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Old 10-25-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Earwigs in my primary - chances of infection?

howdy, beer hivemind,

i brewed a belgian dark strong on sunday, and after about 48 hours of strong fermentation the krausen died down - to reveal two dead earwigs floating in the beer.

i suspect they got in there while i was cooling, just after the boil. ideally they got in while it was still hot (maybe even fell in during the boil) and they were disinfected by the heat. however, i have to assume that they crawled in after that, and that they dragged in whatever nasties they had on their bodies. i know that fruitflies can carry all sorts of bugs on them and i can't see why it wouldn't be the same for earwigs.

any thoughts on the chances my beer will develop an infection? the beer is somewhere around 8-9% alcohol now but assuming the insects got in there before pitching whatever bugs they were carrying had a chance to start growing before the sacc was pitched.

i suspect that in the end i'll just have to wait this one out and see what happens, just wondering if something similar has happened to anyone else. thanks!

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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead, imperial chocolate stout and its not-so-small beer second runnings, our bruin & a few other sours
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: harvest ale with homegrown hops
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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no way to know what will happen, insects are covered with yeast and other tiny organisms but your beer may be fine. keep us posted.

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Old 10-26-2012, 12:28 AM   #3
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Maybe the Alcohal might neutralize your earwigs? Thats my guess. If it was me id go with the flow and make a cool name out of it.

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Old 10-26-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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yea, nothing that you can do at this point... whatever happens, happens. ive had an occasional bee, fly or moth that kamakaze'd into the boil kettle. as long as its sanitized, they just add some extra protien

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Old 10-26-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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It's a Belgian Bug's Life

A Dark Ear-Full of Wig

Belgium's Best Bugger

That's what I've come up with in the short time I've been pooping. You know what they say, spell laptop backwards and you have your _____ ______.

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Old 10-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnjoyGoodBeer View Post
Maybe the Alcohal might neutralize your earwigs?
usually that would be the case, but my main concern is acetobacter. aceto eats alcohol, so the usual disinfectant properties don't apply here. my best chance for disinfection is that the insects fell in during the boil.

i aerated the wort at pitching then again 12 hours later. if i do in fact have aceto in there, they would have loved all that extra O2 and would have used it to multiply (aceto requires oxygen to reproduce).

thanks to everyone for their thoughts. it's entirely possible that i'll be fine. i'm obviously curious and would love to take a gravity sample but it is a big beer that will need at least 3 weeks in primary (if not more). i don't want to introduce more oxygen in there than i have to so i won't know until bottling time if i got lucky or if i got 5.5 gallons of malt vinegar.
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What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead, imperial chocolate stout and its not-so-small beer second runnings, our bruin & a few other sours
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: harvest ale with homegrown hops
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparticusbrewer22 View Post
A Dark Ear-Full of Wig
i like that one!

currently it is called the somewhat pedestrian "midnight in brussels"... i may well need to re-christen it. hopefully this turns out ok and tasty: when i tell most folks where it got its name they are sure to be grossed out and not want to try any. more beer for me!
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.
What hops should I grow? Hop grower's comparison table. Looking for cheap honey?

Drinking: a farmhouse with ECY08 & brett blend
Fermenting: sour cherry mead, imperial chocolate stout and its not-so-small beer second runnings, our bruin & a few other sours
Aging: a bunch of belgian and soured stuff, and acerglyn.
Up next: harvest ale with homegrown hops
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