400-year-old Ecuadoran beer resurrected from yeast
35 comments·August 4, 2022
Agreed. If nondestructive time travel existed, a pub crawl would be first on my list.
Best I can do is this homebrew comp I'm organizing - https://dejabru.org
So people are going to pay you to send you beer.
Brb gotta organize a homebrew competition!
Address not found - I think you may have HNd yourself?
Brilliant name, by the way.
I clicked to find Roggenbier and was not disappointed. I love them but they’re really tricky to mash and sparge without getting stuck.
I made one a few months ago and served it with rye sourdough and fermented butter. Life is good.
Never received the confirmation email after signing up :(
For sure. I’d love to try some stuff from the Balkans before hops arrived, or cask ales in 17th century England. Colonial American beers with weird ingredients would be fun too.
I'm down. Anyone have enough Dall-E credits for "a functioning time machine you can build in a weekend out of household supplies, as a detailed schematic"?
Where and when would you go?
Tough choice. I’m interested in a lot of old beers. The hype around original Berliner Weiss would be cool.
first thing I thought about was Sandman
Quite, but with yeasts I think there are some continuous cultures that are way older than just 400 years. Having said that, evolution will have happened along the way so there will be changes of some sort.
However there is still the living link with the long past.
It turns out that one of my 13th great grandmothers was from Cornwall (Padstow) So am I Cornish? Yes and also several other varieties of English (the tree gets a bit complicated, especially in Norfolk), Scottish (Gerdes even sounds like Girders when said by a Scot and cf Geddes), Irish (one grandfather from Dublin). I'm also German - Gerdes is our family name and that name was adopted by quite a few Germans when the law required family names (can't remember when that was - 18thC?) I can also note quite a lot of Jewish descent but I generally ignore being Christian - Confirmed by the Bishop of Jerusalem in Cyprus (we were stationed in the WSBA at the time).
I have barely touched on my roots here. They are sodding complicated and so are everyone's and so is beer's.
Sure and that’s all quite interesting but we’re not about to take a bite of your arm and romantically imagine the life and times of 16th century Cornish coal miners. Yet with a resurrected 400 y/o yeast derived from chicha used to brew the first European style beers in Quito combined with an old recipe, we can taste the drink that common laborers consumed in Quito 400 years ago at a time of great change. It’s romantic, it has a visceral appeal beyond the personal that may be evoked by genealogy. There’s the stuff of human heritage here.
Sad, but that's what happened all over the world around that time: beer production was completely industrialized and commoditized and small breweries just couldn't compete anymore. The craft beer/microbrewery movement started in the US and UK a few years later, but it took some time until it spread to South America.
It's a good run, but it can be hard to find people who can carry on a tradition like that, especially if the business isn't doing well financially.
“especially if the business isn’t doing well financially” seems like a thought terminating cliché tbh
Generally convents and monasteries that produce things like beer and cheese and chocolate do so quite specifically for the money. They're not doing it because it's a quaint tradition.
It may be a thought-stopping cliche, but it also gets at the central point of why the work was done in the first place.
> Also Chicha is the wonderful spit based corn beer. The yeast probably won't be missed.
I was curious what you meant by this, from Wikipedia:
> In some cultures, instead of germinating the maize to release the starches therein, the maize is ground, moistened by saliva in the chicha maker's mouth, and formed into small balls, which are then flattened and laid out to dry. Naturally occurring ptyalin enzymes in the maker's saliva catalyses the breakdown of starch in the maize into maltose. This process of chewing grains or other starches was used in the production of alcoholic beverages in pre-modern cultures around the world, including, for example, sake in Japan. Chicha prepared in this manner is known as chicha de muko.
Also like all classic Inca stories, it contained this bit:
> The Incas themselves show the importance of chicha. The lords or royalty probably drank chicha from silver and gold cups known as keros. Also, after defeating an enemy Inca rulers would have heads of the defeated enemy converted into cup to drink chicha from
Have to agree with "just reaching for an article"! No mention of the genetic line (species) this particular yeast might belong to, so almost devoid of information. "This guy isolated some old yeast and cultured it up and he's making beer with it." Reads more like a soft ad to me.
Maybe, but they did pull the barrel from the museum and I'd presume they tried to find one that hadn't been used in living memory. Even if it's ONLY 50 years old it's still quite the biological time capsule. It should be verifiable though, as S. Cerevisiae is a well understood organism and the rate of mutation of various genes is well understood. They could compare to a number of yeasts form the area and if it's related, get a rough estimate of the age by working backwards.