Hops play an important role in the brewing process, as they have a critical effect on the flavor, bitterness, and shelf life of beer. The alpha acids in the hops are crucial for the bitterness of the beer.
To achieve the required bitterness at the end of the brewing process, the quantity of hops added must be dosed precisely. Depending on the type of beer, different varieties of hops are used, each with a different alpha acids content. According to the European Brewery Convention (EBC 7.4), the content of alpha acids is determined by conductometric titration with lead acetate solution. This method can be used for all hop products, e.g., hop umbels, pellets, or extracts.
The image on the left shows a typical titration curve for alpha acids in hop products.