Learning microbiology the fun way
  • I believe the best way to learn biology, and microbiology in particular, is to experience it. By actually working with the organisms you get so much more understanding than by just reading about them. So to serve as an introduction to microbiology, I made this little tutorial on how to make wine and mead. Yeast is just so easy to cultivate, so it serves as a great teaching tool to get people used to working with organisms like this. I'll be building on it in the future and looking at more advanced skills like using a bioreactor and culturing more difficult organisms. 

  • I've recently been experimenting with streaking bread yeast onto a petri dish of media.  Mostly I just like to watch stuff grow but wanted to see what yeast looked like growing on the media to identify contaminants better on my other hobby plant tissue culture.

    I haven't tried to get the yeast back off the petri dish and into some sugar water yet for any actual use but plan to do that soon.

    Another hobby I have that I haven't done for a while is growing and using a sourdough starter.  I would like to put some of it onto the petri dish media and try to separate the yeast from the bacteria.  Then, if even possible, I'd like to recombine them to make my own custom sourdough starter.

    The best part about these experiments (especially growing yeast on agar) is the fact that visible results take days instead of weeks or months.  I assume, with a little more heat, the yeast would grow even quicker.