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Vinegar Flys

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tangent

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These little bastards can sniff out booze quicker than an Aussie tourist overseas.
Just lately, they've been really bad.
Might have to change the airlock over to the upside down bucket thingy.

I've heard they get the name because they carry the microbes or whatever to change the alcohol into acid and turn the brew into vinegar. Dunno how much truth is in it.
View attachment 4397

View attachment 4398

They got stuck in there over only about 24 hours.
 

Mr Bond

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http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2109.html

Found this on a vinegar file

Vinegar can be made from any dilute alcohol, which makes wine and beer ideal for the purpose. Keep the vessels that said potables are made in sealed to prevent contamination from the air and fruit fly like creatures referred to as "vinegar flies" from getting to the brew and infecting it with acetic acid bacteria.
Flavoring can be added to homemade vinegar just before bottling. Good examples of additives include green onion, garlic, ginger, or any combination of dried or

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD/Vinegar-art.rtf
Full article above.
 

pint of lager

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Have also seen them referred to as fruit bowl flies and ferment flies, for exactly the reason that Tangent mentioned.

They hang around where fruit is rotting in the fruit bowl.

I rarely see one in a beer airlock, but they usually turn up in a wine airlock.

Tangent, watch out when you lift your fermenter up, that none of the airlock fluid gets sucked back into the fermenter.

Now, hands up all the brewers that open ferment?
 

Darren

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I did a barleywine a few years ago. The little buggers laid eggs at the rim of the lid. The maggots (yes maggots) crawled all the way around the thread of the lid and made their home in the high-krausen line. Didn't go sour (probably only because of the high alcohol). Yes, I drank it. Not the best barley wine I have made though
 

T.D.

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tangent said:
These little bastards can sniff out booze quicker than an Aussie tourist overseas.
Just lately, they've been really bad.
Might have to change the airlock over to the upside down bucket thingy.

I've heard they get the name because they carry the microbes or whatever to change the alcohol into acid and turn the brew into vinegar. Dunno how much truth is in it.
View attachment 4397

View attachment 4398

They got stuck in there over only about 24 hours.
[post="83715"][/post]​
There's plenty of truth to it. The carry acetic bacteria that, as others have said, will create a vinegar-like flavour in your beer. The infection is usually typified by white scum (looks almost like oily webbing) on the surface of the beer in the fermenter. If it happens, don't necessarily toss it down the drain - the problem gets significantly bad with age. In fact, I had this problem a while back (due most likely to sucking the airlock water back through when lifting the fermenter, as Pint of Lager said) and the beer tasted absolutely fine within the first month in the bottle - then at around the 3 month point it started to get a quite obtrusive sharp edge on the flavour. So the moral is, if you have a problem (identified by the white scum on the surface), taste it and if its ok, bottle as usual but make sure you drink it within a month or two (shouldn't be too hard! :party: )

I have had the little buggers in my airlock before. I don't think its uncommon. My family is involved in the wine industry and they go to all sorts of trouble to keep vinegar flies at bay in the winery. Like all types of flies, I'm sure they will become more common as the weather warms up too :angry: .
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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Darren said:
I did a barleywine a few years ago. The little buggers laid eggs at the rim of the lid. The maggots (yes maggots) crawled all the way around the thread of the lid and made their home in the high-krausen line. Didn't go sour (probably only because of the high alcohol). Yes, I drank it. Not the best barley wine I have made though
[post="83741"][/post]​
ugh, doesn't sound too appetising!!

the only contact I've really had with them is they hang around the water basin at work- the one we fill (and empty) the mop buckets in and get the water for the F&V packup.
 
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