So I'm sitting here watching a hockey game (Anaheim and Detroit) and waiting for my Irish Ale smack pack to swell. I can't help but wonder what's going on in the package.
As I understand it, there is a small sample of yeast in the pack, 100 billion cells in this case, and a small package of dead yeast for food. If we suppose that they inject pure O2 into the package prior to sealing (I don't know that they do, I'm just supposing), and that the gas that makes the pack swell is CO2, is it just the dead yeast supplying the C, or does the dormant yeast have some residual reservoirs that it hordes prior to sleeping? If it's the dead yeast supplying that C then the live yeast must have an abundance to give up when dead. I understand the yeast is not multiplying in the pack after smacking, but it is working with something.