Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fermented alcohol products

Fermentation is a simple process in which yeasts or bacteria are added to carbohydrate foods such as corn, potatoes, rice, or wheat, which are used as starting material. The yeasts digest the sugars in the food, leaving liquid (alcohol); the liquid is filtered to remove the solids, and water is usually added to dilute the alcohol, producing — voilĂ  — an alcohol beverage. Beer is made this way. So is wine. Kumiss, a fermented milk product, is slightly different because it’s made by adding yeasts and friendly bacteria called lactobacilli (lacto = milk) to mare’s milk. The microorganisms make alcohol, but it isn’t separated from the milk, which turns into a fizzy fermented beverage with no water added.

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