Malolactic bacteria have a reputation as being decidedly more difficult to work with than yeast, however many of the problems often encountered stem from a lack of understanding the appropriate conditions necessary for the bacteria to successfully complete its job. One reason this might be the case is that there really isn’t a single variable that can be controlled to ensure success, à la: “make sure you don’t sulfite until after the malolactic fermentation has completed and all will be well”. In fact, the real answer to better being able to successfully complete a malolactic fermentation is a bit more complex than that and actually lies in understanding the synergistic relationship between the following five elements: alcohol (ethanol), temperature*, pH, SO2 (sulfite), and nutrients. Download our Malolactic Fermentation Manual for a full break down.
(*For a great way to keep your malolactic fermentation warm during the cool winter months, take a look at MoreWine!'s FermWrap! (FE650))