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Ants

Just to get away from the COVID 19 stuff for a minute.

Last year I bought a bulk package of crystal 20L to use in my winter brewing extract batches. Life got in the way and I didn’t use much last year. So I had already packaged it up in 1lb packages in zip lock bags. Put them in a kitchen cabinet and forgot about them.

Fast forward to this year. I got out some LME put some Centennial in mesh bags and started to put 1lb of the crystal into a mesh bag to steep when I saw something moving. Very small ants, yuck. Out to the trash went the mesh bag and all. So I grab another zip lock. Same thing inside a sealed bag, all of them. No trace of anything in any cabinets. How can this be?

We do get small ants down here but a couple of Terro ant baits always takes care of them. How could they get into a zip lock anyway?

Ah the age old question

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We have wheat weevils that show up in our home. They seem to get through any container. I have packaged my uncrushed grains in 2 gallon ziplocks, weighed out to 10lbs per bag, and put them in the freezer. I read that freezing grains is fine but the thawing and unthawing reduces the moisture content. So making serving size bags will help reduce this. There is no way for the weevils to survive the freezing temperatures… so ha!

Eggs in the grain when you purchased it maybe…

Maybe. They predate my brewing however. Because they were so annoying my better half is vigilant… meaning I wasn’t allowed to bring bulk grains into the house without making this storage process a reality.

Just adds a little bit of flavor…

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My comment was more directed at the ants in Mark’s OP. There isn’t much in the way of bugs I’d be surprised to see in old buildings in NYC.

These showed up for me for the first time in 15 years of brewing. Don’t seem to actually get into the grain but are on the bags.

We had them once before but could always see the trail of them. Had an unopened box of granola bars in the old kitchen cabinets they were coming and going to. Turned out one of the foil packages was either ripped or never sealed. Tossed them, put out the Terro baits and never saw them again. This time we never saw one except in the bags. I am leaning toward the came in the grain.

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:confounded: I think I’ll go with hidden in the grain… :confounded:
We used to burn wood in a wood stove in the house… A couple years ago… We musta snuffed out over 2000 big huge black ants… I surmised the wood I was bringing in was from the bottom of the stack (piled on pallets) and that was all the further them buggars needed to go… Damn ants… Did I mention we now has a gas fired one that looks like a wood stove?
Sneezle61

We replaced the wood stove with a pellet stove (up north) years ago. No more dirt, bugs and trips outside. The pellets are dusty but cleaning it means once a week or so just let it cool and shop vac out the ash.

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The thing with pelets is they are expensive and you need electricity. Also they make that annoying noise from the blower. I’ve replaced my stoves with high efficiency EPA stoves. Very clean

That Terro works pretty darn well. We had ants find us on the third floor at our condo(gravy from the cats food). Also occasional incursions at the house we sold, tiny ghost ants, Terro took care of them within a few days.

I really need to invest in a UPS. It would give me more time to drag out and start the generator if there is a power failure. One reason we don’t use the pellet stove if we will be out for long.

Yes the blower is noisy and when it gets up to temp and the room air kicks on it’s more noisy. We still like that it heats just the living room so we are toasty watching TV.

Expense wise we used to burn 2 1/2 tons of pellets when we were in NY all winter. The price gets much better in bulk. Now we burn about 10 bags since we escape the really cold part. Nice to take off the chill.

I put in a Yodul gas fired, wood stove looking space heater… It’s thermally controlled… Turn it on wide open and it’ll warm up a room… Even works without power… It cost a bit… The only down fall is to change batteries on the remote control and receiver… But if I go looking… I’ll bet there is a rechargeable one…
Sneezles61

Getting a little off topic but… Down here in south Florida we had to have the compressor unit on the roof replaced after hurricane Irma. Insurance helped out. We have had to have something repaired or replaced every year since. Air handler fixed, air handler replaced, compressor crapped out, yes this was new and under a 10 year warranty. The labor was not of course, about $900 worth. Now they tell me the condenser coil is leaking. They boosted the Freon and the a/c now works and a new one is on the way under warranty. Some question on the labor even though we have a maintenance contract now. Last maintenance visit was 3/2 and everything was supposed to be in great shape.

I really have no complaint with the a/c company. They have been here quickly, always on time and very nice. Just wondering what kind of a/c unit we got. I imagine from China. BTW forecast for today is sunny and 88° about the same for the next 10 days.

Hope you get that a/c working

It’s working. They charged it up and told me “you will have a/c” I guess the leak is small so it was a band aid until the part comes in. Of course it went out on Friday since they can usually get the parts next business day.

We have a portable roll around 10,000 BTU unit we bought when it was out the last time and even though it was $500 we hung onto it just in case. Won’t do the whole condo but at least we can sleep in a cool room. It was 81° at 6am this morning. So far it’s still cooling the place so fingers crossed it keeps going and they get the new coil tomorrow.

We installed a WiFi thermostat so this summer, if we ever get to leave, we can monitor the a/c from up north.

Do you leave the a/c on when you’re not there?

Have to leave it on. It would get so hot and humid we could get mold. Keep it set to 78 or so. The electric here is not terribly expensive.

Since we need to keep the internet connection on I’m thinking we might as well get security cams too.

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