- On 12/02/2011
- In Conservation / Preservation
Finnish scientists are analysing a golden, cloudy beverage found in a 19th century shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, hoping new beers can be modelled on an ancient brew.
The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland said on Tuesday that through chemical analysis it aims to determine the ingredients and possibly the recipe used in brewing what it called "one of the world's oldest preserved beers."
VTT scientist Arvi Vilpola said he had "the honourable task" of being the one on the research team to sample the brew.
"It was a little sour and you could taste the saltiness of it slightly," Vilpola said.
Divers stumbled across the five beer bottles while salvaging champagne from the wreck near Finland's Aland Islands last July. The schooner is believed to be from the early 19th century.
Researchers are keen to find out what kind of yeast was used because "the role of yeast in beer brewing was not yet fully understood in the early 1800s," said VTT spokeswoman Annika Wilhelmson.