Food & Body

How To: Brew Your Own Ginger Beer Like a Boss

Step aside, ginger ale; ginger beer is here, and it's delicious. Ginger beer is made by fermenting a combination of ginger simple syrup, yeast, and water, which gives it its robust flavor and sparkling quality. It's extremely simple to make, but you do have to wait a bit for the final product. After a few days, though, your ginger beer will be sparkling and ready to drink as is, or in your favorite cocktail.

News: Radical Theory Linking Alzheimer's to Infections Could Revolutionize Treatment

There are all kinds of theories—many supported by science—about what causes Alzheimer's disease. Tangles of protein called ß-amyloid (pronounced beta amyloid) plaques are prominently on the list of possible causes or, at least, contributors. An emerging theory of the disease suggests that those plaques aren't the problem, but are actually our brains' defenders. They show up to help fight an infection, and decades later, they become the problem.

News: You're Eating Mold & You Don't Even Know It

Koji is a culture made up of a certain fungus (mold) called Aspergillus oryzae, which has been used to ferment rice and soybeans in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean kitchens for centuries. Koji can actually have other involved fungi, but Aspergillus oryzae is the most common, and therefore the names can be used interchangeably. Its end purpose is to enhance the flavor of items like soy sauce, sake, and miso.

News: 14 Types of Bacteria & 10 Strains of Fungus Are Responsible for All the Delicious Flavors of Cheese

If you want to appreciate the value of microbes, look no further than a chunk of cheese. Because cheese roughly traces back to the Neolithic Era, we might say the earliest cheesemakers were the first humans to manipulate microbes—without even knowing it. Now, thanks to microbiologists and the long tradition of cheesemaking, we know a lot more about the microbes that make our favorite types of cheese possible.