Fruit fly question

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BernardSmith

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I am making two 5 gallon batches of SP and just racked them this morning and to my surprise I see that in one of the racked batches a dead fruit fly. How likely is it that one fly will carry enough aceto bacter to turn the whole batch to vinegar? I have no idea how long that fly was swimming in the SP but I suspect that it may have come in via the airlock after I racked. Is there a way to neutralize any possible bacterial infection by adding K-meta (5 crushed Campden tabs)?
Thoughts? Thanks
 

Ty520

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as a matter of fact, the primary bacteria in a fruit fly's stomach for metabolism is acetobacter (nevermind whatever it was crawling all over during its life) - so i would definitely hit it with K-meta, sooner the better
 

Jim Welch

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I’d make a bunch of fruit fly traps too. They’re easy to make with plastic bottles. I keep 6 in my wine making room and two in the kitchen and two in the basement. Half with apple cider bait and half with grape juice bait. All of them have a couple drops of liquid soap in the liquid too.
Edit: if you happen to have a floor drain in that room pour a little bit of bleach in it every couple days.
 

David Violante

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Interestingly, our kitchen countertop compost bin collects more fruit flies than the apple cider vinegar bait in the same room. It’s a 4” deep plastic Tupperware-ish container that holds about 2-3 days of material before going out to the compost pile in the garden. The trick is to put the lid on and swivel it slightly so there are openings at the corners. Overnight they settle in there and in the morning I just swivel the lid closed to trap them. Then it’s out to the compost heap.
 

Cap Puncher

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There is a newer product you could try as well. It is called Bactiless by Lallemand. I got a small package from the beverage people website. 20g for $11 plus shipping. It binds to the bacteria like a fining agent and you rack off. It is supposed to hit gram - and gram +. It should work on acetobacter. It is supposed to have no change in flavor/aromatics.
 

crushday

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I have often wondered about this as well. However, wine has been being made for thousands of years mostly in an uncovered vessel or fermentor. I’m certain a fly or two has gotten into the must and wine from time to time without incident. Not meaning to communicate that we don’t take all necessary and proper precautions but I wonder if all the fuss is worth the energy.

All told, I’m very conscientious about being sanitary at every stage. Because of such, I was surprised by the winemaker at a vineyard/winery (purposely unnamed) I visited a couple years ago in California. After a rather lengthy conversation he invited me to do some barrel tasting. Excited, I accepted. He approached a dusty self and grabbed a wine thief, rubbed it on his pants as some lame attempt to clean it, pulled the stopper and shoved the thief into the barrel. No spritz of kmeta. No foamy Star San - only the friction from the denim he dressed in that morning.

I inquired about his lack of sanitary precautions. His response? “It’s all about parts per million. And, wine is a hostile environment. I’ve never had a problem in 25 years.”

So for what it’s worth, Bernard ( @BernardSmith ), I appreciate the question and concern behind it. And, I suspect your skeeter pee will be fantastic!
 
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BernardSmith

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as a matter of fact, the primary bacteria in a fruit fly's stomach for metabolism is acetobacter (nevermind whatever it was crawling all over during its life) - so i would definitely hit it with K-meta, sooner the better
That I did and I tasted the SP today and it was fine. Ready to backsweeten and bottle.
 

Ajmassa

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But the question is what kinda character do they add? A good character or a bad one? :slp
The additional character goes to the winemaker! Couple fruit flies will teach ya not to sweat the small shit. That positive character trait allows for greater focus on more important things, ultimately reflecting in better wines all around. …..Yeah that’s the ticket

(And this is what I tell myself to justify my annual fruit fly battle 😉)
 

Ty520

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If you KNOW your wine is potentially contaminated, taking 2 minute to dose it with Kmeta is hardly an issue
 

DizzyIzzy

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I’d make a bunch of fruit fly traps too. They’re easy to make with plastic bottles. I keep 6 in my wine making room and two in the kitchen and two in the basement. Half with apple cider bait and half with grape juice bait. All of them have a couple drops of liquid soap in the liquid too.
Edit: if you happen to have a floor drain in that room pour a little bit of bleach in it every couple days.
How do you make the traps?.....................................................DizzyIzzy
 

Jim Welch

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How do you make the traps?.....................................................DizzyIzzy
Using almost any empty plastic water or soda bottle. Many instructions available with an internet search such as "fruit fly trap plastic bottle" without the quotes.
 

Sailor323

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If fruit flies become a problem in my cellar, I use an insecticide dispenser that periodically sprays an insecticide in the air. The insecticide is approved for use in dairies and food prep areas. I sometimes cure cheese and sausages in the cellar.
 

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