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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > A fly in my airlock?!
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Old 10-24-2011, 03:47 AM   #1
Roasty
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Default A fly in my airlock?!

Today I found a (dead) bug/fly in the water in my airlock! This beer has been in primary for 8 days now, and I've been checking the airlock at minimum once per day, so I know he's not been in there for very long.

WTF??

There is a cap on the airlock with pinholes that I thought was supposed to prevent this sort of thing, which makes me wonder two things:

What is the more likely source of the drowned fly?

From the outside environment (possibly drawn by the smell of the fermenting beer), crawling through the pinhole, only to drown in the sanitizer?

Or, far more horrifying, from inside the beer? Somehow, someway, this fly managed to survive in a fermenting carboy with no oxygen for days, but eventually wandered up through the airlock only to drown?

I'm guessing option #2 is all but impossible, but figured I'd ask. Either way, I don't need to worry about this fly right? Should I clean him out of the airlock, or just let it be?

Sorry the picture isn't very clear, but I think the size of the bug can be fairly discerned against the airlock, which is a pretty standard size.

buginairlock.jpg  
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:09 AM   #2
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It looks like a fruit fly to me. They manage to crawl in my air looks from time to time. I'm pretty sure they get there from the outside. I usually replace the vodka in my airlock, but only because i don't like looking at the fly when i'm watching the bubbles.

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Old 10-24-2011, 04:10 AM   #3
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Not a big deal. Mosquitos are attracted to the CO2 from the airlock. I find them in my airlocks from time to time. It is "impossible" for them to get through it though.

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Old 10-24-2011, 04:43 AM   #4
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Just let him rest in peace. There's no sense (correct word?) in opening the door to more possible contamination. I've only had one fly, in my airlock, out of the 12 batches that I brewed. I was quite happy to see it.

By the way, it's hard to see in the picture, but do you have enough water/sanitizer in your airlock?

E

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Old 10-24-2011, 04:43 AM   #5
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Just a fruit fly, no worries, he isn't getting through the "S" especially when filled with vodka.

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Old 10-24-2011, 04:49 AM   #6
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What they all said. It can't get through the vodka/sanitizer you put in the airlock. That happened to me on one of my first batches and had me all freaked out too, but the beer came out just fine.
A friend of mine suggested taking a small dish, like you would put dipping sauce in, and put a little balsamic vinegar in it. Then cover it with saran wrap and punch a couple holes in it with a pen or something. The fireflys are attracted to the vinegar, get in through the holes you punched, and either get trapped or drown. I tried that and was amazed at how well it worked.

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Old 10-24-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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I'd pull the airlock,cover the grommeted hole temporarily,& clean it out. Refill with some cheap vodka. Flies do carry germs I wouldn't want getting sucked back into the brew in the event of a negative pressure situation.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:14 PM   #8
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Don't worry, he can't have drunk very much.

Reminds me of the story of the missionary finding a fly in his milk.
The first year, he thinks the fly is disgusting and throws the milk away.
The second year, he shrugs it off and throws the fly away.
The third year, he grabs the fly and yells "Spit it out, spit it out!"

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Old 10-24-2011, 02:17 PM   #9
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The way I heard that one,a Scotsman was sitting in a bar with the fly in his ale...lolz!
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I'd pull the airlock,cover the grommeted hole temporarily,& clean it out. Refill with some cheap vodka. Flies do carry germs I wouldn't want getting sucked back into the brew in the event of a negative pressure situation.
Yeah. I have another airlock around here. Could just prep that one and do a quick swap out.

Thanka for all the replies!
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