Malolactic Fermentation and Its Significance is Winemaking

Winemaking is a complex process that produces delectable results when you perform it in the right manner. When you set about to create your own batch of wine, you must understand that this process includes various steps including yeast fermentation and malolactic fermentation. While you may be familiar with the first type of fermentation that helps produce the alcohol in the wine, you might need further facts about the later type, such as the following information.

What Is Malolactic Fermentation?

Malolactic fermentation occurs when the tart malic acid that appears naturally in grape must transforms into the milder-tasting lactic acid. Typically, the winemakers initiate this process after the primary or yeast fermentation is complete. You can purchase quantities of the ideal species of lactic acid bacteria from winemaking supply companies that are effective at initiating the malolactic fermentation process. This type of bacteria consumes the malic acid in the grape to convert it to carbon dioxide and lactic acid.

The Purpose of Malolactic Fermentation

Both white and red wines can benefit from the process of malolactic fermentation. The reason for this is when you do not reduce the amount of malic acid in wine, the wine will contain a higher acidity and this will negatively affect the flavour of it. In addition, you want to induce this fermentation process prior to bottling so that you can control the process. This type of fermentation can happen naturally after bottling takes place if you fail to perform it during the winemaking, though, which diminishes the quality of the wine along with other issues. On top of all of this, malic acid has a similar flavour to green apples while lactic acid has a milky or buttery flavour to it. For example, with Chardonny, malolactic fermentation produces a byproduct called ‘diacetyl’ that imparts a buttery flavour to it. One thing to keep in mind is that this fermentation can slow and even stop if you allow the processing temperature to drop too low. You also need to be certain that the sulfur dioxide level is not too high since this can prevent the lactic acid bacteria from converting the malic acid in the proper way. Testing methods are available to help you monitor your wine’s progress with this type of fermentation.

To perform malolactic fermentation in a quality manner, turn to Grapeworks consumables for all your necessary supplies for this process. We provide a wide assortment of malo bacteria and malo nutrients for this process along with other winemaking supplies, equipment and machinery. Our goal is to help you create delectable, high-quality wines.