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When the term yeast is used, most people think of freshly baked bread.  Many people will also think of a cold, foamy headed beer.  Both are made possible by yeast, but there are many more applications.

Yeast has been used to raise bread and make beer and wine since prehistory, and the work is very ancient.  It comes to us in modern English via the Old English gyst, which in tern derived from the Indo-European word yes, meaning quite literally to bubble.  Thus the word is very much older than our understanding that yeasts are living things, dating from the 1850s due to the work of Louis Pasteur.

When we think of yeast, we normally are referring to a single species (out of around 1500, give or take), Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  This single species is responsible for raising bread, making wine and much of the beer that is drunk, as well as alcohol for beverage and industrial purposes.  Unless I qualify, when I use the term "yeast" this is the species to which I refer.

There are hundreds of strains of S. cerevisiae, each developed for specific purposes.  For example, strains that raise bread to give that wonderful lightness and unmatched flavor will ferment grape juice to wine, but the wine is not very good.  Specific strains of this species are used to produce different types of wine (and beer, and spirits), and these strains are carefully propagated and kept viable using the pure culture technique.

There is another species, S. pastorianus, that is used to produce more beer in the United States than the other species.  (This is sort of controversial, as some botanists consider S. pastorianus just to be a variant of S. cerevisiae).  For the purposes at hand, we shall consider it to be a separate species, but it really does not matter.  To make this more clear, we first must consider that there are two basic types of beer:  top fermenting and bottom fermenting.

Top fermenting beers, often called ales, are produced using strains of S. cerevisiae that clump together as fermentation happens, trapping some carbon dioxide and rising to the top of the fermentation vessel.  These are popular in the UK, but not so much here.  Bottom fermenting beers, often called lagers, are brewed with strains of S. pastorianus that do not clump together and finally fall to the bottom of the vessel when fermentation is complete.  Almost all beer sold in the US is lager beer.  Typically, ales are fermented at a higher temperature than lagers, and have more complex flavors due to "wild" yeasts that are introduced as the rising yeast cap is skimmed from a batch of ale.

If the yeast that rises is not skimmed on a regular basis, it forms "rocky heads" that sink and contaminate the batch.  Since this does not happen with lagers, skimming is not required and no wild yeasts are introduced if the fermentation process is done correctly.

No one knows exactly when yeast was first used, but I think that I could argue successfully that yeast fermentation is the oldest industrial process known.  Since yeast is extremely common and widespread, it is not possible to prepare flour or fruit juice without it being present, unless some sort of sterilization is performed.  Thus, dough that sits around in the warm for a while will start to rise on its own, sort of like sourdough.  Fruit juice will also start to ferment and thus convert to wine the same way.

Yeast gets its energy by taking sugar and converting it to carbon dioxide and alcohol.  In beer and wine, the carbon dioxide vents to the atmosphere (except for a small amount that is intentionally trapped to from the bubbles), but the alcohol for the most part remains in solution.  When beer and wine is made by using native, wild yeasts, several species are present but usually are suppressed by  rising alcohol levels.  S. cerevisiae tends to be more alcohol tolerant than other species, so it dominates in the later stages of fermentation.  By the way, except for very primitive affairs, no beer or wine is made using wild yeasts any more.

In bread, both the carbon dioxide and the alcohol are lost during baking, so unlike beer and wine, none of them are left in the final product.  Most people are aware that it is the carbon dioxide that the yeast produces that makes the bread rise, but yeast also produces other byproducts during metabolism and those byproducts are largely responsible for the wonderful flavors that develop in yeast bread.  Here is a thought experiment to consider.  Think about yeast bread baking, and then think of biscuits baking.  They are pretty much made of the exact same ingredients, except that biscuits are leavened by chemical agents (baking soda and some kind of organic acid) that produce carbon dioxide.  I am not being critical of biscuits, but they do not have the complexity in aroma that yeast breads have.

Up until around the mid 1800s all bread was essentially sourdough, although bakers had become pretty good at keeping bad strains of yeast out, the the bread was pretty good.  This all changed in 1868 (just 11 years after Pastuer demonstrated that yeasts were living organisms and were responsible for fermentation) when Charles and Maximilian Fleishmann formed a company that grew and sold pure culture yeast.  Now, except for specialty sourdough breads, all yeast bread is made with pure culture yeast.

