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Ancient amphorae reveal that the Chinese had two methods to make BEER 6,000 years ago

Ancient amphorae reveal that the Chinese experimented with two different methods to make BEER 6,000 years ago in search of the perfect alcoholic beverage

  • The researchers found evidence of two methods of elaboration in nine amphorae fragments
  • One method used millet, grass seeds and rice for drinks with low alcohol content.
  • Another made use of qu, moldy grass and grains, to produce stronger drinks.
  • It is believed that they have been used independently and together to prepare a variety of drinks.

The ancient Chinese were working hard to create the perfect beer recipe 6,000 years ago, scientists reveal.

Researchers at Stanford University studied nine fragments of Neolithic amphorae, used to transport beer, wine and grains.

They found remains of prehistoric beer, as well as evidence of two clear methods used to make alcohol.

The methods were carried out separately and could have been combined to make different varieties of alcohol.

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Researchers at Stanford University studied nine fragments of Neolithic amphorae, used to transport beer, wine and grains.

Researchers at Stanford University studied nine fragments of Neolithic amphorae, used to transport beer, wine and grains.

The amphorae were produced in large quantities in the Chinese Neolithic and were manufactured to measure up to three feet (one meter) tall

The amphorae were produced in large quantities in the Chinese Neolithic and were manufactured to measure up to three feet (one meter) tall.

The amphorae were produced in large quantities in the Chinese Neolithic and were manufactured to measure up to three feet (one meter) tall

One method, employed by the people of Yangshao in Dingcun, was to use malts made from sprouted millet, grass seeds and rice to produce low-alcohol drinks.

While another made use of qu, moldy grass and grains, to produce stronger drinks.

“The people of Yangshao may have been experimenting with various methods to find the best way to make alcohol, or be making multiple types of alcohol for different purposes,” writes Dr. Liu Li, in the study.

Millennia later, the two techniques were recorded in the literature, with the cereal drink known as li alcohol while the highest concentration drink was called jiu.

HOW IS BEER BEEN CEREAL?

The production of alcoholic beverages from cereals involves two separate biochemical steps.

The first is saccharification: hydrolysis of the starch in the cereal to fermentable sugars.

This is done by enzymes called amylases.

The second process is fermentation: the conversion of sugars by yeasts into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide.

When preparing beer with malt, these two steps are performed independently, one after another.

However, when qu starter is used, they are performed simultaneously.

Amphoras were produced in large quantities in Neolithic China and were manufactured to measure up to three feet (one meter) tall.

Dr. Liu believes that the increasing popularity of amphorae in China is one of the most important types of artifacts in the Yangshao culture.

It served a central role in their culture, and researchers believe this may be because it was used to produce alcohol.

The researchers write: ‘The spread of amphorae can also indicate the diffusion of beer manufacturing techniques.

“It is remarkable that the size of the amphorae increased over time, and many of them measured almost a meter high during the Miaodigou phase, suggesting a growing demand for alcohol, probably for communal drinking rituals.”

The Miaodigou phase was about 6,000 years ago, where there was a great expansion of the production of Yangshao material, including amphorae.

One method employed by the people of Yangshao in Dingcun was to use malts made from sprouted millet, grass seeds and rice to produce low-alcohol drinks.

One method employed by the people of Yangshao in Dingcun was to use malts made from sprouted millet, grass seeds and rice to produce low-alcohol drinks.

One method employed by the people of Yangshao in Dingcun was to use malts made from sprouted millet, grass seeds and rice to produce low-alcohol drinks.

Funghi found within the fragments (pictured) reveals that amphorae were used for alcohol fermentation

Funghi found within the fragments (pictured) reveals that amphorae were used for alcohol fermentation

Funghi found within the fragments (pictured) reveals that amphorae were used for alcohol fermentation

The cause of its expansion is unknown, but it is believed that it helped facilitate the dissemination of beer brewing technology.

Nine amphora fragments were analyzed as part of the study after washing thoroughly.

“Alcohol production is one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind, but archaeologists have encountered many challenges in their efforts to detect ancient fermentation technologies,” the authors wrote in the study, published in the Archaeological Science Magazine: Reports.

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