It’s been over two weeks since I’ve actually brewed a batch of beer, and I feel myself going through withdrawal!  Funny how you can get on a roll, then feel like something is missing when the pattern changes.  And it will change for this dude, but more on that later. But I did bottle two batches yesterday; an Irish ale that I call Auburn Fizz, and a blonde ale called White Moustache. Both smelled and tasted lovely, and the ABV numbers were right on target. (That’s alcohol by volume).  But, for both of them, these little buggers were in the air lock:

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Fruit flies!  They’ve everywhere this year, even places where there’s no food. I haven’t a clue how they got into the air locks, as they are bigger than the holes on the cap. It’s a problem all over the Ottawa area this year apparently, and I read of a way to trap them, and it’s working. What you do is fill a small container (like a short drinking glass) with apple cider vinegar, and a few drops of dish detergent, then froth it up so there’s a layer of suds on top.  The smell attracts them, and they die by getting stuck in the foam.  It works like a charm.  Good thing the water in my air locks acts like a barrier to them, as I blame them for a batch of spoiled beer I had to chuck because of a bacterial infection. The bucket and lid I used don’t form an air tight seal, and apparently they carry bacteria that spoils beer.  Take a look at this:

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See my last post… it goes into more detail.  Suffice to say I detest those little pesky bugs!  Hopefully they will go away as the weather gets colder.

So – now I get to brag a little bit… I mentioned that my brewing schedule is going to change; all summer I’ve been brewing just about every weekend, not just to keep up with my voracious thirst for beer (wink…), but to also build up inventory for Richard Gill’s fall show. He’s a local artist here in Burnstown that kicks off his annual 10-day exhibit with a night of food, wine, and this year – beer!  It was an arrangement we made that I got to promote the concept of Burnstown Brewery by providing tasting samples of my five recipes. Well, what a hit! The crowd were a-buzz about my beer, with many of them having never tasted craft beer at all. Even a couple people quite familiar with beer from nano and micro breweries were impressed.  The crowd favourite: White Moustache.  Made my day to say the least, considering I only started brewing all-grain in June!  It was a great ego-boost, and it told me I’m on the right track.  Actually, I was told by everyone to not change a thing in my recipes.  I may just do what I’m told.  For once…

Update (Oct 5/13): I just heard that my blonde ale won bronze in a national beer competition sponsored by Beau’s in Vankleek Hill. Now THAT news made my day!

 

Cheers for beers!

 

Jim