Originally, the only form of yeast available was what is now called cake or compressed yeast.  This a cream cheese textured product of living, metabolizing yeast cells that has to be kept cold and has a very short (days or weeks) shelf life.  Recipes in old cook books call for it, and usually tell you to proof the yeast by mixing it with some sugar dissolved in water.  If bubbles form after a few minutes, it is OK and the rest of the ingredients can be added.  If not, the yeast is dead and must be replaced.

During World War II, Fleismann's developed active dry yeast, a product familiar to most of us in the little foil packs.  Active dry yeast has a much longer shelf life and does not require refrigeration (although it will last longer if it is).  It still needs to be proofed, but not so much to see if it is alive, but rather to remove the debris coating the cells so that they can rehydrate.  This is done by dispersing it in warm water, with or without sugar, for several minutes before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.

A more recent development is instant dry yeast, (also called bread machine yeast) and it is a superior product.  It is also available in the little foil packs, larger glass jars, and in pound vacuum packed bags.  Its shelf life is excellent when kept cold, and is OK at room temperature for months.  I bought a pound of Red Star instant dry yeast at a wholesale club for only a couple of dollars and, after transferring it to a glass storage jar, it lasted for years in my freezer with no apparent loss of activity.  The difference betwixt this kind and active dry yeast is in the drying process, with instant dry yeast not suffering from being coated with debris.  This kind of yeast can be added dry to the other ingredients and mixed without any previous rehydration.  Make sure that you use this kind if you do not plan to proof it.  You can tell it apart from active dry yeast because active dry yeast looks like little spheres (more of less) and instant dry yeast looks more like tiny rods.

Bread yeast is fairly standard, only a couple of strains being used.  They were developed especially for breadmaking, optimized for maximum carbon dioxide output, mild flavor, and optimum flavor development of the other bread ingredients.  You can make beer and wine with it, but the products are usually inferior.  For beer and wine, you need yeast strains specifically developed for them.  Red Star has a large line of beer and wine yeasts, as do other suppliers.  However, there are dozens of beer and wine yeast strains.  For example, the yeast used for, say, a lager like Budweiser and the yeast used for Guinness Stout are radically different (to the point that some biologists even say that they are different species, as described already mentioned).  Likewise, yeast to make Champagne is quite different than that used to produce port.

The differences in the types of yeast for winemaking have to do with the amount of alcohol desired in the final product (from around 7% in light, fruity Germans to up to 18% for some Champagnes), the flavors desired in the final product, and the kinds of grapes (or other fruit) used.  Most wine yeasts will tolerate up to around 12% alcohol content before their growth is inhibited, but some Champagne strains have been developed that are good to 18%, they they become inhibited.

These alcohol tolerant yeasts are also of interest in production of distilled spirits, because it is more economical to start out with the highest concentration of alcohol possible in the mash before it is distilled, so that energy costs are reduced.  This is also important in industrial alcohol production, and strains have been developed that combine high alcohol tolerance with very fast metabolism.  

The fast metabolism of fuel alcohol yeasts seems to have a deleterious effect on the quality of the flavor of alcohol distilled from these mashes, but flavor is not a factor in fuel production, but time is.  On the other hand, in producing beverage alcohol, time is not as much as a factor, expect for some very high volume beverage, like popular beers.

There are several other species of yeasts that should be mentioned.  Candida albicans, along with several other species of Candida are human pathogens in some cases.  Most people are familiar with "yeast infections", a common gynecological disorder that is often treated with OTC remedies.  Normally, Candida infections are superficial and easily treated, but this is not always the case.

Back in the day when there were no good antifungal agents, little children would die from Candida infections of the oral mucosa, a condition called thrush.  Children still get thrush, but it is not common any more and easily treated.  In the old days, their mouths and throats could become so inflamed that they could not eat or drink, and they would die of dehydration and/or malnutrition.  Although now an uncomfortable condition for children, it is rarely life threatening any more.

