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sdrake

Fruit Flies

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Here's an issue I haven't seen in the forum.  I have a batch fermenting for a week.  I have it in a cooler with frozen packs to try to keep the temperature around the recommended 55F for this yeast.  The last day or so when I've opened up the cooler to put in fresh frozen packs, I've noticed fruit flies.  A few fruit flied I see alive in the cooler.  There are 6 or 7 dead fruit flies on the floor of the cooler around the LBK.

 

Anyone seen this before?  Concerns?  Are they in my fermenting beer?  If they are in the fermenting beer, will that ruin the batch?

 

The source of the fruit flies?  My theory...  My wife has been keeping oranges in another cooler because there isn't room in the refrigerator.  So she's been using the same frozen packs that I've been using.  Perhaps the fruit flies laid eggs on one of the frozen packs, assuming that 10F in the freezer doesn't kill fruit fly eggs.

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Not sure about the beer... I would assume its good. To kill the fruit flys pour some cider vinegar in a glass and cover it with seran wrap. Poke a small hole in the wrap. They will be attracted to the cider smell and get trapped in the glass.

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I'd git some Geckos if I were you.

If the gecko population gets outta control there are various species of snakes that will in turn keep those in check.

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It is a concern, and you should do the cider vinegar solution. Make sure you sanitize the spigot before bottling.

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I've had the problem. An old poster was an exterminator and he recommended balsamic vinegar. I got most of them but not all. 

Now we keep an ice cream pale on the kitchen counter and put all organic waste (banana peels, egg shells etc) in there instead of the garbage. This has helped from attracting them.

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We actually use old cereal bags, other disposable bags to put in coffee grounds, peels, etc. and empty it regularly, and not put it in the kitchen basket.  

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The ice cream pale won't leak if you put something really juicy in it.

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we use about a 6 to 7 quart stainless bucket for anything compostable.  not a sealed lid, but well fitting.  It gets taken out to the compost barrel weekly in the winter, and twice a week in the summer.  lots of coffee grounds.  

 

It will get some fruit flies in the peak of summer, but keeping a lid on it, and taking it out regularly helps.  

 

I am surprised you get flies at 55 F, that to me seems unusual.  i never see them under 70 F.

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I believe fruit flies carry acetobacter and that can turn fruit juices to vinegar. Not sure what it can do to beer but I suspect that fruit flies can sour the brew. One useful technique I have found but it does not kill fruit flies - is to direct a small table fan over your fermenter. The airflow from the fan will be stronger than the flies' strength and so it will prevent them from gathering near your keg or carboy.

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I believe fruit flies carry acetobacter and that can turn fruit juices to vinegar. Not sure what it can do to beer but I suspect that fruit flies can sour the brew. One useful technique I have found but it does not kill fruit flies - is to direct a small table fan over your fermenter. The airflow from the fan will be stronger than the flies' strength and so it will prevent them from gathering near your keg or carboy.

I like this idea.

 

I've never had any of the issues you all are describing and I live in Florida! lol

 

You can always sanitize your ice packs before you put them in the cooler...

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Flies in general are naturally attracted to beer. Some old timers (I'm not one myself) may remember that they used to sell old fashioned glass hornet and fly traps for people's homes. One of the most common attractants used in these one way ticket to death style traps was flat beer. I believe Garret Wade still carries these in their catalog and online. Point being-flies and many other insects LOVE beer, kinda the way I do. So I'm always very careful about aanitizing my storage cooler and anything that goes in it with the LBK.

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Flies in general are naturally attracted to beer. Some old timers (I'm not one myself) may remember that they used to sell old fashioned glass hornet and fly traps for people's homes. One of the most common attractants used in these one way ticket to death style traps was flat beer. I believe Garret Wade still carries these in their catalog and online. Point being-flies and many other insects LOVE beer, kinda the way I do. So I'm always very careful about aanitizing my storage cooler and anything that goes in it with the LBK.

I don't remember which thread but someone talked about how lime was used to repel flies from beer...

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I don't remember which thread but someone talked about how lime was used to repel flies from beer...

That is the original reason for puttin' a  lime wedge in a beer bottle. Flies hate lime

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Flies hate geckos even more than limes... just sayin

Somehow the thought of a gecko sticking out the end of my beer is kind of unsettling. Think I'll just have a lime, thanks. :blink:

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