So I made some pizza dough and am watching it rise. That thing doubled in forty minutes. I made the rest of my stuff and got the dough in the fridge (I was making grilled pizza, so I needed some stiffer dough). Even when I put the dough on the grill under intense heat, the dough rose. I couldn’t help but think that yeast is an amazing thing.
What else did I have with my grilled pizza? I think you know that answer. But yeast made that thirst quenching, soul satisfying, heart reviving beer that I drank. It was truly a beautiful respite on a sweltering day. As I sipped my beer, I thought, “Isn’t yeast amazing?” These days we know all about yeast. How to control it, where it is from, how to use it, what it does, etc. But think about history.
Until recent (relatively speaking) history, yeast was little understood. Back in the day, people had to count on things to go well. Maybe the spirits (which is part of how alcohol gets its name) had a fun time running amok and ruining the beer. Maybe the spirits were willing and created a beautiful product.
But we should be thankful that we know a little more about our material world. We can enjoy the small but intricate world of the formally unknown and unpredictable yeast cell. The beer that we enjoy and love is highly dependent on what starts out as a few single cell organisms. All goes well, and we get a wonderful fermented product in pizza and a wonder in beer. I also want to mention that I planned on putting some beer in the dough, but didn’t have anything light enough to make it work.
Isn’t that amazing?