More serious Candida infections occur in people who are immunocompromised, and they can be fatal.  Treatment involves aggressive treatment with powerful antifungal agents, and some of them are rather toxic.  The problem is that Candida is part of the normal flora of the skin and intestinal track, so it is not possible to avoid the infectious agent.  Lots of people who take antibiotics develop a temporary overgrowth of Candida in the intestines, with resulting pain and other effects, until normal intestinal flora balance is restored after the antibiotic regimen is finished.  The antibiotics wipe out the "good" bacteria in the gut, allowing Candida to flourish.

This has just been a short survey of yeasts, but I hope that you have come out with the idea that yeasts are much more important than we normally think.  They do much more than make our bread rise.

Well, you have done it again!  You have wasted many more einsteins of perfectly good photons reading this bubbly piece.  And even though Mitch McConnell stops believing his own rhetoric about "job killing taxes" and the like when he reads me say it, I always learn much more than I could possibly hope to teach by writing this series.  Thus, keep those comments, questions, corrections, and other feedback coming.  Remember, no science or technology issue is off topic here.  I shall stick around tonight as long as comments warrant, and shall return tomorrow after Keith's show for Review Time.  It looks like the producers have settled on the comedian Bill Nye as their science adviser.  Go figure!  Bill Nye???!!!

Warmest regards,

Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips and recs for (12+ / 0-)

    a bubbly topic?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

    by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 06:02:06 PM PDT

  •  YES! Yeasties, (4+ / 0-)

         an organism that eats sugar and shits alcohol, wonderful!

    ¡Viva Baja Libre!

    by Azazello on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 06:13:48 PM PDT

  •  Yeast - yum yum and ouch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert

    Hey, I have a question and it most likely is stupid, but I need some educatin'. Is there any connection with yeast and algae? I'm curious about the green algae in China - what's causing it and so forth. Maybe a different diary for another day?

    Anyway, thanks for explaining everything I always wanted to know about . . . yeast and its infectious delights.

    •  Whilst both yeasts and algae are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Celtic Merlin, Mr Robert

      rather primitive, both are eukaryotes, meaning that their DNA structure is like ours.  The single exception are the blue green algae, now reclassified as bacteria since they are prokaryotes, with a circular DNA arrangement.

      All algae are photosynthetic, and all yeasts are not.  Thus, algae derive energy from sunlight directly, whilst yeasts get theirs from using the energy stored by photosynthetic plants, although indirectly.  

      What specific concern do you have about the green algae in China?

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

      by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 06:45:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just finished baking some bread (4+ / 0-)

    The yeasts seem to have done a good job, as the house smells wonderful.  

  •  I was researching Meade just last night. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

    It seems that there are specific strains of yeast which are cultivated just for Meade production and are prized for their ability to not only create alcohol and CO2, but also because these particular strains leave much of the flavor of the honey behind.

    Now that's some specialty yeast!

    As always, Doc - nice readin' ya.

    Celtic Merlin
    Carlinist

    Struggle with dignity against injustice. IS there anything more honorable that a person can do?

    by Celtic Merlin on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 06:54:10 PM PDT

    •  Thank you very much! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Celtic Merlin, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

      You can do a web search and find suppliers of all kinds of beer and wine making supplies, some of them very specialized.

      Honey is sort of a difficult material for fermentation, because it has some antibiotic attributes.  I strongly recommend using yeast strains specifically developed for it.

      There are lots of variations, like pyment that uses grape juice combined with honey and water.  There are very highly spiced varieties, and more simple ones.  The sky is the limit!

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

      by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 07:04:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I used to (and will again soon) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

    buy bulk dry yeast, quart sized bags, in the fall (when it was freshly stocked) from a Mennonite store in a tiny, tiny town in Missouri.  I also bought other things there in bulk that I couldn't grow in large enough qualtity (some spices, 100lb bags of bread, rye and other flour, etc.)  Anyway, I stored the dry yeast and the bulk flours in a deep freeze, where they keep fresh ad bug-free for the entire year until it's time to stock up again.  Dry yeast will die out and become useless after a couple of months if left at room temperature, but it will keep indefinitely in the freezer.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 06:59:14 PM PDT

