Scientist recreates 'oldest beer' from 400-year-old yeast

In 2008, Ecuadorian scientist Javier Carvajal found a barrel from an old brewery. After a large number

experiments, the scientist managed to resurrect the yeast culture and prepare "the oldest beer in Latin America."

The old barrel was kept in the monastery of St.Francis in Quito. This huge complex, whose area exceeds 3 hectares, was built by the Franciscan monks between 1537 and 1680. They came along with the first settlers to explore the New World.

Carvajal examined under a microscope a small piece of wood removed from the barrel and found a tiny sample of yeast on it. After long-term cultivation, the researcher was able to revive this culture.

A scientist cultivates a beer yeast culture found on a chip from an old barrel. Photo: AFP, Rodrigo Buendia

Researchers believe that the first beer inLatin America was prepared by the Franciscan monk Jodoko Rique in Quito in 1566. It is believed that it was he who began to grow wheat and barley in the place where the capital of Ecuador is now located. Carvachle says the Franciscans used yeast cultures derived from chicha to create local beer. This is a fermented corn drink that was brewed by the Native Americans before the Spanish colonization.

The researcher did a great jobrestore an ancient recipe. The original drink, according to the remaining evidence, had the taste of cinnamon, figs, cloves and sugar cane. Carwahl studied ancient documents to recover all the ingredients, but the discovery of the right yeast was what mattered most.

There were a huge number of holes in the recipe, and mythe job was to fill in those gaps. Not only have we unearthed a biological treasure, but also 400 years of work on the gradual domestication of a yeast that probably originated from chicha and was collected from the local environment.

Javier Carvajal, an Ecuadorian researcher, told ABC News

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