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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I make 10 cultures weekly, my home made ingredients consist of
Potato Flakes
Powder Milk
Powder Sugar
Cinnamon
Water
Apple Cider Vinegar

Early on my cinnamon was added in small amounts to each cup, but I noticed mold after about 2 weeks. I then started adding more Cinnamon to my cultures to prevent mold, but now overnight my Flies will be dead or smoked out. (When opening the lids has a gas like smell, carbon dioxide poisoning or too much cinnamon?
Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another side note I'd like input on is the flies tend to stick to one side of the cup, whether it be the corner of the lid or one piece of coffee filter. Is that a sign of something wrong?
 

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Well, the one variable that changed was more cinnamon, so I would deduce that you added too much cinnamon.

If you keep getting mold like that, it's likely your ingredients need to be modified or replaced. Adding more and more things to try and inhibit mold growth is probably not the right approach.

I don't make my own...I used premixed so I can't help you with recipes.
 
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I'm a 'greatest chance of success' sort of keeper, too. I have used Josh's, NEHerp, and Superfly media, and each works every single time.
 

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I've recently started using the media from Jungle Jewel Exotics up here in Canada...best one I have used so far (for any Canadians looking!).
 

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I've seen cinnamon oil used as a pesticide, so I wouldn't be too surprised if a high amount of cinnamon powder in a confined place could act in a similar way. Is there a reason you use sugar in your recipe? I'd figure that would be a simple energy source for mold?
 

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I've seen cinnamon oil used as a pesticide, so I wouldn't be too surprised if a high amount of cinnamon powder in a confined place could act in a similar way. Is there a reason you use sugar in your recipe? I'd figure that would be a simple energy source for mold?
It is 100% used for pests...more so as a deterrent, but I can image insects are deterred probably because it isn't good for them!
 

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Are you using moldy cultures to start new cultures? Kind of just spreading the spores from one to the other.

I have used a homemade ff mix for 20 years. There is nothing inherent to the home mix that makes mold unavoidable. I culture in 1 quart mason jars sanitized in the dishwasher and I keep them inverted till ready to use (sometimes for weeks - they are gross to clean so I tend to procrastinate on cleaning out old cultures and end up with a bunch of clean ones at a time). Vinegar is my primary mold inhibitor; 1:1 distilled white vinegar to RO water for hydrating the dry mix. The dry mix is 4:1:1 potato flakes: powder sugar: brewers yeast, and is topped with a pinch live active bakers yeast. Two folded coffee filters for something for the flies to climb on and capped with a folded over paper towel. This has worked well for me, with no mold problems.

I do find if I leave the jars up right or pull coffee filters from the open pack next to the coffee machine, I will get mold issues. I think in both cases it is just a matter of allowing spores to accumulate on things before starting the cultures. So I pull coffee filters from fresh packs and keep them sealed in a ziploc. Maybe something for you to consider too; that is if you are leaving something out to collect a load of spores before using it in a culture.
 
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