term storage.

Brewers looking to troubleshoot brewing problems or change their active yeast strains should use these tests.


Yeast requires Nitrogen to grow. Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) represents the concentration of usable Nitrogen from amino acids and small peptides. Excess FAN can cause flavour, microbial instability, and even spoilage. Excess FAN can also be further metabolized into higher alcohols like isoamyl, propanol, and isobutanol—which may taste reminiscent of paint thinner. A FAN insufficiency, on the other hand, can cause slower fermentation, off-flavours, and sweetness levels too high for standard beer. Ultimately, Free Amino Nitrogen in the wort is a good indicator of beer quality and stability, as well as yeast health, growth, and viability. Healthy levels of FAN in wort range from 150-300 ppm, 85% of which should be consumed by the end of fermentation. FAN are expressed in mg/L. 

A yeast count determines the amount of healthy yeast cells in a given sample. This value is used (1) to calculate how much yeast is used for initial pitching, (2) to ensure the yeast is thriving, and (3) to verify that the yeast is reproducing sufficiently for the fermentation process. Yeast counts are carried out using a light microscope and methylene blue, which marks dead cells to facilitate counting of live cells. 

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