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KAR Laboratories



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Hop field

Hops provide important aroma, flavor and bitterness to beer. With the explosion of microbreweries across the country, KAR Laboratories was asked to provide this important testing in 2012. Our response, backed by 60 years in the analytical testing industry, quickly elevated our hops lab to premier status in the USA.  KAR is one of the most trusted, reliable, and fastest hop testing laboratories with unmatched service. In 2016, KAR reported nearly 10,000 individual hop test results. Reputation matters, especially in laboratory testing.


bullet Alpha acids (%)
bullet Beta acids (%)
bullet Cohumulone (as a % of total alpha acids)
bullet Colupulone (as a % of total beta-acids)
bullet Moisture (dry matter, weight loss on drying)
bullet Hop Storage Index (HSI)
bullet Hop Total Essential Oils by Steam Distillation
bullet Hop Essential Oils ("Profile") by Gas Chromatography


Sorry, we do not determine the species of unknown hop plants



 Hop oil testing service

Essential Oils

ASBC HOPS-13 method

(4) 12-Liter Distillation Units



HPLC instruments used for Hop Acids testing


Hop Acids

ASBC HOPS-14 method

(2) High Performance Liquid Chromatographs (HPLC or LC)



GC's used for Hop essential oil panel test


Essential Oil Profiles

ASBC HOPS-17 method

(3) Dual-Column/Dual-FID Gas Chromatographs


Professional analytical chemists at KAR Laboratories


Andie working in the microbiology lab



Our laboratory has a comprehensive QA program with regular state laboratory audits using U.S. EPA laboratory standards. Since 2012, the laboratory has also subscribed to the monthly ASBC QC Hops check samples. These are unknown single-blind samples that rotate between hops, hop pellets, and hop extract. The program allows us to compare our results with other labs and establishes verifiable and accountable testing services. It also allows us to fine tune the procedure so that our results fall near the laboratory mean.


Note - When comparing your lab results, the method used and moisture content should always be considered. Laboratory round-robin tests show that the UV method has a positive bias of a few tenths of a percent. Another huge factor is moisture content (dry matter). Wet hops weigh roughly 5 times more than dried hops which makes a big difference in lab results. We report the method, calculate results for you both dried and wet, and include a free moisture test as well.


Dried, wet, fresh, pellets, extracts...  what about moisture content?

Moisture content (also called dry matter) can be confusing. For testing purposes, moisture content doesn't matter at all. We simply report the test results of the sample "as received" in accordance with standardized ASBC methods, as well as dried to the "ideal" 10% moisture. That's important, because not everyone dries to the same moisture content, and some don't dry at all. Some laboratories confuse the issue by reporting results based only upon a back-calculated "ideal" 10% moisture. This contradicts the ASBC lab methods, as well as the HOPS-1 "Sampling" method, which have no provisions for drying the hops or reporting the hops in any specific manner, other than the sample as it was received by the laboratory. For these reasons, we include a moisture (dry matter) test as a critical component of our analytical report. Our moisture test allows back-calculations to any moisture content and we include the calculated value on our report as well as the mathematical formula below. To convert your results to 10% moisture:

Tested acid value x (90/(100-percent moisture)) as explained in this article from Michigan State University Extension: "Determining when hops are ready to harvest"

Also check out this one from MSU: "How to calculate alpha acid levels of hops before harvesting"

And this handy field calculator from University of Vermont: "Hop Harvest Moisture Calculator"


Long story short: It makes no difference to us what moisture content your hops are - we've got you covered. If it's your goal to have your testing reflect the highest possible alpha acids (roughly 5 times higher than wet hops), you can always submit hops that have been properly dried. Just remember, wet hops degrade much faster than dry hops. So time, temperature, and air exposure become more important during transit to the lab. So for that reason, dried hops sent to the laboratory can be advantageous if the shipping is delayed.


Turnaround time

During the critical harvest period of Aug. 1 - Oct. 15, lab reports are emailed:


within 1 business day for Hop Acids


within 3 business days for Hop Oils


within 5 business days for Hop Essential Oils by GC (Hop Profile)

Samples analyzed at times other than harvest can sometimes take up to 5 business days. If you need faster turnaround, please call us and we'll try to accommodate your needs.  Sorry, but same-day test results is too disruptive to our production).

Our system will automatically send you an email confirmation when your samples arrive at the lab. Your analytical report will automatically be emailed as well, just as soon as they are completed, before 6:00 p.m. on the due date.


How to sample and get them to us

Care should be taken to obtain a representative sample of the bulk lot. For example, test results will vary from the top to the bottom of the bine. Nitrogen-purging or vacuum bagging in an aluminized Mylar food (barrier) bag is best, especially to protect highly perishable wet hops. Otherwise, use new zip-lock sandwich bags. Double bagging is recommended. Please contact us for a free sampling kit which includes a Mylar barrier bag, instructions, the necessary forms, and return packaging. It's not a requirement, but it's handy.

Hop acids: 30 grams (1.1 oz.) are needed (about one full sandwich bag). Expel air and seal. Double bagging is recommended when using zip-lock bags.

