WHAT TO DO WHEN THE FERMENTATION DOES NOT START?

 
 

The first thing to do would be to confirm how much bacteria actually are in the wine. Microscope observation can provide information on potential spoilage micro-organism that would explain the slow growth of bacteria.

 
 
  • If the bacteria cell count is low or inexistent, a step in the bacteria preparation and addition may have been mishandled, or the medium is too tough. Another inoculation with potentially a stronger strain should be considered. A detoxification of the wine with yeast hulls could also help before the re-inoculation as other micro-organisms (yeasts in particular towards the end of fermentation) could have produced stress-related toxins in a difficult environment (see below).
  • If the bacteria cell count is higher, at a level of population close to or high enough to trigger the fermentation (around 106 cell/mL), bacteria may be missing something. Simple steps can be taken at this point: homogenization will keep bacteria well dispersed in contact of their substrate malic acid (also keeping the sampling accurate) and a slight aeration can help trigger the fermentation (not oxygenation!). A few degrees in temperature can play a significant role as well in this enzymatic based fermentation, and warming the wine a little bit will certainly accelerate the process.
 
 

  TARGETED NUTRITION FOR BACTERIA

 

Bacteria may also just lack nutrition. As shown in the graph, there was a high population in this wine, not converting malic acid, and adding a specific bacterial nutrition helped; the malo-lactic fermentation started a few days after the addition and was completed in less than two weeks.

 

  BACTERIAL SPECIFIC NUTRITION

 
 

Recent works highlighted the specific needs of bacteria in terms of nutrition: 5 amino acids (AA), 2 vitamins and 2 mineral co-factors play a particularly important role in the malo-lactic conversion metabolism.
The LAFFORT ML nutrient MALOSTART® has been recently revisited to have a higher concentration in these vitamins and AA, while minimizing the concentration in AA precursors of biogenic amines.
The other component of this product is a yeast hull that has been selected for its adsorption of short and medium chain fatty acids (C6, C8 and C10) that are toxic to bacterial growth and activity. MALOSTART® hence provides a detoxification of the wine and lowers that stress on the bacteria.

 

 
 

MALOSTART® is a complete and precise nutrition for your malo-lactic fermentation. Along with the other factors described above, it might save you days of heating the wine or even from a second inoculation!

 

LAFFORT USA
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