    •  That has been my experience (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, ninkasi23

      about yeast.  It will keep for a long time in the freezer.  The newer instant dry yeast is much better than the older active dry yeast, in my experience, both in keeping in the freezer and being easier to use.  I mentioned usage in the text, but I must admit that I still proof instant dry yeast not so much because it needs it, but because I have sort of a routine that I use when I make bread, and proofing is just part of it.  In any event, it works with both kind.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

      by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 07:07:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer the active dry yeast, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

        but I rarely make a product that doesn't require proofing.  I think there is a better flavor and texture to be had and also a better rise from the active dry yeast than the instant stuff, but then I'm an old woman who is firmly stuck in her ways.  ;-)

        I was also one of those children who got thrush as a child.  It was common when I was young.  I remember having a forest of fuzzy little pustules covering my throat and tongue and I couldn't swallow at all.  I was very sick.  And you're right, my immune system was, and still is, compromised.  Because of this, if there is a germ to be caught I will catch it.  My grandchildren are always making me sick.  Such is life.

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 07:30:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am glad that you recoverd from (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, ninkasi23

          thrush.  Until the new antifungal drugs, about the only thing effective was the dye gentian violet, and it has many disadvantages.

          We will just have to choose to disagree about the types of yeast.  In reality, modern yeasts of any type are some much superior to the old compressed yeast that we are quibbling over five or six grains of sand on the beach.

          I am going to run out for just a minute and play with Ashley's cat with my laser pointer.  He LOVES chasing the spot, and when I turn it off I can confuse a cat instantly.  Ten points if you can identify the last phrase in that sentence as to origin.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

          by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 07:36:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL! I'm afraid I'll get no points. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

            As to the thrush, I had an very dedicated and interesting doctor as a child.  He was a DO and he had his own little chemistry lab where he mixed his medications and potions.  He saved my life more than once, as well as my dad.  I had a terrible pneumonia in high school and my dad didn't have insurance and couldn't send me to the hospital so that doctor drove 20 miles to my house every night after his clinic closed to care for me.  A wonder man was he.  And he made the very best concoction for muscle pain.  My dad called it "horse liniment" because it smelled much like that, but it was powerful and worked like a charm on anything from an aching back to a sprained ankle to a bad muscle pull.  It's too bad there aren't still doctors like that around these days.

            Anyway, enjoy your time tormenting your kitty with that laser.  We all have to have our little enjoyments.  :D

            "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

            by Got a Grip on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 07:49:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  First, I did NOT torment him! He loves the (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Got a Grip, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

              exercise!  He is just half grown, and after our little session was done, I picked up and petted a purring machine!  I am a cat person, and know not to torment nor hurt them.

              I agree with you about your D.O., and that is still an accepted discipline in medical circles, but they usually reverse the letters.  These days if a physician would do such unapproved extemporaneous remedies, he or she would be in jeopardy of losing the license to practice.

              The "Confuse a Cat" is from a very old Monty Python routine.

              Warmest regards,

              Doc

              "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

              by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 07:57:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ah, I should have gotten the reference. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

                And I'm just teasing about tormenting your kitty.  I know they love it, as I have cats of my own and similar "torments" that they enjoy as much as I do.

                Have a good night, Doc.  

                "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                by Got a Grip on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:37:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You are so right doc (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Translator, ninkasi23

                about any doctor "stepping out of line" and losing their license.

                I have a history of diabetes and have have had some problems with my eyes (diabetic retinopathy). My eye doctor said I might need "laser" which would have destroyed much of my vision and referred my to a "laser doc" at UC Davis Medical School.

                That was about 8 years ago and just after the diagnosis I found via a google search that a doctor at Albert Einstein Medical School thought a certain B vitamin might stop the development of the disease.

                I order the medication right away and have been taking it every day since then. And, if I can believe my doctors and what my eyes are telling me, the vitamin (which isn't available in the good ole usa, I have to order it from Canada where it's been prescribed for years) it has halted the progress of my condition and I haven't needed laser.

                After this had been established, I talked to my local eye doctor and shared my story. And, he told me that he'd be in big trouble if he shared that information with his patients. He also dismissed what I told him, saying that the improvement must have been due to the fact that I was doing a better job of controlling my diabetes.

                But, that wasn't the case. I monitor my blood sugars and there weren't any significant changes during the period in question.

