Add a second string of Malolactic Cultures, if first didn't work?

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KTWineMaker

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I have a batch of Lodi Zinfandel grapes which have gone through primary fermentation, after crushing and destemming I added 1/4 potassium metabisulfate to the must. I want my wine to go through MLF, but my local wine store only had one kind of malolactic cultures: WLP675 Malolactic Cultures.

I added WLP675 Malolactic Cultures to the batch on day 5 of the primary fermentation, not realizing until a couple of days later that the tolerance for SO2 was so low. According to the directions, MLF should be complete within 4-6 weeks with this culture. It is week 3 and I've used a MLF testing kit and the malic acid levels were around 110 mg/L.

If I remeasure the levels in another week or two and the levels haven't moved, can I add a different strain of malolactic cultures to the batch that perhaps have a lower SO2 tolerance? Or will this mess up the batch since there is already another culture in there?

Also, I need to top up my wine, I was going to do this with another Zinfandel store-bought wine. Will this interfere with MLF?
 

Johnd

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I have a batch of Lodi Zinfandel grapes which have gone through primary fermentation, after crushing and destemming I added 1/4 potassium metabisulfate to the must. I want my wine to go through MLF, but my local wine store only had one kind of malolactic cultures: WLP675 Malolactic Cultures.

I added WLP675 Malolactic Cultures to the batch on day 5 of the primary fermentation, not realizing until a couple of days later that the tolerance for SO2 was so low. According to the directions, MLF should be complete within 4-6 weeks with this culture. It is week 3 and I've used a MLF testing kit and the malic acid levels were around 110 mg/L.

If I remeasure the levels in another week or two and the levels haven't moved, can I add a different strain of malolactic cultures to the batch that perhaps have a lower SO2 tolerance? Or will this mess up the batch since there is already another culture in there?

Also, I need to top up my wine, I was going to do this with another Zinfandel store-bought wine. Will this interfere with MLF?
First, don't add any more SO2 to your wine, although the free SO2 will dissipate with time, there is some evidence that a sufficient amount of bound SO2 will also inhibit MLF.

You can certainly add another MLB culture if the current one isn't performing, and you should if you want your wine to go through MLF, as many folks have had issues with the liquid MLB's completing. I would suggest a very robust MLB like VP41 (with a higher SO2 tolerance) be used, along with Acti-ML and fed with OptiMalo.

A little additional info, make sure your pH is above 3.3, ABV below 15%, and keep the temp of the wine in the mid 70's, and you should be set for a good start. Mix the 50g packet of ActiML into 250 ml of distilled water and stir it up well, add the VP41 to the slurry, mix well, and add it to your wine. Add a full dose of OptiMalo to the wine, and stir it all in very well.
 
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