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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
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What Analysis Methods Do We Use?

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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 dili