Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wrap it up

So, I know.  I should really finish my thesis.  There have been some not so subtle hints from people I know, love, and respect.  My favorite so far has been my friend's husband who said 'Tell her to get her butt into gear and get her PhD done already!!!'  I totally agree.  But its so hard when you flog yourself with the thorny whip that is 'writing' and miss deadline after deadline.  Then you see your Super and plead with her for mercy, 'Please just give me another day! PLEASE'!  And then she smiles down upon you with countenance (I thought that impossible given our height difference) and says, 'That's okay.  Get it to me when you can.'



So, I can take my time with this?  YIPEE!!!  I'm going out for a coffee.

And then the unimaginable happens.  Someone who started their PhD only days after I did has handed in her thesis.  Oh, the pain!  It seems like everywhere I go there is some reminder of them.  A facebook photo here.  A three year employment contract there.  Their face on a dartboard in the corner of my office.  Its enough to drive a woman to drink.  But what should I down?  One of those nice bottles of wine I've been saving for when friends and family visit?  Nahhhh.  I am going to drink my own home brew.  Enter today's adventure: Yeast!

Hubby and I have been emboldened by some great brewing successes.  There was the original 9 litre all grain APA trial we did on the stove-top.  Then there was the last batch of heavily hopped APA.  It was a great success.  Taste - spot on.  Colour - rich and yellow-orange.  Head - foamy and creamy.  Hops - hoppy, bitter, and fragrant.  So you can imagine that given our success we are very pleased that we thought ahead, collected our yeast from the trub, bottled it, and stored it for the next batch. 

Hubby is a great researcher.  He researched the heck out of our new fridge.  He researched the heck out of kegging.  He researched the heck out of re-cultivating yeast.  One day he came home with some cheap Light Dry Malt Extract and mixed a 1/2 cup in with some boiling water, creating a 'mini-wort'.  After he chilled it in an ice bath we poured it into our sanitized 2 litre pop bottle.  Then in went out yeasty friends. 

I like to imagine yeast as a bunch of old grandpas in wheelchairs, with granny quilts on their laps, snoozing with their mouths agape.  Then a hot young nurse comes walking by and all of a sudden everyone is awake, acting half their ages, cracking wise ass comments.  Like Cocoon.  Or Benjamin Button.  Within a day there is a 'budding' party in our pop bottle.  Hurahh for asexual reproduction!!! 
(Picture downloaded from

Sadly, not all yeast get to live such fantastic lives.  Did you know that some yeast are murdered for their vitamin B content?

Excerpt from wikipedia*:
"Brewer's yeast" (also known as "brewing yeast") can mean any live yeast used in brewing. It can also mean yeast obtained as a by-product of brewing, dried and killed, and used as a dietary supplement for its B vitamin content.

(Picture downloaded from

Australians love vitamin B.  And they massacre loads of yeast every year for their icky Vegemite.

Excerpt from wikipedia:
The general method for making yeast extract for food products such as Vegemite and Marmite on a commercial scale is to add salt to a suspension of yeast making the solution hypertonic, which leads to the cells shrivelling up. This triggers autolysis, where the yeast's digestive enzymes break their own proteins down into simpler compounds, a process of self-destruction [emphasis added]. The dying yeast cells are then heated to complete their breakdown, after which the husks (yeast with thick cell walls which would give poor texture) are separated. 

That sounds horrible!  Can you believe that?  Perfectly good yeast is being butchered for Vegemite! How would you like it?  Sitting there in your wheelchair, waiting for that hot nurse to walk by so you can get down with some asexual budding and then someone dumps a load of salt on you so that you start oozing vitamins!?  Then your husky skin is discarded and what's left of you is spread on some toast!

I know what your thinking.  Asexual budding doesn't sound like much fun.  Well, the party in my pop bottle begs to differ.  If this bottle's rocking, don't come a knocking!  

Yeast for beer, not toast.

Time wasted to date: 19 hours. 

* I know, wikipedia is not always a reliable source. 


  1. Ok, Obviously you are a bit stressed and over worked at the moment so I'm gonna pretend that you didn't call Vegemite Icky. I'm all for a cold beer during summer while watching the cricket but surely there is enough Yeast to go around? Share the love.
    They wouldn't even know the toast was coming cause they are so sound asleep with their granny quilts on.
    I am gonna have an evil laugh now everytime I smother my toast with Vegemite! Yes,you read right, Smother, I lay it on so thick it is solid black right there!

  2. You should make your next thesis about Beer!