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Adding Enough Ml Bacteria?


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#1 tom sawyer

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:30 AM

I ordered a 1g packet of Lalvin Bacchus malolactic bacteria, it was fairly expensive by my small-batch standards ($9.50). I realized after ordering that it is only supposed to be enough to inncolulate 6gal. I am going to be making 12-15gal of wine. Should I get another package or two? Can I make a starter and grow enough to innoculate everything? Or can I just split the packet between the 2-3 carboys and give it more time to multiply and do its thing?

Lennie


Fermenting: 
Barreled: Sangiovese, Norton, Chambourcin

Carboys:  Cayuga, Traminette


#2 Crazy Run Ranch

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE (tom sawyer @ Aug 11 2009, 08:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I ordered a 1g packet of Lalvin Bacchus malolactic bacteria, it was fairly expensive by my small-batch standards ($9.50). I realized after ordering that it is only supposed to be enough to inncolulate 6gal. I am going to be making 12-15gal of wine. Should I get another package or two? Can I make a starter and grow enough to innoculate everything? Or can I just split the packet between the 2-3 carboys and give it more time to multiply and do its thing?


This question comes up every now and then. There's really no way of knowing the outcome. It might go fine just take a little longer. Or the lower amount of bacteria may have trouble getting started and eventually stall out, forcing you to come back with a full innoculation ultimately spending more money. Plus this might be in the middle of winter and require heating to get ML finished. I am probably a little paranoid but my outlook is that there are many variables out of my control in winemaking. The ones I can control I do. Those I can't, I like to make my odds as good as possible. So that's a long winded answer saying that I would buy more MLB and use the recommended amount.

#3 tom sawyer

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:08 AM

I understand what you're saying and will most likely bite the bullet and get more, as well as some rehydration nutrient.

As I'm reading through some past postings, and looking at other MLB products, I see some where 2.5g is supposed to be enough for 66gal of wine. My product is 1g, maybe it will treat more than 6 gal?

Lennie


Fermenting: 
Barreled: Sangiovese, Norton, Chambourcin

Carboys:  Cayuga, Traminette


#4 bigadamsoy

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:25 PM

QUOTE (tom sawyer @ Aug 11 2009, 12:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I understand what you're saying and will most likely bite the bullet and get more, as well as some rehydration nutrient.

As I'm reading through some past postings, and looking at other MLB products, I see some where 2.5g is supposed to be enough for 66gal of wine. My product is 1g, maybe it will treat more than 6 gal?

I'm not going to say that you can never have a problem with mlf, but i never buy more than the minimum amount sold per season. then I innoculate my earliest-grape wine with it, no matter how much i'm making and use a small amount of that wine to innoculate later wines. So far i've never had a problem milfing all of my wines...
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#5 tom sawyer

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:33 PM

I had thought of maybe doing the small batch of PS first and then blending it with the Zin, but its all going to be here at the same time so I don't know if it'd be wise to leet the Zin sit while the PS gets going.

How can you even tell when MLF is working? Bubbles?

Lennie


Fermenting: 
Barreled: Sangiovese, Norton, Chambourcin

Carboys:  Cayuga, Traminette


#6 m_n_m_bros

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 12:55 PM

heh, heh....you said " MILFING" lmao.gif

Seriously, I was told that if I add MLB to my barrel, there would always be the POTENTIAL for a ML reaction in the future.

From what I know of other "bugs", they are hard to get rid of. So, this explanation seemed pretty viable.

My gut tells me that bigadamsoy is on to something and that the minimal amount o MLB can be used to innoculate large volumes IF properly propigated.

However, I don't have enough experience to say for sure.

Just wanted to add my 2c
-mike

<u>Currently in the works</u>

2008 Napa Old Vine Zin 30gal 1 year old french oak-bottled
2009 Chilean Malbec/Cab 30gal 6 months new American oak-bottled
2008 Napa Old Vine Zin 30gal 18 months new American oak-bottled

2009 Sangiovese/Alicante 18 gal "kid's lot" carboys- still sittin
2009 Lucchesi Vinyard, Potter Valley Old Vine Zin 60gal old french oak- still sittin

2010 Chilean Carmenere/Cab 30+gal primary

#7 tom sawyer

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 02:51 PM

I wish I could propagate them prior to adding, not sure how I'd grow up a starter though unless I could get some sort of grapes a little ahead of time. Or maybe I could use a little Sun Country grape concentrate for a starter? But that costs as much as another sachet of bacteria.



Lennie


Fermenting: 
Barreled: Sangiovese, Norton, Chambourcin

Carboys:  Cayuga, Traminette


#8 Purple Grin Winery

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 03:47 PM

QUOTE (tom sawyer @ Aug 11 2009, 02:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wish I could propagate them prior to adding, not sure how I'd grow up a starter though unless I could get some sort of grapes a little ahead of time. Or maybe I could use a little Sun Country grape concentrate for a starter? But that costs as much as another sachet of bacteria.

