Adding fresh liquid malolactic bacteria cultures at the end of primary fermentation is a great way to provide rapid and complete malic acid to lactic acid reduction. Malolactic fermentation softens, balances and adds complexity to wine. Grape and Granary provides winemakers with these fresh liquid cultures from both Wyeast Labratories and White Labs.. These cultures perform well in conditions of low pH and cool cellaring. They are suitable for pH of 2.9 or greater and cellar temperatures as low as 55 deg F. Dosage is one pack per 5-10 gallons of wine.
The malolactic culture should be added at the end of the primary fermentation. Adding a malolactic bacteria nutrient such as Optomalo Plus at the same time as adding the culture is a good idea, especially when working with white wines. White wines can be quite low in the necessary nutrient to complete a malolactic fermentation.
Conducting a Malolactic Fermentation on your red or white grape wines will help reduce the harsh, sharp malic acid in the wine by converting it to the softer and smoother lactic acid. Other flavors are often produced as a result of ml fermentation including 'vanilla' and 'buttery' notes.
By introducing a good quality malolactic bacteria to the wine early in the winemaking process, the winemaker can insure a quick and complete malolactic fermentation which greatly reduces the possibility of the wine undergoing a malolactic fermentation after bottling. This can result in fizzy, carbonated wine which can be unstable and 'pop' corks. The winemaker can check the progress or confirm the completion of malolactic fermentation by watching for the small bubbling activity to cease. A better way is to measure the amount of malic acid present in the wine with a Malic Acid Test Kit
Note: Naturally occuring malolactic bacteria on fruit may be of inferior quality or quantity to complete malo-lactic fermentation.
Contact Us if you have questions about malolactic fermentation.