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Old 01-30-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
banannabiker
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Default Fruit flies

I have heard lots of bad things about fruit flies, and the DO seem to magically appear around anything with wine in it. I recently found one floating in the top of my primary, and just wanted to know when the flies actually become a problem for the wine. One fly in the primary doesn't seem like a problem-but is it? How do they ruin the wine-thruough bacterial action-dying and decaying...what is it that they do that is the real problem, so I know what to watch out for.

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #2
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Fruit flies carry acetobacter bacteria on their feet. This is the bacteria that can cause vinegar to form. One fly usually is not cause for alarm. As soon as you can, get the proper sulfites in the wine after fermentation has finished and it will keep the bacteria from multiplying and causing a problem. Those who do not sulfite at all are more at risk for vinegar formation.

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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It takes more than one. But be aware that if you don't kill them off, you'll ALWAYS have them as they reproduce like crazy. We set out wine for them in a shallow container until we've got them all killed and see no more of them. They are a real problem as they even hang around a container of meta water and get into it at bottling time. Get them killed for sure.

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:09 AM   #4
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I heard a report from a pro in Napa that these flies sometime lay their larvae around the outside of a bung, so they will fall into the wine when the bung is opened. A quick visual inspection can prevent this.

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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I heard a report from a pro in Napa that these flies sometime lay their larvae around the outside of a bung, so they will fall into the wine when the bung is opened. A quick visual inspection can prevent this.
Nasty a** flies. Good info robie - did not even think about that..
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:33 PM   #6
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Nasty a** flies. Good info robie - did not even think about that..
I know I will get some boos and hisses from the forum, but Saturday night I had some unexpected company over when I was racking some wine. I put the carboy on the ground and forgot about it overnight with the lees left in it. I'll be darn if all my fruitflies aren't gone! Just for good measure, I covered the carboy with saran wrap and poked a few holes in it throughout Sunday. I normally am OCD about cleaning my freshly-racked carboys, but was interrupted and lost my winemaking mojo...drinking wine at the time didn't help, I am sure!
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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I heard a report from a pro in Napa that these flies sometime lay their larvae around the outside of a bung, so they will fall into the wine when the bung is opened. A quick visual inspection can prevent this.
I have witnessed this!
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Apologies for bringing up an old thread but I'm having similar issues.

When I took the cloth from the top of the fermenting bucket to stir, I saw a couple of fruit flies dive in to the liquid. They were quick! How do you guys stop this happening?

Same again when taking readings, bungs are out, lids are off. I'm being as careful as possible but it seems they love wine more than me. Straining the pulp out was the same thing, the wine is open to the elements for quite some time and would love to know what you guys do.

Lastly, what about oxygen during stirring, straining, taking readings, tasting, racking etc? I'm on tenderhooks as to whether to do anything in case I spoil the wine. I used campden tablets for the first fermentation, and I will use one again when racking but is this enough?

Absolute lastly, if the flies carry the bacteria on their feet, why is important to not let any eggs in there?

Thanks in advance.

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Steve.

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Old 08-30-2012, 12:08 PM   #9
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Default fun with flies

On the other hand fun with flies is very interesting,sometimes when this event raises its ugly head ,i play a game with the flies,i get out my shop vac (5hp) with hose and lye in ambush,waiting for the pry to a lite upon the quarry only to be sucked in to my vortex,in some cases they do not succeed,in other its a waiting game,but i shall always prevail ,when the swarm takes flight,
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:11 PM   #10
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Apologies for bringing up an old thread but I'm having similar issues.

When I took the cloth from the top of the fermenting bucket to stir, I saw a couple of fruit flies dive in to the liquid. They were quick! How do you guys stop this happening?

Same again when taking readings, bungs are out, lids are off. I'm being as careful as possible but it seems they love wine more than me. Straining the pulp out was the same thing, the wine is open to the elements for quite some time and would love to know what you guys do.

Lastly, what about oxygen during stirring, straining, taking readings, tasting, racking etc? I'm on tenderhooks as to whether to do anything in case I spoil the wine. I used campden tablets for the first fermentation, and I will use one again when racking but is this enough?

Absolute lastly, if the flies carry the bacteria on their feet, why is important to not let any eggs in there?

Thanks in advance.

Regards

Steve.

What I try to do is kill off the fruitflies. I like to create "fruit fly traps". (take a 2 liter soda bottle, cut the top 1/3 off to form a funnel. Pour some wine or must into the bottom portion, and insert the top portion (neck side down). The result is a perfect flytrap. the buggers fly in, but can't find a way out and end up drowning).

By killing or removing the flies, you will have no problem. Even if there are a few that remain, this should not be a big deal.


Sanitation is important. You do seem to worry a lot, though. Without the use of k-meta, there are very few forms of bacertia that can exist in wine that can hurt things. If you are using k-meta, and at the proper levels, you should have nothing to fear from bacteria.
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