                My eye doctor was more concerned about risk management than his patients many of whom had problems similar to mine.

                So sad.

                Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:06:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We understand each other, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ninkasi23

                  and this understanding needs to go out to the community.  If a physician used unconventional methods, even ones supported by science, he or she is in danger.  But if  quack, like me, suggests unorthodox  remedies, there is not so much recourse, because I do not have a license to suspend.

                  No to diabetes.  My family has Type I all over, and I was fortunate not to have inherited it.  I have been very careful to keep my weight down (I bounce from 165 to 170 pounds, depending on the season, at 5'11") and try (but often fail) to eat correctly.

                  My cousin Charles Lane was a Type I diabetic and started to lose his sight in 1965.  He was one of the very first patients to have laser treatment for the vessels in his retinae, and they saved one eye.  This was in 1968, give or take a year or so.  Charlie, as we all called him, died from a myocardial infarct around ten years ago. His mouth was stuffed with pizza and he was with his friends.  It could have been worse!  By the way, when Charlie had laser treatment, lasers had not even been around for 15 years.

                  My much younger cousin, John, is also Type I, and has abnormalities in his retina capillaries.  He just had preventive laser treatment two weeks ago.

                  My own observation is that diabetes has all kinds of manifestations.  I am fortunate not to have much of any of them, but who knows what tomorrow might hold!

                  Do you think that a series on diabetes might be a good one for Pique the Geek?  I value your thoughts.

                  Warmest regards,

                  Doc

                  "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

                  by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:18:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A series on Diabetes? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Translator, ninkasi23
                    Do you think that a series on diabetes might be a good one for Pique the Geek?

                    That might be interesting.

                    I've been Type 1 since about 1968 and have seen a lot of changes in that time.

                    But, my experience with diabetes actually started when I was a child because my father was an insulin dependent diabetic when I was born.

                    He was lucky in that the onset in his case was after Banter and Best discovered insulin.

                    B&B sacrificed a lot of young dogs before they discovered insulin and I have to thank all of those little ones who gave their lives for me.

                    In addition, my late sister, who was a year younger than me, was also Type 1. She had eye problem and other complications and I learned a whole lot from her.

                    My sister was diagnosed in Junior High School. I was fortunate in that my onset was when I was in college.

                    If you decide to put something together and want to bounce any ideas off of someone who has lived with Type ! for many years, feel free to email me.

                    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                    by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:32:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I used to do this with the dog (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Got a Grip, Translator

            I lost back in 2006. His name was Buddy and we had great times with my hand held pointer. At the time I was really into Astronomy and had the laser for that reason.

            Thanks for the memories.

            Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

            by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:50:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What sort of a dog was he? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr Robert

              Helen, my neighbor across the the street, just got an eight week old beagle male puppy, yesterday.  She is already in love with him.

              Warmest regards,

              Doc

              "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

              by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:02:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  He was part Bishon Frise (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Translator

                and part Cocker.

                And, he was the best dog I've ever had in my life.

                He was with me for about 14 years and I loved him dearly.

                The night he died he was sleeping in my bed. He was having difficulty breathing, and I knew he had very little time to live, but I didn't want to take him to the vet. He wasn't really suffering and I knew he wanted to be close to me that night.

                The last thing I wanted was for him to die alone in a cage at the Vet's office like my previous dog had done.

                About 1am in the morning he had moved from the foot of the bed right up next to my head. I was asleep, but I woke up just as he was passing.

                I stroked the face that I loved and kissed him again and again as he let go of life.

                It was very late, but I called the vet. Took my Buddy down to the vet who pronounced him dead. I spent some time with him and I wrote a check for a private cremation.

                Buddy's ashes and picture are right next to my bed and I talk to him frequently.

                Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:14:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Almost died (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Mr Robert, ninkasi23

    from systemic moniliasis after a major surgery that did not go well.  Exacerbated because the brilliant minds in charge of healing me thought, but did not confirm, that they were dealing with a bacterial infection.  Thus "treatment" for 5 weeks of high fever and respiratory incompetence was high dose antibiotics, which of course let the yeasties thrive and multiply.  So I have a lot of respect for the damage some yeasts can do in the wrong places.

