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(NPR)   This is taking the microbrewery idea a bit too far   ( divider line
    More: Strange, Too Far, Carthage, International Journal, syndrome, fermented beverage, The Salts  
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8157 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Sep 2013 at 6:47 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-09-18 11:55:42 AM  
1 vote:

Millennium: The problem is time. Yeast don't just turn themselves on and off, nor do they have any way of regulating how much they produce. Same goes for the body processes that metabolize alcohol. The yeast would constantly release tiny amounts of alcohol, rather than flooding the system the way that drinking alcohol does, but your body would metabolize that alcohol at a good clip. Unless your tolerance is ridiculously low, it will never build up to a point that could possibly make you drunk, and even if that were to occur, it still wouldn't be enough to build your BAC to 0.12.

For argument's sake only-- not that I completely believe that what the article says is true:

Yeast wouldn't turn anything off in this case-- but food wouldn't be in a constant supply, either. So the yeast sit there in the intestinal tract, and when the guy eats food it provides the yeast with sugars as they pass through the digestive tract. So they would only manufacture alcohol and CO2 during these times. As stated previously, the intestine is 20 feet long, which gives ample area for a couple ounces of ethanol to be produced which would immediately pass through the intestine wall and into the blood stream-- the same way it would during normal alcohol consumption. So to me, it's entirely plausible that as the guy would eat, digestion broke down starches into sugars in the stomach, and as these sugars hit the intestines they were fermented into ethanol the entire length of the journey.  The guy would get very gassy during this period of time, though,which is my sticking point on the whole thing. But perhaps he was. They just don't mention it.
2013-09-18 07:08:44 AM  
1 vote:

balki1867: Please don't let any hipsters find out about this...

Pfft... I knew about this guy's beer before it was stool.
2013-09-18 07:08:04 AM  
1 vote:

JollyMagistrate: I takes several days to start producing a noticeable quantity of alcohol in brewing, usually two weeks to produce enough to get someone drunk in any degree of regularity.

I'm not arguing against the fact that this seems a little odd, but I think when they're speaking of the gut here they are talking about the intestinal tract which would have plenty of room to get the job done. If they guy was eating enough starches, and the entire length of his intestinal tract was infected with the yeast (20ft), it's conceivable that it could produce a couple ounces of ethanol pretty easily. And that's equivalent to drinking two 12oz beers at 8% ABV each.

And for the record, 5 gallons of beer can easily ferment to 5% ABV or higher in a matter of 3 days. I recently had a batch get up to 9% in 4. Though, having witnessed many fermentations in my day, including the latter example, I'm surprised there is no mention of this guy's serious flatulence problems. The amount of CO2 produced during a fermentation like this would create a virtually constant stream of gas venting from his backside.
2013-09-18 05:44:36 AM  
1 vote:
I call bullshiat.  There is no way that the contents of a persons digestive tract could produce enough alcohol in such a short amount of time as to make a person drunk, especially at .37.   It would take gallons of fluid and days of fermentation to be released all at once into the blood stream.

They will prove this theory wrong.
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