Then THIS happened. WTF?!

I know…clickbait headline…but check out the picture. I made the 1 gal Bomber Barleywine, it’s been in the fermenter for close to a couple weeks and was ready to come out. I had a bit of a blow-out during fermentation…which has happened before with no real…uhh…interesting outcomes. Then I took a closer look. Yes…those are indeed maggots. Somebody tell me that “Brew Grubs” are a thing, and a sign of healthy beer?

I hauled it outside, washed them all off, then decided to see if they were purely on the outside, or if they got into the beer. It turns out they did not, and smell and taste seemed about right. I bottled it, and I’ll see what happens, but…good god, that was horrific.

Anyone ever have something like this happen?

If your not using a blowoff tube when this happens you should definitely clean out the airlock and replace the starsan or whatever you were using. Also wipe down everything as best as you can without disturbing the vessel too much. As long as there was liquid you might be OK and nothing got into the actual carboy.

That seems to be what happened…at least I’m guardedly optimistic that the brew is OK. I almost just pitched it immediately when I saw it.

For some reason, it never occurred to me that I needed to clean that up before the fermentation was done. I had it sitting in a cooler, so the spill-over wasn’t hurting anything, but…yikes. Lesson learned!

Those are fruit fly larvae, and they get into anything sweet that they can. If one got into the beer itself, it could infect it with vinegar bacteria, in which case you could leave the beer in a warm place and end up with malt vinegar.

In the future, get yourself a 2 gallon bucket to use for a primary, make sure the temperature stays in the 60s, and no more overflow problems.

Gross! Next time clean everything up after you make a mess. Did you drink it?

Sorry for the late reply…been away from the forum for a while.

Of course I drank it :mrgreen: I noticed that, despite the overflow condition, the airlock was still acting as an airlock, and none of the larvae seemed to have gotten into the beer, so I said why not. Now, I didn’t invite friends over to share…I felt sure had I done that, one of them would have found a little maggot corpse at the bottom or something. But everything smelled and tasted good.

The two gallon bucket is a good idea…I actually bought one for the Bourbon Barrel Porter, since it was reputed to have a pretty violent fermentation, but I didn’t use it this time.

That recipe needs a name in your brewhouse from now until the end of time…

Sweet Baby Barleywine?

Darth Larvaeder?

Ha ha not sure about the name…but I’m determined to make a grub-shaped tap handle!