Archaeologists have discovered ancient china beer making tools dating back to 2900-3400 BCE in underground rooms.
At the spot in central plain of China, the kits included funnels, pots and specialized jugs. The shapes of the objects suggest they could be used for brewing, filtration and storage.
This is the oldest brewery discovered in China, which already was using specialized tools and advanced beer-making techniques.
A pottery stove was found, which would have been used to heat and break down carbohydrates to sugar.
Brewery’s underground location was important for both storing beer and controlling temperature, as too much heat can destroy the enzymes responsible for that carb-to-sugar conversion.
Archaeologists group inspected the pots and jugs and found ancient grains that had lingered inside.
The grains showed evidence that they had been damaged by malting and mashing, two key steps in beer-making. Residue from inside the uncovered pots and funnels was tested with ion chromatography to find out what the ancient beer was made of.
Recipe included a mix of fermented grains: broomcorn millet, barley and Job’s tears, a chewy Asian grain also known as Chinese pearl barley.
The recipe also called for tubers, the starchy and sugary parts of plants, which were added to sweeten and flavor the beer.
This ancient china beer would taste a bit sour and a bit sweet.
Surprising fact was the barley found in such ancient recipe, whereas barley was not common in China during that time.
This confirms that chinese were making barley beer in the same period as the earliest chemically attested barley beer from Iran and the earliest beer-mashing facilities in Egypt, as well as the earliest wine-making facility in Armenia.