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Malolactic Fermentation...stumped??

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dmsimmons69

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So, I started the malolactic fermentation(added bacteria) mid to late October, and unfortunately I didn't get a test kit until recently. The reading I got seemed to be a little less than 160, but definitely more than 75. I would have expected it to be much lower?? My pH is right around 3.10-3.12 and I've kept the temp between 70 - 72.

What should my next steps be??

Also, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Thanks!

Doug
 

ceeaton

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So, I started the malolactic fermentation(added bacteria) mid to late October, and unfortunately I didn't get a test kit until recently. The reading I got seemed to be a little less than 160, but definitely more than 75. I would have expected it to be much lower?? My pH is right around 3.10-3.12 and I've kept the temp between 70 - 72.

What should my next steps be??

Also, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Thanks!

Doug
Which MLB did you use? That pH is rather low for even the most hardy MLB, so that might be the issue with MLF not progressing.
 

Ajmassa

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Merry Christmas !
Look up the type of bacteria you added. They’ll have different tolerance levels listed. Ph is one of them. Most are above 3.2 needed. Only a couple can handle ~3.0 ph.
If that’s the case you’ll have to up it by removing acid. Cold soaking in a garage or something for a week or 2 could get you here. Also adding one of the acid removal chems could be an option too.
Not sure if you would need to add more malo afterwards, but I don’t believe you would have to. Good luck
 

dmsimmons69

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WLP675 is the bacteria type... Here's some information off their website.

Inoculations larger than 59 gallons: To inoculate larger volumes, we recommend inoculating with a larger culture.

Optimal pH: The optimal pH is approximately 4.0, but WLP675 will handle a pH of 3.3 in red wines and 3.1 in white.

Additional Information: WLP675 has a high tolerance to low pH (3.0), low temperature environments (down to 55˚F or 12˚C), and high alcohol percentages (up to 15% alcohol by volume). SO2 :The SO2 tolerance = 10ppm.


What would be the BEST way to get the pH level up?

Thanks for your help!
 

Johnd

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WLP675 is the bacteria type... Here's some information off their website.

Inoculations larger than 59 gallons: To inoculate larger volumes, we recommend inoculating with a larger culture.

Optimal pH: The optimal pH is approximately 4.0, but WLP675 will handle a pH of 3.3 in red wines and 3.1 in white.

Additional Information: WLP675 has a high tolerance to low pH (3.0), low temperature environments (down to 55˚F or 12˚C), and high alcohol percentages (up to 15% alcohol by volume). SO2 :The SO2 tolerance = 10ppm.


What would be the BEST way to get the pH level up?

Thanks for your help!
Addition of potassium bicarbonate is a fairly easy method to raise you pH, do it in small doses over a few days. When MLF takes off, it will further raise your pH, which is ok, as most cabs are 3.4 and above. It’s usually not recommended for raising your pH more than .2 or .3 pH units.
 

mainshipfred

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Still learning myself but it appears that most local supply houses carry the White Labs WLP675 and not the dry bacteria. I've used it 4 different times and never had any luck. After learning a lot about MLF from @Johnd and others I believe it is your sulfite levels causing the problem. Additionally they recommend adding the bacteria at 5 brix even though they say it will work at a lower brix.
 

Stressbaby

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From what I've read online, White Labs WLP675 is notorious for not finishing.
 

pete1325

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RE: White Labs WLP675.......good to know. I've used it for a few years, never could tell whether it started or finished. Always wondered if the stuff was working and/or worth the money.......now I know.
 

Ajmassa

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I really haven’t researched this yet. But fwiwI had that same iffy 75-150 reading on strips yet chromatography was showing complete (1st test had very bright malic spots)
Maybe you’ve gone through 85% of your MLF already. I don’t know how much we start with, but I’m pretty sure it’s way over 500
 

ceeaton

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You beat me to it, I never had one start either.
The only person I've ever heard of here locally (okay, regionally) to have WLP675 work for them was @heatherd, I think. It's unfortunate because I love White Labs varieties of beer yeast, they always have worked really well for me (actually have a batch in the works using their Dry English Ale yeast (WLP007)).
 

heatherd

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The only person I've ever heard of here locally (okay, regionally) to have WLP675 work for them was @heatherd, I think. It's unfortunate because I love White Labs varieties of beer yeast, they always have worked really well for me (actually have a batch in the works using their Dry English Ale yeast (WLP007)).
I am a VP-41 girl 99.9% of the time. I have only used White Labs when I can't get that, but I don't recall what strain I used.....
 

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