To dump, or not to dump. (or how I learned to quit worrying, and love the bugs)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Beejay, Jul 18, 2018.


To dump or not to dump

Poll closed Jul 20, 2018.
  1. Dump it!!

    3 vote(s)
  2. Drink it!

    9 vote(s)
  3. Pasteurize then drink!

    0 vote(s)
  4. Send to your enemies!

    2 vote(s)
  1. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,168) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    So.. I have a bit of an embarassing dilemma, I brewed a gose (second batch) and during a very vigorous fermentation, I ended up with a lot of yeast coming through the blow off tube and running into the floor of the mini fridge I ferment in. This attracted a lot of unwanted guests.. I tried to clean what I could, but really couldn't move the fermenter at the time to do a solid cleaning job. I switched out the sanitizer jar from the blowoff tube, cleaned up what I could of the mess around the fermenter, and eliminated what I could of the bugs. Fast forward a couple days to when I could finally keg the brew. Beer looks great, smells good, tastes good, but I'm on extra high alert from before. I see one dead fruit fly in a keg.. ok.. not that big of a deal.. a number of dead guys in the jar of sanitizer from the blow off tube.. ok blowoff tube is doing what it is supposed to and keeping them out. Finally finish transfer and get to the cleaning up. Still cautious I look over my gear... maggots on the bottom of the fermenter, where I couldn't clean from before. I started cleaning everything up in my brew closet, trying to get inside to get a closer look (and more light) at my gear. Sprayed the bottom off and once I took off the sealed lid (I know it was sealed because I transferred using co2 without any leaks..) I noticed one little guy on the rim of the lid, and after a long bit of cleaning one more guy starting to slime his way into the fermenter.. with the speed he was moving my guess is he was making his way up the side while I was cleaning all the bits and pieces. I did a real thorough job looking in the trub to spot anything.... I figured I would have seen a lot more in the trub on the sides, or in the bottom if a large number has gotten in, and didn't see anything suspicious. My immediate thought was, fuck there goes 12ish gallons of beer. But I don't have any solid proof that anything really got it.. It tastes good (I tasted before I saw maggots...) It's alcohol, and likely slightly acidic.. so I'm just debating... dump it, drink it, or maybe try to pasteurize the beer while it's in the kegs to save the loss..

    This is the first time I've ever seen pests like this before on a brew, and am totally grossed out by it, then again, our ancestors, and some folks today would probably welcome a little buggy snack with their brew... So if you are still with me, and hopefully we weeded out the TLDR folks, what would you do...?
    Push_the_limits likes this.
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,470) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Fruit flies can be bad news, but you never know. Personally, I wouldn't do anything unless/until something doesn't taste right.
  3. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,168) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    Yeah, there were a few of them flying about.. so I imagine one landed in a keg while I was doing the transfer... Or possibly before fermentation started.. I think it's just the Eww factor that is getting me.
  4. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,260) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I say dump it. No scientific basis for that decision though. It's just the idea that all those critters were all over the place. Yuk!!
    EvenMoreJesus likes this.
  5. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (250) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Ya I say dump not because I’m worried about it causing you harm but just because it skeeves me out. Fucking hate flies except black soldier flys in my garden.
  6. JohnnyChicago

    JohnnyChicago Crusader (795) Sep 3, 2010 Illinois

    Fruit flies? Meh. Maggots? Dumping-dump-dump! Gose is cheap. Make another one!
    Lexicon and Maestro0708 like this.
  7. Push_the_limits

    Push_the_limits Initiate (30) Feb 8, 2018 Antarctica

    That's a good story. I'm gonna say....go for it. But you know it's nasty. And that's what makes it special.

    A few years ago I was in vietnam and in this one town, a type of alcohol called Xi Ra or something, was particularly popular. I met a family, who welcomed me into their house, and eventually I saw a large, glass jug with a spigot. The jug was filled with liquor, which was soaking in all sort of odd things. I kid you not, the liquor was soaking in sheep's hooves, an actual cobra with the head popping up, and other odd ends.

    They served me some of it out of their family jug, and once I knew what it was, how could I not try it? I liked it and decided to bargain with them to let me take a bottle to go. I had a hell of a time showing people a picture of the Cobra head popping up, then offering them a dank sip. Good times. I think that bottle was finished that same night.

