Ashley J. Inglehart


Indiana University

Robert Boyle on Ferments and Fermentation: Abstract

The concept of a ferment has described a vast array of processes. These include digestion; putrefaction; coagulation; internal heat of the blood and motion of the heart; the production of wine, bread, beer, cheese, and spirits; transmutation, the philosopher’s stone and the alkahest; and the generation or growth of animals, minerals, and vegetables. The process of fermentation, moreover, has a central role in both vitalistic theories and those which adhere more closely to the mechanical philosophy of the seventeenth century.