Presenter: Benjamin T. Bailey, Troegs Brewing Co., Hershey,
The cost of purchasing and properly disposing of iso-octane
(2,2,4-trimethylpentane) for testing bitterness in beer is
considerable. It is by far the most expensive reagent used in
the ASBC beer bitterness test. The method of regeneration
described by Schild and Weyh in 1963 can regenerate isooctane
to the purity required for bitterness analysis in a
modern brewery. Using their method of regeneration, savings
can be realized almost immediately by any lab or brewery
performing IBU analysis. In a lab that runs 10 bitterness tests/
day following the ASBC method, a return on the investment in
required equipment can be realized as quickly as eight months.
When the costs of proper disposal of this hazardous chemical
are considered, significant savings can be realized in less than
eight months. By clarifying iso-octane through the column
two times, it was possible to confirm that the IBU tests done
with regenerated iso-octane are as accurate as those done with
HPLC-grade iso-octane purchased from a chemical supplier.
The beers tested during this trial ranged from 5.2 to 74.3 IBU,
confirming the effectiveness of this method across a large range
of beer styles.
Benjamin Bailey has been an MBAA member since 2010.
His paper “The Influence of Hop Harvest Date on Hop
Aroma in Dry-Hopped Beers” received the Inge Russell Best
Paper Award in 2010. He received a B.A. degree in German
from the University of Texas in Austin in 2000. After a three
year apprenticeship at Live Oak Brewing Co. in Austin, TX,
he enrolled at the University of Munich at Weihenstephan,
graduating as a diploma master brewer in 2008. He then
worked as a quality assurance engineer for MillerCoors
in Trenton, OH, before taking on his current role in 2010
as quality assurance team leader at Troegs Brewing Co. in