220 year old Shipwreck Yeast

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butisitart

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It's pretty doubtful that they succeeded in culturing a 220 year old yeast.
i'm being very legally mindful after my posts above, (i'm so happy i acknowledged the author copyrights) but i'm thinking april fool's joke, not because it's 220 yrs old - maybe conditions were perfect for it to curl up and sleep for that long, but, the original archaeological report mentions that all the wine bottles had salt water contamination in them (without specifically mentioning the beer bottles), but also, no peer reviewed research that i can find, that supports thurrowgood's claims.
myth busted, maybe?
would still love for somebody out there to show that it was a bone fide resurrection, but after trusting the 'science' for the past 3-4 years, i have to say that i've become rather cynical in the past 6 hours. it was very well presented ego massaging, from what i can find at the moment.
searches were all done on a major university's research sites, so a seriously good database to cough something up if it was there.
 
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kadmium

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Considering fungal spores can last thousands of years, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. There are articles about 4,500 year old yeast harvested from terracotta pots and shown with genetic sequencing to be legit. They used it to make beer and bread.

Considering yeast is a fungal spore, and haploids can last long times in dormancy I'm inclined to believe its possible.

Also, why would they have published research articles? It's a collaboration between the museum and a brewery. Not saying it's 100% accurate, but saying that because you can't find articles published on your university Intranet means it's not true isn't accurate either.
 

butisitart

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Considering fungal spores can last thousands of years, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. There are articles about 4,500 year old yeast harvested from terracotta pots and shown with genetic sequencing to be legit. They used it to make beer and bread.

Considering yeast is a fungal spore, and haploids can last long times in dormancy I'm inclined to believe its possible.

Also, why would they have published research articles? It's a collaboration between the museum and a brewery. Not saying it's 100% accurate, but saying that because you can't find articles published on your university Intranet means it's not true isn't accurate either.
haven't entirely dismissed it, but i'm in the highly sceptical zone. so, a couple of points,
museum plus aus institute of wine research - on such an important, or even unique event, you'd think they'd push a bit harder for peer recognition. that's world serious kudos if valid. (taking the brewery out of the equation for a moment). and the aus institute of wine research - which is physically where the resurrection was supposed to have been done, has not published anything that supports it (as far as i can find). and i found a lot of their peer reviewed papers on the uni site. (which is not entirely an intranet, by the way. the library component also subscribes commercially).
but there is no peer review for this. so no chemist in germany or us or japan has been sent a report or a sample and said 'yep, judging by the dna, this looks genuine or even plausible.' it's not hard to do that. dna comparison gets done pretty routinely.
the only 'evidence' is a glossy statement from thurowgood, the chemist who claims to have retrieved the yeast.
the nearest similar situations are the 140 year baltic sea find, which didn't mention yeast, or the 100 year czech find which only found degraded yeast dna. but no functionable yeast.
then there's the curious point in the archaeological report that mentions that all the wine bottles were contaminated by salt water. both the wine and beer bottles had corks. there's no mention of salt water contamination either way with the beer bottles.
so, after assuming 12 hours ago that it must be true cos a guy in a lab coat said so, i've pretty much done a U-turn on the grounds of zero evidence, zero peer review. looking way more sham than glam,
but as above, it would be a much more pleasant story if somebody can present any evidence that this yeast was actually resurrected.
 
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kadmium

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Yeah agree with your points. I was just saying I wouldn't rule it out entirely. Seems like you haven't so I think we're on the same page.

It's possible it happened, but even the Egyptian yeast was from the pores inside dry pottery, a much better storage mechanism than salt water!
 

Andy Graham

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The story of the shipwreck yeast was covered by ABC show Catalyst a few years ago. If you can track it down, worth watching. Tassie museum sold all rights to the yeast to James Squire. Yeast no longer available to the brewing community. Locked away in JS vault. What a shame. A non filtered version of the shipwreck ale was on tap in a bar in Launceston. A few hombrewers have a culture I heard. Tried to get a sample from Tassie brew clubs but unsuccessful. Would have liked to give a trial. It could turn up one day. Hope so.
 

butisitart

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The story of the shipwreck yeast was covered by ABC show Catalyst a few years ago. If you can track it down, worth watching. Tassie museum sold all rights to the yeast to James Squire. Yeast no longer available to the brewing community. Locked away in JS vault. What a shame. A non filtered version of the shipwreck ale was on tap in a bar in Launceston. A few hombrewers have a culture I heard. Tried to get a sample from Tassie brew clubs but unsuccessful. Would have liked to give a trial. It could turn up one day. Hope so.
found it on youtube, but no time to watch this morning, gives me something to do while mulling over a quiet one tonight. cheers
(i''m on a mission LOL)
 

hoppy2B

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Interesting points made above about the feasibility of a 220 year old yeast, or perhaps more correctly, a yeast spore being resurrected. I still don't give a rats ass about the fact it might be 220 years old. I'd rather brew with a yeast that is likely to give me good results. If it turns out to be a good yeast and starts circulating among the community then sure I would consider using it, but even then it could have mutated by the time it got to me.
 

wide eyed and legless

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I doubt yeast could live without the means of reproducing. No doubt fungi is amazing but going dormant and lasting an age just doesn't seem credible.
It amazes me that something which doesn't seem to have much of a root structure can produce a toxin that kills adult humans. I can understand plants producing toxins to prevent being eaten, with a good root system but fungi stretches the imagination.
I am impressed how this one behaves which feeds off insects.
 

sdillon

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Hi guys. Just came across at the end of last year and wanted to clear up a few things for everyone.

