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Volatile Acidity

Volatile Acidity: What is it? and how do I stop it?
Volatile acidity (VA) is defined as the steam distillable acids found in wines. Acetic acid is the biggest contributor to VA, but lactic, formic, propionic and butyric acid can also be culprits. Volatile acidity can plague any wine; changing the characteristics of wine from an award winner to vinegar in a matter of weeks. It not only effects the aroma and the flavor, but can also be illegal in high quantities. The bad news is that removing volatile acidity from a wine is costly and not 100% treatable, but the good news is that it is easily preventable. 
Let’s start with the basic microbiology to learn exactly what is going on in the wine: 
Microbial Level Acetic acid is typically the largest component of volatile acidity, it is caused by bacteria (Acetobacter aceti) that can be found everywhere: grape skins, fruit flies, barrels, and other surfaces in the cellar. The bacteria converts ethanol to acetic acid and produces ethyl acetate…
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What Analysis Methods Do We Use?

FOSS: Yes or No? 
We have received several questions from customers asking if we use a Foss, Oenofoss, or a Winescan. Our simple answer is no. 
Here at The Lab Pros we use primarily manual methods because they are the most accurate
We have used both the Oenofoss and Winescan in the past and found that they are great tools for large wineries and for monitoring general numbers in your wine, but they need a lot of extra care and attention. Both of these machines use FTIR technology (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) which operate using a spectrum of light to identify a substance. The use of FTIR is commonly practiced in research laboratories when identifying chemical compounds in a sample, but all FTIR machines need to be calibrated to correctly identify each chemical substance before use. Wine is an organic substance, and “impurities” vary from varietal, viticultural location, and vintage. Simply put, each individual wine is so vastly different on a chemical scale. Let’s talk abou…

VinoBRETT

Introducing our equipment for microbial testing, vinoBRETT by Invisible Sentinel. This technology provides quantifiable results for Brettanomyces in under 4 hours, allowing better quality control over contamination.  The Lab Pros has partnered with Invisible Sentinel to provide our customers with a better method in testing for Brett. VinoBRETT provides quantifiable results for Brettanomyces bruxellensis in less than 4 hours via PCR analysis. 
Brettanomyces is an alcohol tolerant spoilage yeast that creates sensory issues for wine. Although Brett can be found in white wine, it is mostly a concern for reds. Large concentrations can cause a wine to smell like band-aids or a cow farm, not a desirable trait for high quality wines. Brett can appear at any stage in winemaking: hidden in grapes, barrels, or others areas throughout the cellar. It can be difficult to find the original source of Brett and can be even more difficult to get rid of completely. Prevention through diligent sanitation…