Determination of Alcohol by Volume (ABV) in Beer

CDR BeerLab® is the easy, fast and reliable testing system to be used directly at the brewery with no need of expertise in chemical analysisThe test allows to measure alcohol by volume (ABV) in beer, which is an important quality parameter.

Features and Benefits of the determination of Alcohol by Volume in Beer with CDR BeerLab®

  • the Method is simpler and faster than reference methods (hydrostatic balance)
  • it does not need specific laboratory facilities, nor the dexterity of chemical analyst experts
  • the results are correlated with the reference methods
  • the test features high reliability and repeatability
  • it has specific calibration for non-alcoholic beers and low alcohol beers

The analysis with CDR BeerLab® facilitates very much carrying out the quality control related to alcohol content in the beer produced.

The systems to test Alcohol by Volume (ABV) in beer

Alcohol by Volume can be measured using CDR BeerLab®, a system which enables you to carry out a wide panel of chemical analyses on beer and water, using a single instrument, in a process that is faster and simpler than traditional methods.
With CDR BeerLab® brewers and breweries of any size can independently carry out brewing process controls without having to rely on external laboratories.

  CDR BeerLab: chemical analysis system specifically designed to monitor the brewing process  in breweryCDR BEERLAB® CDR BeerLab Junior: chemical analysis system specifically designed to monitor the brewing process  in breweryCDR BEERLAB® JUNIOR
Analyses Beer, Wort and Water:
Bitterness (IBU)
Fermentable Sugars
Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Acetic acid
Yeast Vitality
Vicinal Diketons (VDKs)
Total sulfur dioxide
Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN) by OPA
Lactic Acid (D + L)
Polyphenols in beer
Carbohydrates in Beer
Calcium in Beer and Water
Alkalinity of water
Bicarbonate in Water
Zinc in Water
Sulfate in Water
Magnesium in Water
Potassium in Water
Chloride in Water

Configuration with tailored panel of analyses

Simultaneous Sample Analyses 16 3
Multiple Analyses on a Sample si


Check out how to test Alcohol by Volume in Beer with CDR BeerLab®


Test type: End Point.
Time testing: 6 minutes.
Are possible test sessions with several samples, up to 16 tests for CDR BeerLab® and 3 tests for CDR BeerLab® Junior.

Correlation with reference methods

Samples were analysed for Alcohol using both the CDR BeerLab® and the UKAS accredited gas chromatography (GC) method (Campden BRI Method AM/0 18 based on IOB Methods of Analysis, 1997, 9.10).

The international reference analysis laboratory Campden BRI in its report says “Statistical analysis suggested that in the majority of cases and based on current data there is no statistically significant evidence for a difference in alcohol measurements for beer when using the CDR BeerLab® versus the reference methods.”

Determination of Alcohol Content in Beer CDRBeerLab correlation with Reference Method

Specific calibration for non-alcoholic beers and low alcohol beers

Samples were tested in the laboratory of QCL  (CDR distibutor for UK) with the CDR BeerLab® and reference analysis was performed by Campden BRI, innovation, research and technology centre for the food and drinks industry. The table below compares ABV results from the CDR BeerLab® and Campden BRI with the values on the label.

Samples tested in the QCL laboratory with the BeerLab and reference analysis was performed by Campden BRI.

The CDR BeerLab® results show very close agreement with the reference method across the range of samples. It is notable from these results that many of the beers have a higher ABV than the packaging suggests. This study demonstrates that the CDR BeerLab® is a reliable and accurate instrument for the measurement of ABV for low and no alcohol beers.

Download Testing Low/No Alcohol Beers written by QCL


Test Principle

Ethanol, in an alkaline environment, is oxidized through an enzymatic reaction and converted in acetic aldehyde in presence of NAD+, which in turns produces NADH. The increase of the absorbance, measured at 366 nm (end-point), is proportional to the concentration of ethanol in the sample.

Reagent test Kits

The reagents are packaged in foil pouches containing 10 tubes useful to perform 10 analyses.

This is the minimum package that allows the use of CDR systems even to those who need to make a few analyses, thus not wasting reagents.

There are also boxes of 100 tests, however, packaged in 10 bags of 10 tubes containing the reagent.

Code *300740 – The kit, designed for 100 tests.
Code *300735 – The kit, designed for 10 tests.

The reagents have a shelf-life of 6 months.

Processing of Sample

Use on beer or wort. Make a dilution of the sample 1:100, for which you can use the dedicated kit. The beer sample needs to be degassed (we recommend to use an ultrasonic bath) before making the dilution. For higher accuracy in the analysis of wort we recommend to centrifuge the sample.

Measuring Range

Test Measuring Range Resolution Repeatability
Alcohol by volume [1-10] % 1 - 10 %vol 0.1 %vol 0.1 %vol
Alcohol by volume [9-17] % 9 - 17 %vol 0.1 %vol 0.2 %vol
Alcohol by volume [0.1-1] % 0.1 - 1 %vol 0.01 %vol 0.01 %vol
Alcohol by volume [0.002-0.2] % 0.002 - 0.2 %vol 0.001 %vol 0.001 %vol

Reagents developed by CDR S.r.l - Quality System Certified ISO 9001 Ed. 2015 - Certificate n. 9115

Click and Discover more about CDR BeerLab®: analysis system fast, easy to use and reliable for determining multiple parameters in beer wort and water

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With the CDR system, you can perform your tests in total autonomy

Neither skilled staff nor a dedicated external laboratory is needed to use our systems. CDR FoodLab® optimizes traditional testing methods, making them faster and easier, while guaranteeing accuracy standards in line with the reference methods.

Analytical kit

CDR FoodLab® Analysis Systems use disposable pre-vialed reagents specifically developed by the research laboratories of CDR. The use of pre-vialed reagents and the analytical procedures allow:

  • a sample preparation that is quick and easy, when needed at all;
  • making analytical procedures extremely fast and easy;
  • removing all needs for complex calibration procedures.

Reagents come in aluminum packages containing 10 test tubes each to perform 10 tests (or packages for 100 tests containing 10 single packages of 10 test tubes each).

Just a few steps and results are yielded right away

Just a few steps will suffice to carry out your analysis in a rapid way in total autonomy. The system is composed of both the analyzer based on photometric technology and a kit of low toxicity, pre-vialed reagents, developed by CDR.

CDR FoodLab® is cost-effective because it does not require the use of expensive equipment and does not entail maintenance, assistance or calibration costs.
Find out how it works