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Yeast Party!

The trick to fermenting honey or apple cider, or any sugar really, into alcohol is to set up a yeast party.  What you want to do is set up a perfect place for your yeast, a little yeast heaven, filled with good food and warmth. You want to create a fun, wild, yeast party, one where everyone feels comfortable and happy, where yeast can really chow down on all the stuff you have provided, where nobody makes them feel like a hog if they eat too much or dance too wildly.  Yeast like atmosphere; give them good dim mood lighting and a cozy space and they are down to party for a while.  You want it to be just right. Not too hot, not too cold. If you don't get the temperature right, the yeast don't want to party at all. They just sit down and quit, no small talk, no picking at the snacks, they just shut down. 

I like yeast. I identify with yeast.  Given the right environment, I too like to party.  I also hate it if it is too warm.  I too like being cared for, and provided with the things I need to relax and really get down.

The thing is, though, is that yeast don't have an off switch.  Yeast love to party so much that they just gobble down that sugar, they fart out CO2, they spit out alcohol.  And this is fine for a while, it is more than fine actually, it is awesome. If you have set up your yeast party well, there is plenty of sugar for them to chow down on, there are nutrients for them to snack, but as time goes on, and there is more and more alcohol and less and less sugar, the party starts to sour for the yeast.  They keep eating and farting and spitting alcohol, and they keep on doing this until the entire environment is filled with farts and booze and there is nothing left to eat. They just don't have any middle gears, no moderation. Yeast will keep partying until it kills them.

I imagine there is a point where the sugar is nearly all gone, and almost everyone is dead to the world and there are just a few partiers left. Maybe it feels lonely then; the place is a toxic swirl, and there is nothing much left to do but to check out.  Perhaps those last few yeast just look around at the wreckage that their excesses have wrought and feel shame. But we can hardly expect much from such a simple organism. I imagine they don't want to ruin everything, but hell, it is what they do, it is what they were made for.

You can almost feel for the poor little guys.  There they are doing exactly what they were born to do, and every time, every goddamn time it just goes south on them.  Every time they find themselves peering out of the curtains at a bright sunny morning, and out there, out in the world, there is probably way more fresh air and way less shame and sadness.  But they don't leave.  They couldn't even if they wanted to.  The way out for them is sealed shut, and even if they want it more than anything, there is no escape into fresh air and bright sunshine, not for them, not ever for them.

And here is something else: they don't learn their lesson.  There they are, in the most toxic environment possible, everyone is wrecked, the place is unlivable.  But if you throw more sugar in there, they get right back up, they wake up their buddies, they start chowing down and farting and spitting booze everywhere all over again. Yeast invented the boot and rally. 

You can almost feel for the little guys.

Like I said, I know how they feel.

I used to be a single cell, too, but I like to think I am a bit more complex than I once was.  I like to think I evolved, maybe, if even just a little.  Sometimes a little evolution can open doors that were sealed shut before. 

I still like to party, though, if the environment is just right, and it isn't too warm.

Still Writing,


I actually do like to set up a yeast party in my spare time; I have been brewing mead and cider in my basement, and I find the whole process fascinating and fun.  If you want to share recipes or have an interest in fermentation, get in contact.  I am very rarely on Twitter, but I check in occasionally @RDPullins.  I am even more rarely on Facebook, pretty much  just dropping in there to post links to this site, but I do check in after posting these and to clear my notifications etc, so drop me a line. The best way, and most likely to get a thoughtful response is via email: dissent.within(at)  Hit me up, if you are interested.  I'll get back to you, probably.   


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