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Beer Science

Ancient Egyptian Brewer's Tomb Found 66

Rambo Tribble writes "Reminding us of beer's pivotal role in the civilization of humankind, the BBC comments on the discovery of an Ancient Egyptian tomb, belonging to the distinguished 'head of beer production' in the Pharaoh's court. From the article: 'Experts say the tomb's wall paintings are well preserved and depict daily life as well as religious rituals. Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told the Egyptian al-Ahram newspaper that security had been tightened around the tomb until excavation works are complete.'"
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Ancient Egyptian Brewer's Tomb Found

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  • Tetracycline ale. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @01:21PM (#45871389)
    Some Egyptian beer used a yeast that produced huge quantities of tetracycline; enough that it changed the colour of their bones. I wonder if any of the text will refer to the beer's medicinal properties.
  • Any yeast found ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @01:26PM (#45871421)
    Any yeast found? It would be interesting if his brew could be resurrected.
  • Re:Any yeast found ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 05, 2014 @01:53PM (#45871643)

    Probably not. The most likely sources of yeast would have been either spontaneous yeasting, letting natural occurring yeast "contaminate" the wort or by using residue from earlier brews. The yeast as such was not contained because it was unknown that this biological substance was required.
    It probably is far more likely that this will shed some light on the common ingredients, which seeds were used for the malt, which additives were included (herbs, fruits, nuts) and what (if any) gruit was common. The yeast strains are most likely a reflection of what occurred naturally in that ecosystem. To find out what that could have been like, a paleo ecological study could shed some light on that.

    An archaeologist and beer fanatic (which seems to be a pleonasm)

  • Re:Any yeast found ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ellis D. Tripp ( 755736 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @04:54PM (#45872945) Homepage

    Have you seen the TV show "Brew Masters?". They did an episode where an expedition was mounted to Egypt, to examine some hieroglyphs at a tomb and capture wild yeast. It was then used to brew "Ta Henket", a limited release one-time brew by Dogfish Head brewery in DE.

    The hieroglyphs showed what appeared to be loaves of bread involved in the brewing of beer. One theory is that the ancient brewers put loaves of bread into the wort, inadvertently pitching yeast in the process. The modern brewers attempted to recreate this by baking simple loaves of bread using emmer, a local grain of the time period, then adding the crumbled loaves to the fermenter.

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