Hop Total Oils and Essential Oils: 100 grams (3.6 oz.) are needed (about 5 full sandwich bags). Expel air and seal. Double bagging is recommended when using zip-lock bags.

Note: To delay formation of mold, especially wet hops, keep the sample cool. Do not delay shipment to the laboratory! Hops should arrive at the lab in two days or less for the most accurate results.

Please note that lab results will not be disclosed until payment is made. A delay of several days is possible if we must attempt to contact you for payment. To avoid this delay, please prepay or include payment with your hop samples.



HOPS-14: Hop acids using HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) offers superior quantitation, sensitivity, and additional speciation. We use the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) HOPS-14 HPLC method, the world-class standard. Alpha acids, Beta acids, Cohumulone, Colupulone, and Moisture (dry matter) are included.  $35 per sample

HOPS-6A + HOPS-12:  Hop acids using Scanning Diode Array UV Spectrophotometer and American Society of Brewing Chemists methods HOPS-6A and HOPS-12. Alpha acids, Beta acids, Moisture (dry matter), and HSI (Hop Storage Index) are included.  $35 per sample

HOPS-13:  Hop Oils (Total Essential Oils in Hops and Hop Pellets by Steam Distillation) according to ASBC Method HOPS-13. A Moisture test (dry matter) is included. (Note: You might consider doing HOPS-17 instead, which includes this test).  $25 per sample

HOPS-17: Hop Essential Oils by Gas Chromatography using ASBC HOPS-17 method, also known as "oil panel" or "profile". This test looks for certain components that contribute to flavor and aroma characteristics. This is done using one our our three dual Flame Ionization Gas Chromatographs (GC-FID2). Each instrument provides two channels of data. Using two channels instead of one provides confirmation of each compound's identity, an important quality control measure not available at other hop laboratories. Your laboratory report will list the percentage of each of the following key components described in this full length research paper: Myrcene (citrusy/grapefruit), Humulene (citrusy, floral, woody, earthy), Farnesene, Caryophyllene (herbal, spicy, woody), Linalool (floral, fruity), and Geraniol. Also included in the price are: 1) "Total Essential Oils in Hops and Hop Pellets by Steam Distillation" using method HOPS-13 and 2) moisture (dry matter).  $90 per sample

Click the photo to see a Hop Laboratory Report


Send us your samples, call us, or purchase online.

1) We'll send out a sampling kit within one business day that includes Mylar barrier bag(s), instructions, Hop Analysis Form, and return packaging.

2) You'll get an email when your sample arrives at the lab.

3) During the Aug.1 - Oct. 15 harvest season, your laboratory report will be emailed to you the next business day for hop acids and HSI, within 3 business days for Hop Essential Oils and within 5 business days for Essential Oil Profile by GC. Please allow up to 5 business days during other times of the year. Give us a call if you need fast turnaround. We'll try to accommodate your needs.

Hop acids by HLPC: Includes Alpha acids, Beta acids, Cohumulone, Colupulone, Moisture (dry matter) $35  
Hop acids by UV: Alpha acids, Beta acids, Hop Storage Index, Moisture (dry matter) $35  
Total Essential Oils: Total Essential Oils in Hops and Hop Pellets by Steam Distillation.  A Moisture test (dry matter) is included $25  
Essential Oil Profile by GC: Oil panel includes Myrcene, Humulene, Farnesene, Caryophyllene, Linalool, and Geraniol. The $25 Total Essential Oils test is included in the price as well as Moisture (dry matter) $90  
Return Label (1 to 3 days in the continental USA, depending on distance) with free pickup

Please note that lab results will not be disclosed until payment is made. A delay of several days is possible if we must attempt to contact you for payment. To avoid this delay, please prepay or include payment with your hop samples.



  CLICK HERE for Hop Analysis Form



  Must be submitted with all samples!



  When price shopping, be sure that the lab includes a moisture test.  Many labs charge up to $30 extra. Our moisture test is free.
  Does the testing facility have a phone number that can be reached during normal business hours, year-round? Call us M-F 8-5 EST at 269-381-9666
  How long has the lab been in business, and will it be there when you need them? We've been providing lab services for 60 years
  You want experienced, degreed, professional analytical chemists testing your hops.  Students and general laborers can end up costing you much more, once the dust clears from an erroneous report. Our hop chemists have 4-year university chemistry degrees and average about 20 years lab experience each, and have reported over 11,000 individual hop tests in the most recent 3-year period.
  Is the lab adequately equipped?  Some labs claim to use the HOPS-13 method but really use downsized distillation units or even meth lab-style turkey cookers to lower costs. In those cases, good luck with laboratory inter-comparisons and good luck with precision (reproducibility). Many hop testing labs only operate a single, inexpensive spectrophotometer. We maintain a scanning diode array UV/VIS spectrometer, 3 HPLCs, 6 GCs, and 5 GC-MS instruments.
    You've worked very hard on your crops. Don't skimp on the testing!
Member, American Society of Brewing Chemists ASBC


Member, Michigan Brewers Guild


CLICK HERE for the ultimate Analysis of Brewing Water


Hops in the sunlight


KAR Laboratories, Inc.

269.381.9666* M-F 8-5 EST

*please check the FAQ before calling or emailing Water Kit questions