Took classes at UC Davis and Oregon State. Worked at Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars for seven years before going to Shalestone Vineyards. But, instead of turning these sugars into alcohol--like yeast does--they slowly convert these sugars into volatile acids such as acetic acid; the same acid that puts the sharp pucker in vinegar. By changing all that malic acid to lactic, you’re lowering the total acidity and, by association, the pH and taste of acid in your wine. Wines which have gone through malolactic fermentation will typically be 0.2% to 0.4% lower in total acidity, 0.2 to 0.3 higher in pH and will be softer in character. Malic acid is associated with the tart acid found in a Granny Smith apple, while lactic acid is the more subtle acid found in milk, butter, cheese, and yogurt (and it is the … Remember, MLF bacteria don’t like sulfite, so don’t add it until malolactic fermentation is complete. Malolactic bacteria don’t like free S02!”. It can be achieved with the use of malolactic cultures. When you test your pH you will be looking at a number of around 3.1 to 3.4. Be inspired by an annual subscription to WineMaker print magazine. By inducing a malolactic fermentation the winemaker can reduce the overall acidity of the wine.There are two reasons for this: 1. Because it does reduce fruitiness, it is almost never desirable for 'fruity' Germanic style wines such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer, nor in any sweet wine. If malic acid is used this could trigger another malolactic fermentation. Delivered right to your mailbox. So, as the malic acid is converted to lactic acid the acidity of the wine lowers.2. Then let your wine age.”, Malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a secondary fermentation occurring when malolactic (ML) bacteria become active in the presence of malic acid. it comes time to use the culture simply stir it into the wine. Malolactic fermentation is more likely to occur if the wine is stored in an oak container (especially one in which MLF's had occured in prior batches). You need some basic equipment to make this reading, but you can easily obtain it at a winemaking shop. Is It Right For You and Your Wine? If a wine is excessively high in acid, a malolactic fermentation may be an excellent way to reduce that acid to a more satisfactory level. When it comes to stability, it’s important to note that if the malolactic bacteria do not do their job, something else will. White wines are not usually consider appropriate for an MLF, however one major exception to this rule is the Pinot Chardonnay grape. What does this all mean for someone wanting to have an MLF when making wine from ingredient kits? For more information on the Malolactic Culture we offer, go to the following link listed on our web site: recommend culturing up a single package is 30 gallons. The problem is that these strains come with all sorts of side-effects. If a malolactic fermentation is encouraged, do not add potassium sorbate or potassium metabisulfite until the malolactic fermentation is complete. Think of it as something you tag on to the end of the fermentation, when the gravity reading is .998 or less. (Pricing for U.S. orders only), WineMaker Magazine 5515 Main Street Manchester Center, VT 05255 Phone: 802-362-3981. There are several reasons why MLF is best induced at this time and not before or after.Malolactic cultures have the ability to consume sugars just like yeast. He has been helping individuals make better wine and beer for over 25 years. MLF involves bacteria instead of yeast, and it usually begins when primary fermentation is complete, around 0° Brix. You need warm temperatures for malolactic fermentation, generally between 60° and 75° F. Since you make fresh-grape wine in the fall, it might be harder to keep it consistently warm with cold weather just around the corner. There will be times when an MLF will lower the acidity too much, causing the wine to be insipid and susceptible to infection while in storage.You can test the wine with the aid of an Acid Test Kit. You want to get a nice, clean yeast fermentation completed before you introduce the malolactic bacteria. There seems to be a growing trend towards co-inoculation, which means conducting the yeast fermentation and the malolactic fermentation at about the same time. Don't miss a thing! This narrows down the field for the most part to big, heavy red wines. You'll Also Like. Optimum temperature is 68° to 72° F. If all conditions are optimal, a malolactic fermentation should take about 4 weeks to complete. Approximately only 2/3 of the malic acid is turned in to lactic acid. The thought is that the wine is warmest during fermentation, since the yeast is generating considerable heat as it converts sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol. Another reason to wait until the end of fermentation is because you’ll be able to determine if there are any flaws in the wine before you add the bacteria culture. The stability issue is more of a concern with wines made from the grape itself. A yeast cell will turn approximately 55% of the sugar it eats into ethyl alcohol, and the remaining 45% into carbon dioxide gas and other byproducts. The most we recommend culturing up a single package is 30 gallons. Once you confirm that the conversion is complete, rack the wine and add some sulfite. Obviously, this is a critical part of the entire process. In effect they were given just enough information to pique their interest but not enough information to apply the task in sound fashion. It’s a good strategy for wines with low pH or high acid, or styles that have historically been difficult to shepherd through MLF. Maybe! Again, the starter needs to be prepared a couple of weeks before it is. Worked for Secret House Vineyards as a consulting winemaker before coming to La Velle, where he has worked for five seasons. Studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis. When this happens, strains of bacteria can transform the wine’s residual sugars into lactic acid, acetic acid and other byproducts. To help give you an idea, wines such a Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet can do quite well with the added influence of a malolactic fermentation. Malolactic activity can be detected by the presence of tiny carbon-dioxide bubbles. And, it definitely does not guarantee that you will have a better wine. It causes the winemaker to be careful in all that they do, to follow directions closely and such. Wines made from this grape are often treated with MLF by commercial wineries both in the U.S. and abroad. Before bottling or making additional adjustments to wine that has undergone malolactic fermentation, it is important to determine if the MLF is yet complete. There are differing opinions as to when the ideal time is to inoculate wine with malolactic cultures, or bacteria. (I should mention that there are some whites, however, that don’t benefit from malolactic fermentation, like Riesling and Gewürztraminer. In warmer climates like California, it is normal to get grapes with lower concentrations of malic acid. It’s a very simple test. Malolactic fermentation can produce a wine that has more complex vinous aromas and can improve biological stability in the wine.