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Brewing Topics => All Grain/Advanced => Topic started by: cousindave on September 02, 2012, 04:26:26 PM

Title: Fruit flies in my fermentor?
Post by: cousindave on September 02, 2012, 04:26:26 PM
This is a new one on me. I was just sampling a porter that has been sitting inside sealed conicals for about 3 weeks. when I poured the samples there were fruit flies (I think) floating in the beer. (bleh)

These things have been sealed the entire time, save when pulling samples, or dumping trub, etc. I can;t figure out how they got in there in the first place. Or what to do now. I hate to pour out 10gal. of beer but don't particularly want to drink this bee now...

To be honest I'm pretty disgusted by the whole situation. Not only with the prospect of knowingly consuming these things, but also with the idea that 10gal. of beer is bound for the drain.

Any thoughts friends? Is the batch salvageable?
Title: Re: Fruit flies in my fermentor?
Post by: Slurk on September 02, 2012, 04:48:57 PM
Hi Cousindave,

That's really bad luck!
When I was making wine myself for a couple of years ago, fruit flies were always a possible nightmare. They carry the acetobacteria with them, turning your wine into vinegar. I learned this could also be the case for beer.
How they got in your beer is hard to say. But my experience is that they are hidden everywhere and unexpectedly show up and land in your wort/beer. I am always cautious.
Title: Re: Fruit flies in my fermentor?
Post by: cousindave on September 02, 2012, 05:07:06 PM
Slurk - thanks for you thoughts. Sorry to hear they were a pest for your home wine-making attempts.

As for the above mentioned porter... my beautiful (and thirsty) wife had the solution. I ferment in conicals with a valve/hose barb fitting on the racking port. I had been been sampling this beer yesterday with a good pal and must have forgotten to spray out the hose barb afterward. (there was drinking involved) Turns out the filthy buggers were in the external fitting, rather than inside the fermenter itself. We just tried again, beginning by spraying out the fitting first. Then straining the samples through a sieve into tasting glasses. Nary a critter present. Heck there wasn't even much yeast present. Planning to keg this beer tomorrow.

I've never been more pleased to tell my wife I was completely wrong - and that she, of course, was absolutely right.

Yay!. Cheers to supportive spouses.
Title: Re: Fruit flies in my fermentor?
Post by: MikeinRH on September 02, 2012, 09:26:24 PM
Ha! Ha! This is hilarious ... and makes me feel like I'm not the only one to have experienced something similar. I actually move my fermenter (carboy) into a shower in our guest bathroom during the summer heat. I walked in one day and was overcome by fruit flys that were attracted to the bucket of sanitizer my fermentor was puking into via blow off tube. My wife had brought home some figs from a tree she pilfered. I blamed it all on her and got rid of them by sucking them up (out of the air) with the vacuum. What's wrong with extra protein?
Title: Re: Fruit flies in my fermentor?
Post by: MaltLicker on September 03, 2012, 12:42:28 PM
The "keg is half full" answer would be that the alcohol killed them and any nasties they carried.  So, transfer to kegs through a fine mesh bag to screen out the "solids" and carbonate and wait and see.   If it tastes OK, and you can get past the idea, then drink it up. 

Tephritidae Porter?