Author Topic: Fruit flies in airlock  (Read 1628 times)

Offline beerstache

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Fruit flies in airlock
« on: October 09, 2013, 02:53:29 PM »
I noticed a bunch of fruit flies in my airlock this morning, how disgusting!  Anybody else having problems with these little buggers?  I solved the situation by using an iodophor solution in the airlock, they dont like that odor!  Hopefully no contamination got into the fermentor.

Offline dvirgen1

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2013, 03:01:16 PM »
That happened to me when I fermented at my friends house. Luckily, the beer turned out great. I think it has something to do with humidity. If not, it must be something to do with living in a remote area because my buddy lives out in the country where theres lots of wildlife and vegetable matter everywhere

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 03:19:24 PM »
fruit flies are attracted to CO2 so the belching airlock is like a landing light for them. They aren't good at swimming though so the liquid should prevent anything nasty from happening to your beer.

That being said fruit flies are amazingly good at squeezing through tiny tiny openings and if there is a way they will likely find their way into your beer so beware! nothing might come of it at first but let that beer at just a little o2 and you may start to get some vinegar growth. This is assuming a fly actually got into your beer which is unlikely.
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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013, 04:11:38 PM »
They definitely can't swim through air lock. They definitely can infect your beer if it is not absolutely air tight. I've had them sneak past bucket lid seals. In your case, most likely nothing to worry about.
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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 04:51:16 PM »
You should be okay but that's why airlocks come with lids!

Offline bigchicken

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2013, 06:49:16 PM »
At what point would you all be concerned with a fruit fly caused infection? I had one little demon fruit fly crash into my rehydrated yeast this weekend and instantly drown I pulled him out, but pitched the yeast anyway. I had no other yeast option other than bread. Its a Saison fermenting at 75. Fermentation was active in only 3 hours.
Surprisingly, the fruit flies are avoiding my carboy.
TJ Cook
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2013, 06:55:42 PM »
Exactly the purpose of an airlock - keep bugs out.
Jimmy K

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 02:18:19 AM »
At what point would you all be concerned with a fruit fly caused infection? I had one little demon fruit fly crash into my rehydrated yeast this weekend and instantly drown I pulled him out, but pitched the yeast anyway. I had no other yeast option other than bread. Its a Saison fermenting at 75. Fermentation was active in only 3 hours.
Surprisingly, the fruit flies are avoiding my carboy.

So you knowingly pitched a vinegar fly into your wort? Sorry, but there's no way I would do that! They're covered with acetobacter.
Just one fruit fly will instantly give a funky taste to a glass of beer. I drink from a lidded stein in fruit fly season.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 06:07:33 AM »
One fruit fly isn't a guarantee you'll get contamination.  Its certainly fruit fly season, I have a few glasses of vinegar/wine/dish soap and have captured hundreds of the little suckers.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2013, 06:45:55 AM »
At what point would you all be concerned with a fruit fly caused infection? I had one little demon fruit fly crash into my rehydrated yeast this weekend and instantly drown I pulled him out, but pitched the yeast anyway. I had no other yeast option other than bread. Its a Saison fermenting at 75. Fermentation was active in only 3 hours.
Surprisingly, the fruit flies are avoiding my carboy.

So you knowingly pitched a vinegar fly into your wort? Sorry, but there's no way I would do that! They're covered with acetobacter.
Just one fruit fly will instantly give a funky taste to a glass of beer. I drink from a lidded stein in fruit fly season.

But acetobacter requires oxygen, so assuming fermentation starts quickly and oxygen is kept out after - one fruit fly probably won't have an effect. I'm suspicious about one fruit fly turning a glass of beer funky. That one might be all in your head. There just isn't enough time for acetobacter to turn beer unless it sits for a few days.
Jimmy K

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AHA Member since 2006
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2013, 06:51:26 AM »

But acetobacter requires oxygen, so assuming fermentation starts quickly and oxygen is kept out after - one fruit fly probably won't have an effect. I'm suspicious about one fruit fly turning a glass of beer funky. That one might be all in your head. There just isn't enough time for acetobacter to turn beer unless it sits for a few days.

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Offline bigchicken

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2013, 07:24:32 AM »
At what point would you all be concerned with a fruit fly caused infection? I had one little demon fruit fly crash into my rehydrated yeast this weekend and instantly drown I pulled him out, but pitched the yeast anyway. I had no other yeast option other than bread. Its a Saison fermenting at 75. Fermentation was active in only 3 hours.
Surprisingly, the fruit flies are avoiding my carboy.

So you knowingly pitched a vinegar fly into your wort? Sorry, but there's no way I would do that! They're covered with acetobacter.
Just one fruit fly will instantly give a funky taste to a glass of beer. I drink from a lidded stein in fruit fly season.

But acetobacter requires oxygen, so assuming fermentation starts quickly and oxygen is kept out after - one fruit fly probably won't have an effect. I'm suspicious about one fruit fly turning a glass of beer funky. That one might be all in your head. There just isn't enough time for acetobacter to turn beer unless it sits for a few days.

Thanks. I'm hoping it was a "clean" fruit fly! This thread definitely has me inspecting all my equipment and rethinking my processes.
TJ Cook
Proud paying member of the AHA since 2013.

Fermenting: NOTHING!
In bottles: One Fruit Fly Saison, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale, Snow Eater Winter Warmer

cornershot

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2013, 08:02:45 AM »
At what point would you all be concerned with a fruit fly caused infection? I had one little demon fruit fly crash into my rehydrated yeast this weekend and instantly drown I pulled him out, but pitched the yeast anyway. I had no other yeast option other than bread. Its a Saison fermenting at 75. Fermentation was active in only 3 hours.
Surprisingly, the fruit flies are avoiding my carboy.

So you knowingly pitched a vinegar fly into your wort? Sorry, but there's no way I would do that! They're covered with acetobacter.
Just one fruit fly will instantly give a funky taste to a glass of beer. I drink from a lidded stein in fruit fly season.

But acetobacter requires oxygen, so assuming fermentation starts quickly and oxygen is kept out after - one fruit fly probably won't have an effect. I'm suspicious about one fruit fly turning a glass of beer funky. That one might be all in your head. There just isn't enough time for acetobacter to turn beer unless it sits for a few days.

I'm not saying it's a big concern, but I wouldn't do it. That fruit fly would, at the very least, be in my head right down to the last pint. I certainly wouldn't repitch the yeast!
And I have noticed an off flavor halfway through a beer only to discover a fruit fly upon further inspection. My wife and several friends have also noted this phenomenon.

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2013, 08:12:43 AM »
I fish them out of my glass frequently and haven't noticed any funky tastes.  Lately there's been about two per pint that land in my glass particularly if I'm sitting in the yard.  Maybe I need to drink faster.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Fruit flies in airlock
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 08:17:03 AM »
I've been at wineries with open fermenters - fruit flies everywhere - thousands of them!! It would probably gross most wine drinkers out! They were not selling vinegar and the wine won awards.
Jimmy K

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