jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fruit flies. One of the downsides of turning your kitchen into a winery is the invasion by large numbers of fruit flies. Drosophila melanogaster is perhaps the most studied model organism in genetics, so as a biologist I have a sympathy for these tiny critters (about 3 mm long). They're not really annoying like house flies because they are so small. But they get in your wine glasses and are generally everywhere, just buzzing (silently) around. Plus you can't let them get anywhere near the fermentation tanks because they can contaminate the wine.


At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all well and good to suggest that people never let fruit flies near their vats, my question to you is how do you suggest they keep them away? Having worked two crushes in fruit fly country, I have yet to see anything that works. Plastic sheets keep out some but certainly not all. Once fermentation has taken off, the CO2 given off is sufficient to keep away even the toughest fruit fly.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A silly suggestion, perhaps, but might a manually created (from a gas tank) CO2 blanket work?

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that silly of a suggestion. I'm not sure if a CO2 blanket would offer a sufficient concentration of CO2 to keep those determined flies away. On the other hand , a CO2 blanket does wonders to displace oxygen from the ullage in your tanks thereby reducing the likelyhood of problems related to oxidation. CO2 in tanks can get a bit costly too, something to consider.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger Suzy Lee said...

Please clarify - we are first time wine makers attempting to make apple wine in our kitchen. We have fruit flies and lots of them. It's apparant they've layed eggs around the edge of our fermentation container. Are you saying that our wine is contaminated and is it totally ruined???????

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