When the sinker carefully passed a sinking chick, he was able to see the treasure from the shipwreck waiting for him.
According to BBC, Was more than 100 years. But now part of that treasure was about to come out of the depths of the sea.
Steve Hickman, an explorer, dive technician and entertainment diver, carried a small net bag with him. The treasure beer he was looking for.
Preserved in the grip of this vessel were glass bottles containing beer, somewhat buried in the sea mud. As the first bottle moved, the sediment tilted and formed large clouds. Higgins went blind.
But he was well aware of this devastation: he had visited it many times before. So he felt more bottles in the dark.
After grabbing some, he walked out, and his team carefully brought the bottles to the surface.
The wreckage of the cargo ship Wallachia sank in 1895 when it collided with another ship in dense fog off the Scottish coast.
Wallachia left Glasgow, Scotland, and was loaded with various types of cargo, including large containers of the chemical tin chloride.
But there were also thousands of bottles of liquor on board.
Many of those bottles were preserved in the icy waters of the ocean, where the ship had been for more than a century.
Since diving into Wallachia in the 1980s, Higgins has recovered dozens of bottles of whiskey, gin and beer.
But his recent visit, a team effort with several dive friends, led to something extraordinary.
The recovered bottles were handed over to scientists at a research firm called Prolab, who, along with colleagues at the University of Sunderland in the UK, were able to extract direct yeast from the liquid inside three of them.
That yeast was used in an attempt to recreate the original beer.
In 2018, a similar effort in Tasmania used yeast from 220-year-old beer bottles found in a shipwreck to recreate an 18th-century drink.
However, the Wallachia Yeast study revealed a surprise.
One of those beers had an unusual type of yeast, and the team behind this work is now evaluating whether the long-lost strain can be used in modern fever, even to improve them.
This is an example of a growing field of research among breweries and other beverage fermenters looking for forgotten strains of yeast in the hope that it can be put to good use.
That means hunting them down on bottles found in shipwrecks, clearing old tanks, collecting samples from dilapidated distilleries, where there may be more exciting varieties.
This type of search is called bio-prospecting, and the historical resurrection of yeasts can have many uses, from cleaning up pollution to helping the perfume industry in the production of perfumes.
“The most horrible smell”
Hickman recalled that when he began collecting bottles of beer from Wallachia in the 1980s, it was still (almost) drinkable.
He and his friends brought the bottles home and poured them into glasses. Keep in mind that this drink, which is nearly 100 years old, slowly settled and formed a thick, creamy head like Guinness beer.
But that’s where the magic came from.
“It smelled so horrible,” Hickman says. “It simply came to our notice then. I think that would be the best explanation. “
Taste, he says, is no better.
There were other surprises, including the bottles exploding, Hickman says.
When they were adjusted with low pressure above sea level, the gases inside the vessels expanded, sometimes breaking the glass.
Higgins once left a bottle on the kitchen table of his parents’ house when it exploded while they were in another room, spraying stench, rotten beer everywhere.
It took a long time to clean, remember.
Now the beer has gotten even worse … and he wouldn’t even try to drink it.
In general, drinking old drinks may be unsafe because it is not known if they contain harmful bacteria or chemicals.
However, some of Higgins’ dive friends were able to pick up a new beer sample created by Prolob using yeast strains isolated from old Wallachia bottles.
Andy Billy, an amateur surveyor and diver who took part in a beer collection trip from a shipwreck, was one of those who tasted the result: 7.5% alcohol black beer.
“I felt coffee and chocolate,” he says.