Tips for Healthy Malolactic Fermentations

Tips & Tricks for Malolactic Fermentation

Malolactic fermentation not only converts malic acid to lactic acid, but also has a direct impact on wine quality. Uncontrolled spontaneous malolactic fermentations or wild lactic acid bacteria can result in diminished varietal and fruit flavors, reduced esters, masked aromas and off-characters. Read more about ML bacteria or review our ML brochure for helpful tips in choosing a strain and other guidelines for healthy MLF's.

As the harvest comes to a close, we wanted to remind you that our portfolio includes strategies for many of the common challenges encountered during sluggish malolactic fermentations. 

  • Cold cellar? Try O-MEGA™, a strain known for its higher alcohol and lower temperature tolerance.
  • Having some sluggish finishers? Try Opti'Malo Blanc for whites or ML Red Boost for reds for additional protection and nutrients.
  • Want the ease of inoculating directly in the barrel? Malotabs™ are a easy-to-use effervescent form of malolactic bacteria for direct addition into barrels. 

Tip: If you're adding more SO2 because of rot, make sure to check your free and total SO2 prior to inoculating with bacteria.

Uncontrolled spontaneous malolactic fermentations or wild lactic acid bacteria can result in diminished varietal and fruit flavors, reduced esters, masked aromas and off-characters. The importance of choosing a selected strain has increased due to evolving winemaking preferences (e.g. higher pH levels, lower SO₂, higher alcohol, etc.). The use of selected malolactic strains can contribute positively to wines while minimizing risks. Review our ML brochure for helpful tips in choosing a strain and other guidelines for healthy MLF's. You can also contact us at 707-765-6666 to discuss the right option for your ML needs. 

Bacteria Against Brett
A recent study from Oregon State University, found here,has concluded that although winemakers should still be using sound winemaking practices such as rigorous sanitation and SO2 and pH management to control the growth of Brettanomyces in their wine, the presence of high populations of O.oeni at the end of malolactic fermentation can limit the presence of Brettanomyces. A fast malolactic fermentation with inoculated cultures also minimizes the time that the wine is not protected by SO2 and will limit Brett