Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > found an ant in my starter....
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
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Default found an ant in my starter....

Throw it out right? Aww stupid ant!!!!


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Old 09-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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Why throw it out? Seriously, why? Do you have any idea how many bug parts there are in the food you eat everyday... It's just an ant. Last night, a small bug flew in to my mouth as I was out running. I didn't die.

Edit: because I'm a moron.


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Old 09-17-2013, 05:20 PM   #3
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I think the concern is with te any introducing acetobacter, pedio, etc into the starter, getting an infected starter, and then getting an infected batch.

Got time and materials to start over before your planned brew? I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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Just hold the ant with a pair of tweezers and slap it hard on the back a few times, yelling "SPIT IT OUT. IT'S MINE!!! ALL MINE!!!!!!
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evrose
Why throw it out? Seriously, why? Do you have any idea how many bug parts there are in the food you eat everyday... besides, you're going to boil the wort later, so any bacteria should be taken care of. It's just an ant. Last night, a small bug flew in to my mouth as I was out running. I didn't die.
Are you serious? You aren't boiling the starter once there's yeast in it? Do you boil your starters after the yeast has been pitched? Do pitch your starter in the wort before the boil? Bad advice above...

Anyway OP, I'm sure you are aware of this since you posted about it in the first place, but once the starter gets exposed to outside contaminants, especially bugs, then the chance for an infection increases. This is why you would want to throw it out. You might get away with it if you use it, but you will risk ruining your batch, wasting your time, and throwing your money down the drain. If you don't have time for another starter then get some dry yeast (cheap) or buy the equivalent amount of liquid vials (expensive). I personally wouldn't risk still using it, but there's a small chance that you will be Ok since the amount of yeast can outcompete bacteria blah blah blah. My advice would be to get some new yeast.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IL1kebeer View Post
Are you serious? You aren't boiling the starter once there's yeast in it? Do you boil your starters after the yeast has been pitched? Do pitch your starter in the wort before the boil? Bad advice above...

Anyway OP, I'm sure you are aware of this since you posted about it in the first place, but once the starter gets exposed to outside contaminants, especially bugs, then the chance for an infection increases. This is why you would want to throw it out. You might get away with it if you use it, but you will risk ruining your batch, wasting your time, and throwing your money down the drain. If you don't have time for another starter then get some dry yeast (cheap) or buy the equivalent amount of liquid vials (expensive). I personally wouldn't risk still using it, but there's a small chance that you will be Ok since the amount of yeast can outcompete bacteria blah blah blah. My advice would be to get some new yeast.
Yeah, I edited that part. I haven't drunk enough coffee this morning. Of course I wasn't giving the advice to boil your starter...

I still don't think the starter needs to be thrown out... and believe it or not, I have an advanced degree in killing bacteria (no, seriously, I do).
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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I found a mosquito in my chilled wort one time. I had an active fermentation and the beer was fine.

Since it's in your starter, I'd throw it out. It's too much of a risk when it is something you can prevent.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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+1 for throwing it out and not risking contaminating a batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by evrose View Post
I still don't think the starter needs to be thrown out... and believe it or not, I have an advanced degree in killing bacteria (no, seriously, I do).
Can you explain why contamination isn't something to be worried about?
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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Ants groom themselves constantly with anti-microbial saliva. They are "cleaner" than humans.

I'd still pitch some new yeast without an ant, but it wouldn't surprise me if the ant didn't contaminate the starter with enough bacteria to ruin the batch.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesIPA View Post
+1 for throwing it out and not risking contaminating a batch.



Can you explain why contamination isn't something to be worried about?
It is something to be worried about... but that doesn't mean that every potential contaminant is going to ruin a batch. There's no such thing as sterile in homebrewing. To be honest, I don't have time (or energy) to write an lengthy post on bacterial and yeast competition for resources in a closed environment like a fermentor. In short, there are bacteria EVERYWHERE. Yeast simply outcompete them 99.999999% of the time. Infected batches can happen, but a freakin' ANT just isn't going to be carrying enough nasties to outcompete the number of yeast in a starter. The yeast will overwhelm the system.

I bet I could brew 1,000 beers and drop an ant in to the starters of half and the infection rate would be the same whether the ant was present or not.


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