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Old 10-09-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default sanitation concern - fruit fly

Last night I notice two dead fruit flies in my airlock. I immediately removed the airlock, covered the bung hole with sanitized foil, and washed the airlock out in the sink with hot water. I then stuck the airlock into the clean keg filled with recently mixed starSan for a couple of minutes. Also note.. this is the keg that I plan on racking the beer into today.

My question is.. should I A) reclean the keg completely with PBW knowing that I didn't sterilize the airlock before throwing into the keg filled with starsan, or B) should I relax and rack into the keg as planned today and just sanitize it again.

Please advise.. I lost sleep over this.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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Here's what I just posted to someone else:

It is HARRRRD to contaminate beer.

Remember that label on hand sanatizer that says it kills 99.99% of all germs and human pathogens? Guess what's the active ingredient in most hand sanatizers? Ethanol. Guess what yeast pump into your beer? Ethanol.

A 1.6% ABV solution will kill just about anything that can ruin your beer besides wild yeasts and some bacteria like lacto and brett that are perfectly fine to drink, even though they won't taste very good unless you control them.

Here's a short list of things that a 2% ABV beer would kill pretty easily. You could literally toss these in the wort (at some reasonable volume), and the beer would turn out just fine:

HIV
Sars
Flesh Eating Virus
Malaria
Bird Flu
Cholera
Hepatitis A through Z
Measles
Meningitis
Tuberculosis
Typhoid Fever
Herpes

Notice that "two fruit flies" could easily sneak onto that list.

In fact, saison/farmhouse beer in France was basically developed so that people could drink water that was contaminated with all sorts of nastiness, at the time of the black plague. They figured out that making about a 2% beer would make it potable. Beer (or alcohol at least), literally saved humankind throughout history.

Interestingly, the one thing that will jack you up that alcohol DOESN'T kill is ringworm (which is a fungus). As long as your fruitflies didn't have ringworm, you're good.

RDWHAHB!!

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:28 PM   #3
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HIV beer? Oh boy...

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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To be fair, most if not all the diseases you listed are aquatic viruses; they die as soon as they come in contact with air

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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Being in the airlock,they won't hurt the beer as long as there's no blow back. Nasties aren't nija acrobats. There's a lot of curves ups & downs to go through to drop down through thin air to get to the beer. Not gunna happen.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:41 PM   #6
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Or C) i am insane...

Anyhow, I was thinking acetobacter from them.. but I guess at this point in a 6% ABV it is not possible?

Also, would properly diluted starsan kill the acetobacter on a fruit fly it it was carrying it?

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #7
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Not so much the abv,just that nasties can't travel the route necessary to get into the beer. That's all...
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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Using vodka or the like in your airlock may give you some peace of mind. Anything that creeps in there is instantly killed

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #9
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I've used vodka in my airlocks from pretty early on. Any nasties that get in it get alcohol poisoning.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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+1 on the vodka.....I buy the really cheap stuff

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