    I believe that it is traditionally thought that drinking the "essence" of these animal pieces gives some sort of health power. I think you can't pasteurizes it if you want those benefits :wink:
    #7 Push_the_limits, Jul 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
    NorCalKid, Mothergoose03 and riptorn like this.
  8. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (98) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    How much different would this be than eating a Cuervo worm, other than it's more likely to be in the first draw instead of the last gulp? I've done that, but it'd be hard sell for me to knowingly drink maggot juice.
    You could call it Maggie's Gross Gose (just tell folks it's Himalayan dwarf rice or something)
    Lexicon and SFACRKnight like this.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,470) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I wonder if people are reading the facts differently. The way I read it, the OP does not think any of the maggots got into the beer.
    Lexicon, Lukass, SFACRKnight and 3 others like this.
  10. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (872) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Exactly. Sealed fermenter with maggots on the bottom and sides of it where the blow-off was. Beer should be just fine, IMO.
    Lukass, frozyn and Mothergoose03 like this.
  11. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,260) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Yeah, I read that as maggots in the bottom of the fermenter, not on the bottom.

    Okay, drink it. Vote changed.
  12. gvickery

    gvickery Aspirant (266) May 13, 2017 Texas

    Drink it. After 4 or 5 you probably won't even think about it.
    Beejay likes this.
  13. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,168) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    Correct! I don't think any were inside, I saw two after transfer, one on the rim of the lid (airtight seal) and one significantly after the vessel had been open for quite a while.
  14. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,168) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    Definitely On the bottom (underneath the container!) not inside.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  15. riptorn

    riptorn Initiate (98) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina

    I had the same first take as MotherGoose.
    That part by @Beejay what had me questioning. Thanks for the clarification.

    Possibly of interest; a post-transfer fruit fly could certainly leave a few eggs in the brew and, according to research at Emory U in Atlanta, chances of that increase if female parasitic wasps are in the area. The decomposing fruit on which fruit flies feed can contain up to 16% alcohol, suggesting their tolerance and even attraction to alcohol.

    That said, if I don't see them and aren't told about them, I'd drink Schrodinger's beer. If I did see them in a relatively small quantity I'd probably let it run it's course....if only for the curiosity factor.
    Beejay likes this.
  16. Granitebeard

    Granitebeard Initiate (97) Aug 24, 2016 Maine

    I had to read it slow, but got the meaning after a few double takes.

    Personally, I went with send it to your enemies... I would not drink it, but that is because it is a Gose.... Not because of bugs... Only my enemies would be worthy of such a beer.
  17. Soneast

    Soneast Crusader (799) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin

    I'd certainly drink it. I once closed transferred a whole batch from my "secondary" keg into a serving keg. After transferring I pulled off the coupler and saw a earwig jammed up inside the collar, essentially stabbed by the coupler valve. I have know idea how I missed that while sanitizing etc. Presumably all the beer I transferred filtered through said earwig. I still drank it. Tasted fine, lol. I did make sure to let people know what happened before serving them said beer.
  18. Bryan12345

    Bryan12345 Devotee (494) Mar 17, 2016 Texas

    See, this is why I don’t brew anything under 7%. Kills pests on contact! :slight_smile:
    Push_the_limits likes this.
  19. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,245) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    I can only imagine how many earwigs, mites, and other bugs wind up in my fresh hopped beers.
  20. ssam

    ssam Aspirant (282) Dec 2, 2008 California

    The real question is, do you tell people who are trying it? They might not want that even with no health concern.

    Speaking from a past experience, paranoia tastes bad even though its flavorless. It doesn't contribute to a great drinking experience if you're worried about whether the beer is going to poison you or not. Not that this will poison you, if you are fine with it then go ahead. Like you said, ancient people did it and they lived.
  21. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,168) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

  22. NorCalKid

    NorCalKid Initiate (99) Jan 10, 2018 California

    Interesting. Ever watch “Bizarre Foods” on tv. I think that dude has tryed worst.
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  23. Lexicon

    Lexicon Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2018 Ontario (Canada)

    Personally, I think I'd drink it – I hate to waste any tasty beer. I'd tell everyone I shared it with the funny story of the discovery. :wink:
    Beejay likes this.
  24. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,168) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    Poured a pint.. Nothing but beer in the glass. Tastes good, think I'll have another.
  25. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (120) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    I had a fruit fly contaminated beer from a friend years ago and ill never forget the taste so im pretty sure the fruit fly didnt get into your beer
  26. rocdoc1

    rocdoc1 Aspirant (245) Jan 13, 2006 New Mexico

    I opened a keg to clean it once after finishing it and found dozens of larvae on the lid and upper sides of the keg. I never even noticed any off taste in the beer.
    Soneast likes this.
  27. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (730) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    larvae consume oxygen...but shit in the beer...pick your poison :wink:
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