An Ecuadorian bioengineer recreates a Franciscan beer from the 16th century, the oldest in Latin America

An Ecuadorian bioengineer recreates a Franciscan beer from the 16th century, the oldest in Latin America

The scientist found in an old oak barrel the same yeast fungus that monks from Quito used 400 years ago to make the drink.

Ecuadorian bioengineer Javier Carjaval claims to have created a beer with the same formulation used by the Franciscan friars in the 16th century. If so, he would have managed to recreate what is considered the oldest beer in Latin America.

After studying specialized scientific literature, the scientist managed to ‘revive’ a 400-year-old yeast, after in 2008 he found a sample of it in a old oak barrel, informs France 24, citing AFP.

The barrel was found in an old brewery that existed until 1970 in the Convent of San Francisco de Quitobuilt between 1537 and 1680 and today houses a museum.

Using a microscope, Carvajal was able to find in a chip removed from the barrel a tiny sample of ‘Saccharomyces cerevisiae’ yeast, a fungus widely used in scientific research and in the production of alcoholic and bakery products, after which he managed to cultivate the microorganism in the laboratory.

The scientist, coming from a family of brewers, found an article in a specialized magazine that vaguely described the formula with which the Franciscans brewed beer in the 16th century. Little by little, he gathered scattered information until he ‘revived’ the flavored drink from cinnamon, figs, nail Y sugar cane.

“There were a lot of gaps in that recipe and my job was to fill in those gaps. […]. That is a work of brewing archaeology, within microbial archaeology,” she commented.

After a decade dedicated to research and experimentation, Carvajal began brewing at home in 2018. However, the coronavirus pandemic frustrated their plans to commercialize the productbased on the recipe used by the Franciscan monk Jodoco Ricke, of Flemish origin who, according to historians, began to produce the drink in 1566.

Source: Actualidad

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