Malolactic fermentation, should I?

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JCBurg

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simple question here, I will be making petite petal this fall, if that matters at all, and I am planning out my steps.

When should I begin ML fermentation if at all? How do I know it is time? Is it something that is always done with reds and if not under what conditions would I not do an ML fermentation?

Thank again!
 

Johnd

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simple question here, I will be making petite petal this fall, if that matters at all, and I am planning out my steps.

When should I begin ML fermentation if at all? How do I know it is time? Is it something that is always done with reds and if not under what conditions would I not do an ML fermentation?

Thank again!
Generally speaking, reds benefit from MLF, and if your pH is low and TA high, probably even more beneficial. Timing is variable, folks do it at different times. I've personally been coinoculating for years and won't go back to sequential inoculation, but that's my personal preference................
 

JCBurg

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Generally speaking, reds benefit from MLF, and if your pH is low and TA high, probably even more beneficial. Timing is variable, folks do it at different times. I've personally been coinoculating for years and won't go back to sequential inoculation, but that's my personal preference................
Coinoculating? Is that pitching at the same time as the yeast?
 

Johnd

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Coinoculating? Is that pitching at the same time as the yeast?
Just a smidge after, as the yeast finishes it’s lag phase. MLB gets to establish in an environment of no alcohol and warm fermentation temps, adjust to the changing environment slowly, and finish its job.
 

JCBurg

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Just a smidge after, as the yeast finishes it’s lag phase. MLB gets to establish in an environment of no alcohol and warm fermentation temps, adjust to the changing environment slowly, and finish its job.
Thanks for tip, friend! I’ve not read it done that way but it makes sense.
 

mainshipfred

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John's method is gaining popularity but I'm still old school and do it after AF and have never had a problem once I started using dry bacteria.
 

CDrew

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Only 2 years experience but I've done the co-inoculation both years with perfect results. I pitch the ML bacteria when the wine forms a cap, so about 24 hours after pitching the yeast. For all the reasons John quotes. Low alcohol environment, the bacteria have a chance to adapt to the changing conditions, the wine is theoretically warmer due to the active fermentation, and it's backed up by a lot of research. Anyway, I don't see a reason to do it any other way.
 

JCBurg

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John's method is gaining popularity but I'm still old school and do it after AF and have never had a problem once I started using dry bacteria.
This sounds like an excellent opportunity to do a batch each way and see which, if any, is superior!
 

JoP

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One of the critical parameters with co-inoculation is PH. If higher than 3.5 the MLF bacteria may metabolize the sugar and the primary fermentation may get stuck.
Any of you had successful co-inoculation with high PH must? If yes, how high?
Thanks
 

JCBurg

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I have been trying to figure out how to choose the right bacteria culture. How do you even begin to know what to pick?
 

CDrew

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I have been trying to figure out how to choose the right bacteria culture. How do you even begin to know what to pick?
Pick one of these 2 and go for it:

CH16
VP41

I can only vouch for CH-16 (2 years and 5 different fermentations) and the manufacturer's instructions say to just sprinkle on the wine and no need for extra nutrients or a starter. Here is what MoreWine says about it:

Viniflora CH16 is a freeze-dried pure culture of Oenococcus oeni. This malolactic bacterium has been carefully selected to induce malolactic fermentation in red wine with high alcohol levels, after direct inoculation. Viniflora CH16 has been isolated from a 16% Petit shiraz wine in the Russian River area of California, USA. The bacterium's natural environment gives a good picture of its application; CH16 has been carefully selected for its outstanding ability to conduct fast malolactic fermentation in high alcohol red wine (up to 16% v/v) with a pH value above 3.4.

Characteristics

Very high fermentation speed
Low production of volatile acidity
Outstanding tolerance to high alcohol levels.
Excellent all round tolerance to pH, temperature and SO2
No production of biogenic amines

Viniflora CH16 should be added to dry wine, immediately after the alcoholic fermentation. Viniflora CH16 should always be inoculated directly into the wine. No rehydration or reactivation is required.<<<MoreWine verbage

And if you want the word from the manufacturer:

https://www.chr-hansen.com/en/food-cultures-and-enzymes/fermented-beverages/cards/product-cards/viniflora-ch16

"CH16 can be used for early co-inoculation, late co-inoculation as well as sequential inoculation."


Lots of home winemakers use VP-41. Here is what MoreWine says:

MBR 41 was isolated in the Abruzzi region of Italy during an extensive European Union collaboration for use in red and white wines. MBR 41 was chosen for its good implantation, steady fermentation, high alcohol tolerance (up to 15% v/v), enhanced mouthfeel and wine structure. This strain will ferment well with a pH above 3.2 and total SO2 levels up to 50-60 ppm. In red wines, increased spicy, cherry and red fruit flavors have been noted. Red and white wines fermented with MBR 41 have increased richness and complexity.

