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Fermenting drinks

  1. May 22, 2003 #1


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    Today my physics teacher was telling the class how to ferment mountain dew by letting it sit in a warm room for 3 or so days, then cooling it.

    does this really work? and if so, why? also, does this become alcoholic?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2003 #2
    I'd think you'd need to add yeast, but then maybe -- depends how nasty all the other stuff in the Dew (acid, preservatives, etc) is on the yeast. Fermentation is just yeast taking sugar->alcohol+CO2; any type of sugary drink (ie fruit juice) can be fermented if you add a little yeast.

    It's dangerous to drink home-fermented stuff unless you know what you're doing, 'cause you can culture all sorts of nasty bacteria that'll make you sick. But it's not too hard, and making home-brewed beer is a somewhat common hobby...
  4. May 22, 2003 #3


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    the guy said it would ferment in a sealed can, so that would mean you wouldn't be adding in any yeast (and hopefully no bacteria would be in there!). i think he mentioned that the sugars break down after a while.

    i'm surprised more high school kids don't do this. "honest, officer, i'm drinking mountain dew! there's no beer at this party!"
  5. May 23, 2003 #4
    It's a good thing that your physics teacher isn't teaching chem or biology.

    Think about it. Does that make any sense at all? The stuff comes out of the bottling plant (cannery??) UNrefrigerated, sits in a warehouse for a while UNrefrigerated, sits in a truck UNrefrigerated, sits on the supermarket shelf UNrefrigerated.

    And yet, it will magically begin to ferment in your warm room after 3 or so days????????
  6. May 24, 2003 #5
    Maybe you need to open the can first? Actually, lots of things can ferment sugar water besides yeast...most of them give off toxic byproducts, which is why you don't see people drinking things with mold on it, generally.
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