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A little less than a happy high
Personal politics
While I was prepping the must and culturing the yeast yesterday, it struck me again that all of my DIY projects are as much political statement as anything. I am fascinated by process, I dearly enjoy the product, and I like the fact that the work has largely been accomplished as social gathers. Underlying all of that, though, are ideas about our heavily corporatized and pre-packaged world. It's about self-reliance, and about realizing that some things are really quite as simple as they might seem.

There's no magic behind Coca-Cola. Soda is nothing more than flavored sugar water - basically it's something that can be made in anyone's kitchen. Herbal additions have been replaced with an artificial flavor formulation out of a lab in New Jersey, and natural yeast-based carbonation has been replaced with a CO2 pump that's activated at bottling. The company has made billions because we have been conditioned to believe that there is some magical process that's used to make it. It's a conditioned dependence, and it's crazy-making.
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inahandbasket From: inahandbasket Date: August 24th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
it is, indeed, crazy making.
Is there a way to do soda without it exploding eventually though? all that sugar and yeasties... a super low attenuation strain maybe?

That group brew in the Lj community though, sounds interesting. you in? maybe just a boston group brew?
Mostly I just want to try extract/partial/allgrain with the same recipe and see what the flavor difference is.
komos From: komos Date: August 24th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've not made more than one case at a time because there's never going to be enough alcohol in the bottle to make the yeast dormant before it multiplies to 'splodey. It's one of those instances where technology isn't strictly necessary, but it does make things go more smoothly.

'Course, you could just let it ferment out and have beer. ^_^

I still don't have the means to do all-grain, but the project intrigues me. I want to push for an ESB.
From: ex_sjc Date: August 24th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have had the notion of having acres of land that would be self-sustaining. Some sort of place where one could thrive apart from the vicissitudes of modern industrial living.
komos From: komos Date: August 24th, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Even more crazy-making

I don't know that there's a way to avoid it, really. The structure of the post-war economy has created a chain of dependencies that are just too hard to shake. Financing alone would require that you be tied in with the banking/credit system, which would mean that you'd have to find some way to make the farm produce wealth. Having to produce wealth means that you'd be linked to the markets, and would have to compete with large producers, find ways to transport your goods with limited spoilage, deal with appropriate licenses, etc.

This is to say nothing of property tax, which has contributed to making small-scale local farming an even more dicey proposition than simply being tied to the land would be.

If you can tap into a specialty market - artisnal cheeses, for instance - you might have a shot.
From: ex_sjc Date: August 24th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

Oh, I'm talking about for when the economy crashes and everything's reduced to rubble. We will also have weaponry, and lots of it.
From: ulf_rulz Date: August 24th, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

Come to Vermont. We're going to secede, and agriculture & sustainability are right on the forefront of the conversation.

Oh, and fermentation is magic, no doubt about it.
komos From: komos Date: August 24th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you must call it magic, can we at least agree that it is a practical and accessible magic? I'm thinking something akin to the difference between a hedge-witch and some goofy, robe-wearing occultist.
From: ulf_rulz Date: August 24th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Magic in the sense that it a gift from the Gods; you know, metaphorically. Something to be appreciated for its simple rightness, its flow in the world, something that makes being human even more perfect... Though now I'm going to have to brew wearing wearing funny robes & put my carboy in a big pentagram, just to see what happens.
komos From: komos Date: August 24th, 2005 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

I didn't realize you were talking about a time after Craig's jacked spider monkeys had destroyed civilization as we know it.
From: ex_sjc Date: August 24th, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

Someone has to plan for the future.
komos From: komos Date: August 24th, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

For most people, that involves contributing to a 401K.
From: ex_sjc Date: August 24th, 2005 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

Mine involves a luxury lifestyle in a nuclear-scorched landscape.
bbbsg From: bbbsg Date: August 24th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

have you read _The Fifth Sacred Thing_?
komos From: komos Date: August 24th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Even more crazy-making

...and this is why we love you.
bootsvalentine From: bootsvalentine Date: August 24th, 2005 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
You must, must read the special three-part report about Oreos that the Chicago Tribune did. It is truly mind-boggling, especially Kraft's meetings with Phillip Morris about brain science.
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