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31 October 2015
 

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a biological de-acidification of wine by action of bacteria that transform malic acid into lactic acid with CO2 production. In addition, MLF impacts include organoleptic changes and biological stability toward further degradation of L-malic acid. The assessment of MLF depends on wine conditions, the choice of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and the preparation of the inoculum.

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Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a biological de-acidification of wine by action of bacteria that transform malic acid into lactic acid with CO2 production. In addition, MLF impacts include organoleptic changes and biological stability toward further degradation of L-malic acid.
The assessment of MLF depends on wine conditions, the choice of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and the preparation of the inoculum.

WINE CONDITIONS: PRINCIPAL FACTORS INFLUENCING GROWTH, VIABILITY AND ACTIVITY OF LACTIC ACID BACTERIA

Factor

Tolerance limits (general)

Optimal range

Alcohol (%v/v)

15

<13

pH

<3.1

>3.4

FSO2 (mg/L)

15

<8

TSO2 (mg/L)

60

<30

Temperature

<54°F (12°C) or >82°F (28°C)

65-72°F (15-30°C)


















Other parameters can impact MLF such as: vineyard sprays, micro-organisms (competition for nutrients, production of SO2 and/or production of toxic compounds for bacteria), ease of alcoholic fermentation or even tannin content of the wine.

CHOICE OF LACTIC ACID BACTERIA
An inoculation with a selected LAB reduces the potential of spoilage by other micro-organism thus ensuring the rapid onset of MLF, and better control over the production of aromatic compounds and wine mouthfeel.
Uncontrolled MLF is an open door for every micro-organism. The development of spoilage microbes usually generates negative aromas such as vinegar, rancid yogurt, sweaty, horsey, burnt matches, rotten fruit and a loss of balance and complexity.

Enartis Strains

MCW

ML Silver

ML One

Species

Oenococcus oeni

pH tolerance

3.1

3.1

3.2

TSO2 resistance (mg/L)

40

45

40

FSO2 resistance (mg/L)

-

10

10

Alcohol tolerance (%v/v)

>15

>15

14

Conversion speed

Moderate/High

High

Moderate



















 

Want to know which bacteria will complete your MLF?
The Quick ML Activity Test, offered by Enartis Vinquiry, rates wines based on fermentation conditions and recommends the appropriate bacteria strain and, if needed, adjustments in order to avoid a stuck fermentation.


BACTERIA PREPARATION AND NUTRITION
As with any organism, bacteria need to eat in order to survive, develop and be active. The bacteria need acclimation before going into the hostile environment of wine. Enartis Nutriferm Osmobacti is a nutrient and regulator of osmotic pressure that improves the survival rate of bacteria during rehydration and activates their metabolism. Enartis Nutriferm ML provides essential nutrients specific for bacteria, and polysaccharides and cellulose to absorb compounds that may inhibit cell growth. It helps bacteria colonize wine over natural flora and to complete MLF.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (707) 838-6312.

 
 

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