Leuven university researchers recreate 19th century beer
Friday, 03 October 2014
Ghent researchers in the study of brewing technology at Leuven University have recreated a 19th century beer. In 2010, five bottles of this beer were found in a shipwreck discovered in 2010 off the coast of the Aland Islands (South western Finland). The ship capsized in 1842 near the Föglö village, located on the Aland archipelago, sandwiched between Sweden and Finland. The boat lies 50 meters deep.
The Leuven team was chosen to work on the beer because the yeasts used at the time to prepare beer were wild yeasts. So research had to be conducted in a controlled environment
Using micro-organisms present in the bottles, the researchers analyzed the type of yeast and bacteria which also seemed to come from Belgium a used by brewers at the time to compose the beer. With the ingredients found, several test brews were made and the beer with the best taste was selected. The end result is a beer with 4.7% vol. alc. and a faint bitter taste.
The Leuven lab itself produces 1,500 liters of beer and 2,000 bottles “Stallhagen Historic Beer 1842” were filled. The cost per bottle is set at 113 euros. Part of the proceeds will be spent on science projects such as archaeological research in Finnish waters.
The beer is being brewed on a larger scale and sold by the Stallhagen brewery, located on the Aland Islands.