Malolactic fermentation for kits

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Senior Member
Aug 20, 2018
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I have an extended maceration going with a WineXpert Eclipse Lodi Ranch 11 Cab Sauv kit that will be finishing up in 2 weeks.

I was interested in doing MLF on this batch once the EM is done since my preference for red wine is lower acid.

But I read online in that
"The addition of a malolactic bacteria to wine kits should not be attempted. This is due to the fact that most juices are tartrate-stabilized prior to concentrating or blending, and thus contain a very high proportion of malic acid. Malolactic fermentation would convert this malic acid to lactic, leaving a kit with a pH above 3.8, and a flabby, soft character. It would also be susceptible to bacterial infections. Also, there are some situations where a very small amount of sorbate may be present in juices or concentrates. Malolactic fermentation in the presence of sorbate yields hexadienol, which produces the strong and disagreeable odor of rotting geraniums – an unfixable and highly undesirable outcome!"

Has anyone tried MLF with a WE Eclipse kit before?


Senior Member
Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2015
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South Louisiana
I’ve purposely used the skins from a batch that underwent MLF, so I know the bacteria was in there, it was an Eclipse kit. I tested it along with my grape batches and it never showed any change on the chromo test. To me, it added credence to what others have said: “Kits are balanced with malic acid additions, and the mlb will not metabolize the man made acid, only the naturally occurring acid”. The wine tastes just fine, but MLF didn’t improve it.

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