Alcohol tolerance <15.5% v/v
SO2 tolerant <60 ppm
pH >3.2
temperature >61 degree F



And here is enough bed time reading about MLF to keep you reading until it's time to pick the 2020 grapes!

https://www.lallemandwine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Lallemand-Malolactic-Fermentation.pdf
 
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Johnd

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One of the critical parameters with co-inoculation is PH. If higher than 3.5 the MLF bacteria may metabolize the sugar and the primary fermentation may get stuck.
Any of you had successful co-inoculation with high PH must? If yes, how high?
Thanks
3.7 + the last two years running, no issues whatsoever.
 

mainshipfred

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Haven't experimented enough to know the difference in MLBs. I use MBR 31 but have also used C35. The only recommendation I have is don't use White Labs 675 liquid. It's SO2 tolerance is 10 ppm and has a minimum brix requirement and has never worked for me.
 

JCBurg

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Pick one of these 2 and go for it:

CH16
VP41

I can only vouch for CH-16 (2 years and 5 different fermentations) and the manufacturer's instructions say to just sprinkle on the wine and no need for extra nutrients or a starter. Here is what MoreWine says about it:

Viniflora CH16 is a freeze-dried pure culture of Oenococcus oeni. This malolactic bacterium has been carefully selected to induce malolactic fermentation in red wine with high alcohol levels, after direct inoculation. Viniflora CH16 has been isolated from a 16% Petit shiraz wine in the Russian River area of California, USA. The bacterium's natural environment gives a good picture of its application; CH16 has been carefully selected for its outstanding ability to conduct fast malolactic fermentation in high alcohol red wine (up to 16% v/v) with a pH value above 3.4.

Characteristics

Very high fermentation speed
Low production of volatile acidity
Outstanding tolerance to high alcohol levels.
Excellent all round tolerance to pH, temperature and SO2
No production of biogenic amines

Viniflora CH16 should be added to dry wine, immediately after the alcoholic fermentation. Viniflora CH16 should always be inoculated directly into the wine. No rehydration or reactivation is required.<<<MoreWine verbage

And if you want the word from the manufacturer:

https://www.chr-hansen.com/en/food-cultures-and-enzymes/fermented-beverages/cards/product-cards/viniflora-ch16

"CH16 can be used for early co-inoculation, late co-inoculation as well as sequential inoculation."


Lots of home winemakers use VP-41. Here is what MoreWine says:

MBR 41 was isolated in the Abruzzi region of Italy during an extensive European Union collaboration for use in red and white wines. MBR 41 was chosen for its good implantation, steady fermentation, high alcohol tolerance (up to 15% v/v), enhanced mouthfeel and wine structure. This strain will ferment well with a pH above 3.2 and total SO2 levels up to 50-60 ppm. In red wines, increased spicy, cherry and red fruit flavors have been noted. Red and white wines fermented with MBR 41 have increased richness and complexity.

Alcohol tolerance <15.5% v/v
SO2 tolerant <60 ppm
pH >3.2
temperature >61 degree F



And here is enough bed time reading about MLF to keep you reading until it's time to pick the 2020 grapes!

https://www.lallemandwine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Lallemand-Malolactic-Fermentation.pdf
Holy smokes that was a lot to suggest! Thanks for breaking it down for me! I will probably try one of these two since I haven’t done it before.

Am I then correct in stating that if I have a high TA must, and I want to do an MLF, the. I should t make any acid adjustments before hand?
 

Rice_Guy

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I should t make any acid adjustments before hand?
* MLF is acid adjustment, , , reducing TA and typically pH
* You are in Wis so your TA is probably high, ballpark a third of the reds at Vinters meetings have had Malo
* A second option for high TA is to back sweeten,, a guess is 5% of red wines at Vinters were back sweetened.
* A guess is half at Vinters coinnoculate their grapes, , based on stories over a glass, , rest are sequential
 

cmason1957

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Holy smokes that was a lot to suggest! Thanks for breaking it down for me! I will probably try one of these two since I haven’t done it before.

Am I then correct in stating that if I have a high TA must, and I want to do an MLF, the. I should t make any acid adjustments before hand?

I do as much of my Ph/TA manipulation prior to fermentation as possible. it integrates better the earlier you make those manipulations, I think. Generally what I do is try to get the ph somewhere in the range of 3.5 - 3.7 and let the TA alone, as in I don't usually even measure it, unless the taste seems off. There is not perfect Ph/TA, it all comes down to how it tastes. I try not to be a slave to the numbers.

As always, ask 10 winemakers, get 11 ideas, maybe 12 or 14.
 

JoP

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VP-41 MLB in all musts, yeast use varied, BM 4x4, RC 212, D254 on the reds.
I also used ICVD254 andICVD21 folloed by VP41, and other MLF bacteria
now I'm thinking about CVRP yeast and I wonder if anyone used this strain and what was the outcome
Thanks
 
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