    That said, beer and bread are the right yeasts in the right places.  And I love a good hoppy British bitter ale.  Much more interesting than lager.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:23:38 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, your situation is not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, ninkasi23

      that unusual.  Instead of doing proper analyses, often physicians just order high doses of antibiotics, which often, as they did your case, just make things worse.  You are lucky to have recovered.

      Did they figure out their mistake, did you and your family, or did you just recover without any proper treatment?  Some fungi are extremely difficult to treat, but, with the proper diagnosis, yeasts are usually amenable to drugs.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

      by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:28:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't a yeast the same as a "fungus"? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        My doctor told me that antibiotics don't work in that case. You need a fungicide, right?

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:16:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeasts are a subset of fungi. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert

          The drugs that work against yeasts tend to be more effective and less toxic than the ones for different fungi.  Your physician is correct about the drugs.  Almost none antifungals work against bacteria.  Please see my comments earlier.

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

          by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:25:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of yeasts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator

    end up growing in the human body.

    It happens all the time and it's not a good thing.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:27:44 PM PDT

    •  When they are balanced with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert

      the other normal flora, not a problem.  When the balance shifts, not so well.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

      by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:31:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for correcting me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Translator

        I was thinking about the "out of balance" situation.

        Don't know, perhaps the whole "raising the debt thing" is getting to me.

        Obama keeps talking about "balance" and all I think about is that he's concerned his future "bank balance". :-)

        Apologies in advance for my rude/OT comment.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:40:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  His band balance will never be a problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert

          for him.  I am going to be brutally blunt, and this piece is not usually very political.

          Our President, for whom I voted (I even scanned my absentee ballot and posted it here) has been a disappointment.  One of my good friends online has dubbed him "The Spelunker in Chief", for good reason.

          I disliked the caving on the Bush tax cuts.  I disliked the lack of initiative for raising the debt ceiling when Democrats controlled the Congress.  I thought that using all of his political capital passing the health care act, that the Supreme Court will set aside, was a poor investment.

          On the other hand, what if McCain were in charge?  Horror!

          Warmest regards,

          Doc

          "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

          by Translator on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 08:53:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for an interesting diary Doc! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Cordelia Lear

    Some of this I was already familiar with even if I don't do a lot of baking:)

    This did catch my eye though:

    By the way, except for very primitive affairs, no beer or wine is made using wild yeasts any more.

    Immediately I thought of one of my favorite beverages which is on the expensive side so I don't get to enjoy it very often: Lambic. From the wiki:

    Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer's yeasts, lambic beer is produced by spontaneous fermentation: it is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne valley, in which Brussels lies. It is this unusual process which gives the beer its distinctive flavour: dry, vinous, and cidery, usually with a sour aftertaste.

    The one I'm most familiar with is the Lambic Framboise which is flavored with raspberries. The taste is very tart and reminds me a bit more of a Champagne/cider. I love the stuff but it is a special occasion beverage as it tends to be pricey.

    Man has here two and a half minutes -- one to smile, one to sigh, and a half for love: for in the midst of this minute he dies. - Jean Paul

    by ninkasi23 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 03:18:01 AM PDT

  •  Here is a link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Translator, Cordelia Lear

    to one of the lambic brewery sites that describes the process in detail:
    http://www.lindemans.be/...

    Man has here two and a half minutes -- one to smile, one to sigh, and a half for love: for in the midst of this minute he dies. - Jean Paul

    by ninkasi23 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 03:24:49 AM PDT

    •  For a real treat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator, ninkasi23

      try something from Cantillon Brewery in Brussels.

      I adore this style of beer.

      Never separate the life you live from the words you speak. --Paul Wellstone

      by Cordelia Lear on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:50:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Completely off topic, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ninkasi23

        if you know how to get in touch with RiaD or Alma from firefly-dreaming, please ask them to read the comment that I left after Alma described her mother in law's medical symptoms.  I already sent RiaD an email, but have of yet received no reply.  I think that Alma's mother in law is in the midst of a medical emergency, and I need to get the message to her.  You pull some pretty big strings, so perhaps you can help.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        "...and I get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again!"

        by Translator on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:49:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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