I remember something about people using apple juice as a starter (lots of malic in there). This was for activation, not multiplication.
I also remember reading that the population growth is very slow, so at low doses you end up waiting a long time for MLF, at low sulfite levels, therefore risking spoilage of the wine. So I wouldn't go with the low dose unless the manufacturer cleared your thoughts on the weight per packet (totally worth a phone call).
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#9 mokadir

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 06:08 PM

I've done the "starter" 2-3 times before. If I recall, I think that Gene ("MartyYule") had good success with it initially. It involves using ML nutrient, ML bugs, and non-sorbated, non-sulfited, preservative free apple juice for the malic acid source. Once that is active, start adding some wine gradually so the bugs multiply and develop "tolerance" to the alcohol level. Anecdotally, it seems to finish ML quicker. You could try to keep an ongoing starter to innoculate several batches over a few weeks time - I did that last year without obvious negative consequence..
Bob
2014: Red Hills Cab, Yakima Merlot, Muscato d'Asti style, Inlaws Bordeaux blend
2013 awaiting Barrel: Yakima Syrah, Gren/PS for Rhone blending
BARRELING: friends CV OV Zin 13, Inlaws Bordeaux Blend 13, Yakima Sangiovese 13
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#10 tom sawyer

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:33 AM

I broke down and ordered more ML bacteria, found a good price on packs of Wyeast ML mixed strains from Midwest. The idea of culturing is a good one though, I might innoculate a starter and keep it going for the Chilean harvest in the spring.

Lennie


Fermenting: 
Barreled: Sangiovese, Norton, Chambourcin

Carboys:  Cayuga, Traminette


#11 Abraxas

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:37 AM

I just ordered two packs Bacchus for $5.99 each from The Homebrew Shop, Richardson, Texas. I have about 10 gallons and will use one pack. Stuff sure is easy to use.

Good luck,
Mark

#12 vinovintner

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 06:05 PM

QUOTE (tom sawyer @ Aug 13 2009, 12:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I broke down and ordered more ML bacteria, found a good price on packs of Wyeast ML mixed strains from Midwest. The idea of culturing is a good one though, I might innoculate a starter and keep it going for the Chilean harvest in the spring.



I wouldn't culture ML for the Chilean harvest that far in advance. The culture has a short shelf life and should be added to the wine as soon as it becomes reactivated. If you buy dried culture, you can store it in the freezer unopened for up to 1 year. Don't rehydrate the culture until you are ready to use it. I have done culturing in the past using preservative, sulphite free apple juice as the source for malic acid. Quite frankly, it is unnecessary. Today's ML culture is designed for direct addition to wine. I usually rehydrate ML in a solution of warm water and ML nutrient such as Acti-aid or Micro Essentials Oenos. These nutrients give the ML a good jump start and work especially good where the potential alcohol is greater than 14%

I don't mean to burst your bubble, but, I would seriously consider sending back the Wyeast ML culture and exchange it for another packet of Bacchus instead. I have worked with Wyeast ML in the past and have had bad results. The culture never got a strong start even when I used ML nutrients. Just my helpful words of advise.

Alan


#13 tom sawyer

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 06:26 PM

I was hoping I could keep feeding and keep it going the whole time, but it might be too much hassle for $20 worth fo product.

I hate to hear that about the Wyeast stuff, they have good yeast products. I'll probably go ahead and use it but sprinkle some of the Bacchus over it too. Thanks for the advice, I should've just paid the $30 for the alpha product I guess. I always doing things on th cheap and paying the price down the line. I'm starting to get over this character flaw but it shows up now and then.

Lennie


Fermenting: 
Barreled: Sangiovese, Norton, Chambourcin

Carboys:  Cayuga, Traminette


#14 Calamity Cellars

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:06 PM

I just went to an MLF seminar put on by two Washington State University profs and they had done many studies on this. The bottom line was that under inoculating can have some pretty bad effects on the wine. Something about over stimulation. Kind of like giving too much candy to a kid who will eat it all. I will find my notes and get you some real details. Their conclusion was pony up and inoculate the recommended dosage.

Alan Holtzheimer


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#15 Abraxas

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 04:51 AM

QUOTE (vinovintner @ Aug 13 2009, 07:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
These nutrients give the ML a good jump start and work especially good where the potential alcohol is greater than 14%


Regarding nutrients, I wonder if Yeastex has the same "goodies" as the products you use?

QUOTE
I don't mean to burst your bubble, but, I would seriously consider sending back the Wyeast ML culture and exchange it for another packet of Bacchus instead. I have worked with Wyeast ML in the past and have had bad results. The culture never got a strong start even when I used ML nutrients. Just my helpful words of advise.

Alan


I'm a little confused regarding recommendations of WHEN to add the ML culture. With some products they recommend pitching at 5* brix, with Bacchus it's after fermentation is done. I've heard that too early of an innoculation and the culture competes with the yeast for sugar. Too late and the alcohol content might weaken or kill the bacteria. So, I guess my question is, does the species of bacteria dictate when and how it is to be used, or in the case of Lalvin, is it the acclimation thru trials and isolations of certain species done so that can use it under a broad set of must/wine environmental conditions?

Mark





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