Currently, several European beer makers look forward to learn what the secret ingredients of the newly found beer are in order to reproduce the recipe with modern technology. Some of them have already started recreating a recipe based on the clues provided by the researchers.
Dr Brian Gibson, one of the chemists that currently study the two bottles of beer, said that the shipwreck in which they were found was discovered by archeologists in 2010 close to the Åland Islands, in Finland. Back then, the underwater team of archeologists reported that they have found a what-seems-to-be schooner at a depth of 50 m.
Schooners are sailing vessels with two or more masts that were first employed by the Dutch fleet in the 16th or 17th century, the team explained. However, the shipwreck name still remains unknown, as well as its final destination.
Yet, scientists found that the ship was catering for wealthy clientele since divers found several luxury goods such as 150 bottles of champagne. Additionally, archeologists discovered five bottles of beer that look like they were bottled in the early 19th century.
But on its way to a laboratory, a bottle cracked while on the rescue boat. Some of the divers had the courage to taste the foaming liquid and reported that, although it did taste like beer, it was incredibly sour and had an odd “goaty” flavor.
In the lab, chemists explained that the biers extremely diluted with sea water, but they were able to identify traces of the initial ingredients and rebuild the original recipe.
“Compared to modern beers, the shipwreck beers contained similar levels of potassium but 15- to 60-fold more sodium, presumably derived from sea water. This may have diluted the beers up to 30%,”
the team wrote in its paper.
Additionally, scientists found that both beers had a low alcohol level, about 2.8 percent to 3.2 percent, and they were products of a yeast fermentation process. Still, the two samples were different brands, scientists concluded based on the hop content.
Chemists also found that the beers had a low pH level, which is rather unusual to modern-day beers. Also, the team observed the beers’ colors and concluded that they must have been ales or lagers, rather than stouts or porters.
But the bitterness test revealed that the first bottle was certainly a light lager since it was less bitter than the second beer sample.
Image Source: cen.acs.org