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Old 09-22-2009, 03:47 AM   #1
muskogeesmalls
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Default beer maggots? (is this a 5 gallon drain pour?)

I just got done bottling my 3rd batch, a stout made from a prepackaged kit assembled at my local homebrew shop. I fermented in my glass carboy, which I usually put into a large Rubbermaid bin in case of krausen overflow. I've used foil in the past without problem the previous two batches. Likewise, for this batch, I used 3 layers of aluminum foil wrapped around really tight at the top. Around the 24-30 hr mark I got some MAJOR krausen overflow coming out the top and down the sides (the aluminum puffed up like those Jiffy Pop popcorns you put on the stove) but it didn't explode, krausen just collected at the bottom. Fast forward 2 weeks to tonight, I hauled the carboy from the basement upstairs to the kitchen to bottle, completed the process, now it's time to cleanup.

I go downstairs to get the Rubbermaid bin to take outside and hose off.. I notice in the pool of beer at the bottom of the bin there are MAGGOTS squirming around

Now I didn't see any maggots in the carboy, which as I previously mentioned, I tightly wrapped the top with 3 layers of foil, and there weren't any crawling up the sides of the carboy. Furthermore from the krausen overflow, it sort of bonded the foil to the top of the carboy opening, it acted as sort of an adhesive.

So my question is this, how screwed am I? Is this drinkable or did I just waste all this time and money for nothing? Is this a common problem? I've never had this happen (albeit it's only my 3rd batch) and have never heard of this happening.


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Old 09-22-2009, 03:51 AM   #2
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gross, but I bet it's fine. taste and see - can't hurt!


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Old 09-22-2009, 03:55 AM   #3
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Any post with beer maggots in the title should have a picture!

I'm sure that the maggots were limited to the rubbermaid bin. If, as I'm picturing, you used a standard clear racking tube, etc. to bottle, it's hard to imagine you wouldn't have noticed an infestation in the beer. If you serve somebody one of them and they find a maggot, just tell them they're the lucky winner. It's like getting the worm in the bottle of mezcal.

I bet you're ready to spring for that standard-issue carboy cap and airlock now.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:56 AM   #4
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It sounds like they were just in the bin the fermenter was in, not in the fermenter. If so, it should be okay.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:00 AM   #5
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Pretend its like a tequila worm...or the baby in the Mardi Gras King Cake..If you find it you are king for a day.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:01 AM   #6
muskogeesmalls
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there were probably 20 buggers 1/4" long underneath the bottom of the carboy in the rubbermaid bin.. what are the odds they could have crawled to the top and somehow got through a tiny leak in the foil and into the beer? i didn't notice any when i racked to a bottling bucket but just the sight of them lapping up my precious spilt beer was a little unnerving to say the least.

thanks for the advice/opinions
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:03 AM   #7
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I think the odds are practically zero they could have crawled up the side of a glass carboy. But I don't know...I've never seen one of the little buggers try to scale a vertical glass wall. Drunk.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:00 AM   #8
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Even if one or two did somehow manage to get into your beer, it was probably up to 4+ % ABV by the time they could have grown and climbed up the side. Between the alcohol content and the hops, the chances of infection would have been pretty low. And that's assuming the worst case scenario. I highly doubt you have any problems whatsoever.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:05 AM   #9
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I doubt they would climb up in there. Plus they would suffocate from the CO2 production. If it tastes fine and shows no sign of infection, then go ahead with the brew.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskogeesmalls View Post
there were probably 20 buggers 1/4" long underneath the bottom of the carboy in the rubbermaid bin.. what are the odds they could have crawled to the top and somehow got through a tiny leak in the foil and into the beer? i didn't notice any when i racked to a bottling bucket but just the sight of them lapping up my precious spilt beer was a little unnerving to say the least.

thanks for the advice/opinions
They would have to have a great nose for sniffing out the beer if they crawled all the way to the top of the carboy. If I was a maggot I would do it.

In all seriousness, I think you are 100% fine here. I would definitely spring for an airlock in the future but it sounds like they were simply chewing down on some of the partially fermented wort and probably getting a nice buzz as well.


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