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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: rodmanxxx on July 29, 2018, 05:59:55 AM

Title: lil critters in my starter
Post by: rodmanxxx on July 29, 2018, 05:59:55 AM
I just pulled out 3 lil nuseeums/gnats that got into my starter. It's on a stir plate almost done. First time this happened to me. I'm hoping it doesn't cause an infection. I had tin foil loosely topping the flask. Thoughts? I'll probly start putting mesh rubber banded over the flask in the future but wondering if i should worry about them lil buggers causing infection on this starter.
Thx!
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: klickitat jim on July 29, 2018, 06:06:13 AM
If it were me I would dump and start over. It's no doubt inoculated with acetobacter and who knows what
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: rodmanxxx on July 29, 2018, 06:14:22 AM
Ya that makes sense, thanks man!
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: klickitat jim on July 29, 2018, 07:05:33 AM
You bet
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: KellerBrauer on July 29, 2018, 12:22:31 PM
I have had gnat issues in my brewery before and they are a serious pain.  Apparently, they are attracted to the aroma of fermentation.  (I suppose you can’t blame them for that). I discovered them in my airlock and fortunately, they were not able to pass into my brew.

To get rid of gnats, you need to cut very small pieces of apple (1/2” X 1/2”) and place a piece into a jar or cup. Then add some cider vinegar until it’s half way up the piece of apple.  Then cover the jar with foil and a tight rubber band.  Then poke some very small holes in the aluminum foil.  This is a trap.  They are attracted to the sent, but can’t get out. Once they hit the vinegar, it’s over.

Now I ferment in a temperature controlled fermentation chamber and my problem is solved.
Title: lil critters in my starter
Post by: BrewBama on July 29, 2018, 12:28:27 PM
I’ve had a red wasp land in my boil when I brewed outside. It turned out great. I’ve also had gnats land in a hydrometer sample.

Of, course that’s quite different that a yeast starter. I’d dump it.


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Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: kramerog on July 30, 2018, 04:25:31 PM
This is the type of situation in which I would dump my starter and do a shaken not stirred starter.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: MNWayne on July 31, 2018, 02:07:23 AM
Dump it and start again. I use foam stoppers.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: Robert on July 31, 2018, 02:26:51 AM
I have had gnat issues in my brewery before and they are a serious pain.  Apparently, they are attracted to the aroma of fermentation.  (I suppose you can’t blame them for that). I discovered them in my airlock and fortunately, they were not able to pass into my brew.

To get rid of gnats, you need to cut very small pieces of apple (1/2” X 1/2”) and place a piece into a jar or cup. Then add some cider vinegar until it’s half way up the piece of apple.  Then cover the jar with foil and a tight rubber band.  Then poke some very small holes in the aluminum foil.  This is a trap.  They are attracted to the sent, but can’t get out. Once they hit the vinegar, it’s over.

Now I ferment in a temperature controlled fermentation chamber and my problem is solved.

Does this trap have to be near a suspected attractant, or is it the big draw in the house?  Li'l beasties just showed up in my house.  Not a brewery problem at the moment (though one just landed in my pint) but I'd like to try this idea.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: majorvices on July 31, 2018, 01:59:02 PM
They aren't gnats, they are fruit flies.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: Robert on July 31, 2018, 02:19:27 PM
They aren't gnats, they are fruit flies.
True, they are attracted to fermentation because that's the smell of (over-) ripe fruit.  They probably come in with fresh produce this time of year.  Call them what you like, I want to get rid of them.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: narcout on July 31, 2018, 09:44:04 PM
They aren't gnats, they are fruit flies.
True, they are attracted to fermentation because that's the smell of (over-) ripe fruit.  They probably come in with fresh produce this time of year.  Call them what you like, I want to get rid of them.

I've had really good luck with this stuff, especially when I suspend the end of it over a cup containing a small amount of beer or wine:

https://www.amazon.com/PIC-FR10B-Sticky-Ribbons-10-Pack/dp/B005V6ASZU/ref=sr_1_6?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1533073060&sr=1-6&keywords=fly+paper

We had a major problem with them last week which I managed to solve (at least temporarily) by using the ribbons for a few days.

It sucks, we can't really keep any non-refrigerated fruit in the house during the summer.  Washing fruit off in the sink right when you get home from the store can help some, but we've been overrun.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: KellerBrauer on August 04, 2018, 12:12:02 PM
I have had gnat issues in my brewery before and they are a serious pain.  Apparently, they are attracted to the aroma of fermentation.  (I suppose you can’t blame them for that). I discovered them in my airlock and fortunately, they were not able to pass into my brew.

To get rid of gnats, you need to cut very small pieces of apple (1/2” X 1/2”) and place a piece into a jar or cup. Then add some cider vinegar until it’s half way up the piece of apple.  Then cover the jar with foil and a tight rubber band.  Then poke some very small holes in the aluminum foil.  This is a trap.  They are attracted to the sent, but can’t get out. Once they hit the vinegar, it’s over.

Now I ferment in a temperature controlled fermentation chamber and my problem is solved.

Does this trap have to be near a suspected attractant, or is it the big draw in the house?  Li'l beasties just showed up in my house.  Not a brewery problem at the moment (though one just landed in my pint) but I'd like to try this idea.

Greetings Robert - they can be placed anywhere you have a gnat issue.  Our gnat issue started in my brewery and with a couple days we had those little suckers all over the house.  We had roughly 6 traps set out.  They work.  Good luck!  Hope this helps!
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: JT on August 04, 2018, 01:35:08 PM
Similar trap.  Apple cider vinegar and a couple drops of Dawn.  Put them near any fruits/vegetables stored on the countertop. 
I put one in the basement brewery but never had any hits, that's a good thing!(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180804/e305b158de6f3e8ef08509086016bb1c.jpg)
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: Robert on August 04, 2018, 10:18:08 PM
Didn't have an apple, but I always have cider vinegar and Dawn -- and I see I've got my first catch.  Thanks, guys.  Taking a brief brewing break, maybe they won't be swarming near the wort next brew day.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: Steven Morgan on August 31, 2018, 09:44:07 PM
Dump it. Cut your losses. I just poured a whole keg that got a phenolic infection, probably from airborne yeast.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on September 06, 2018, 03:30:56 PM
I have a few dead fruit flies in the vodka inside my airlock --they are small enough to get inside the little vent holes in the cap.  I hope none have fallen through the open tube into the fermenting wort.

I wonder if I could put some cotton soaked in vodka into the top of that tube?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: Robert on September 06, 2018, 04:59:35 PM
Cotton makes a great barrier on its own, I wouldn't bother soaking it in vodka.  That might just make it a mushy plug.
Title: Re: lil critters in my starter
Post by: KellerBrauer on September 06, 2018, 06:40:27 PM
I agree. Cotton should be sufficient. As far as any getting past the vodka, highly doubtful. They most likely died on contact with the alcohol.