Q. Is it real ? A. yep, sure is. Did the isolation myself
Q. Can yeast last that long in bottle? A. So it seems. Another rescue was done by Carlsberg (Carlsberg 1883, was brewed with a yeast strain taken from a bottle of beer that was 134 years old). Low and constant temperatures, lack of movement and oxygen all contribute to its survival. A beer you left in the backshed for 2 years isnt anywhere near the same situation.
Q. How can the yeast survive when seawater ingress into the bottle would kill it? A. The beer bottle are different to the wine bottles that were analysed in the 90's and had a wax seal that covered the whole top and was still intact on many of the bottles
Q. Has this yeast been sequenced? A. Sure has, and its been revealed to be unique. There are actually 3 yeast species obtained from the Shipwreck (2 Brettanomyces and one Saccharomyces hybrid).
Q. How do you know it just didn't escape from the lab? A. Maaaate! All are confirmed beer strains , so it didn't escape from the lab-its a bit insulting to suggest that actually, as lot of care was taken in isolating these yeasts.
Q. Why are there no scientific papers etc confirming this? A. A complicated question as the history of the strain makes a lot of the work hard to publish in a peer reviewed paper
Q. Can I buy / re-isolate this yeast? A. Nope :)
Q. Can I find out more about this? A. Sure. Watch the Catalyst video from 2016 (Oldest Beer). It has a lot of the science used on there (albeit for a non-expert audience). BTW don't whinge that I used an extract beer in the "how to brew beer" section....its made for TV

Due to the commercial sensitive nature of this yeast that about all I can give you but I hope that helps!
Cheers
 

beergee

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Hi guys. Just came across at the end of last year and wanted to clear up a few things for everyone.

Q. Is it real ? A. yep, sure is. Did the isolation myself
Q. Can yeast last that long in bottle? A. So it seems. Another rescue was done by Carlsberg (Carlsberg 1883, was brewed with a yeast strain taken from a bottle of beer that was 134 years old). Low and constant temperatures, lack of movement and oxygen all contribute to its survival. A beer you left in the backshed for 2 years isnt anywhere near the same situation.
Q. How can the yeast survive when seawater ingress into the bottle would kill it? A. The beer bottle are different to the wine bottles that were analysed in the 90's and had a wax seal that covered the whole top and was still intact on many of the bottles
Q. Has this yeast been sequenced? A. Sure has, and its been revealed to be unique. There are actually 3 yeast species obtained from the Shipwreck (2 Brettanomyces and one Saccharomyces hybrid).
Q. How do you know it just didn't escape from the lab? A. Maaaate! All are confirmed beer strains , so it didn't escape from the lab-its a bit insulting to suggest that actually, as lot of care was taken in isolating these yeasts.
Q. Why are there no scientific papers etc confirming this? A. A complicated question as the history of the strain makes a lot of the work hard to publish in a peer reviewed paper
Q. Can I buy / re-isolate this yeast? A. Nope :)
Q. Can I find out more about this? A. Sure. Watch the Catalyst video from 2016 (Oldest Beer). It has a lot of the science used on there (albeit for a non-expert audience). BTW don't whinge that I used an extract beer in the "how to brew beer" section....its made for TV

Due to the commercial sensitive nature of this yeast that about all I can give you but I hope that helps!
Cheers
Thanks mate, interesting!
 

kadmium

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Hi guys. Just came across at the end of last year and wanted to clear up a few things for everyone.

Q. Is it real ? A. yep, sure is. Did the isolation myself
Q. Can yeast last that long in bottle? A. So it seems. Another rescue was done by Carlsberg (Carlsberg 1883, was brewed with a yeast strain taken from a bottle of beer that was 134 years old). Low and constant temperatures, lack of movement and oxygen all contribute to its survival. A beer you left in the backshed for 2 years isnt anywhere near the same situation.
Q. How can the yeast survive when seawater ingress into the bottle would kill it? A. The beer bottle are different to the wine bottles that were analysed in the 90's and had a wax seal that covered the whole top and was still intact on many of the bottles
Q. Has this yeast been sequenced? A. Sure has, and its been revealed to be unique. There are actually 3 yeast species obtained from the Shipwreck (2 Brettanomyces and one Saccharomyces hybrid).
Q. How do you know it just didn't escape from the lab? A. Maaaate! All are confirmed beer strains , so it didn't escape from the lab-its a bit insulting to suggest that actually, as lot of care was taken in isolating these yeasts.
Q. Why are there no scientific papers etc confirming this? A. A complicated question as the history of the strain makes a lot of the work hard to publish in a peer reviewed paper
Q. Can I buy / re-isolate this yeast? A. Nope :)
Q. Can I find out more about this? A. Sure. Watch the Catalyst video from 2016 (Oldest Beer). It has a lot of the science used on there (albeit for a non-expert audience). BTW don't whinge that I used an extract beer in the "how to brew beer" section....its made for TV

Due to the commercial sensitive nature of this yeast that about all I can give you but I hope that helps!
Cheers
Very interesting. Glad to know it (apparently) wasn't BS. Didn't seem impossible to me considering yeast was harvested from clay pots thousand plus years old.
 

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