We believe in providing our clients with the best information and resources pertaining to beverage fermentation and winemaking. Here we have information on sending and testing samples, how to take correct measurements, fermentation tips and more. Contact us today if you have any questions on 1300 30 22 42.

Co-inoculation: the latest great development in malolactic fermentation

Introduction Commercial strains of malolactic bacterial cultures have been available for many years. Until recently, these cultures were added after the completion of the alcoholic (yeast) fermentation.  New research has enabled the development of strains of bacteria that can be added at the same time that yeast is added (co-inoculation). The advantages of co-inoculation are […]

Tip: Conducting micro testing without a micro lab

In a perfect world a winery micro lab would be established in its own room, separate from any other winery or lab activities. It would have a laminar flow cabinet and dedicated personnel trained in aseptic techniques. In practice, space and budget constraints don’t  always allow for this, but that shouldn’t prevent labs from adding […]

Tip: A closer look at absorbance

Absorbance readings taken from spectrophotometers during enzymatic analysis should be considered carefully before they are used to calculate important wine parameters. Many spectrophotometers have a photometric range up to about 3.0 absorbance, but this does not necessarily mean that any value up to 3.0 is an accurate reading. Spectrophotometers don’t directly measure absorbance, they actually […]

Tip: Cuvettes – a closer look at a common consumable

You use them every day for your enzymatic analysis and probably don’t think too much about them. But the quality and correct use of your disposable cuvettes are critically important for ensuring accurate enzymatic or colorimetric results. We use high quality disposable cuvettes in our NATA accredited labs, for analysis as well as for validation […]

Tip: Correct micropipetting technique

One of the most crucial factors in enzymatic analysis is volumetric accuracy. Taking care to properly use and maintain micropipettes will save you time, money and frustration in the long run. It helps to pre-wet new pipette tips by aspirating and dispensing the liquid before pipetting.  This forms a thin film on the inner wall […]

Tip: Cuvettes – a closer look at a common consumable

You use them every day for your enzymatic analysis and probably don’t think too much about them. But the quality and correct use of your disposable cuvettes are critically important for ensuring accurate enzymatic or colorimetric results. We use high quality disposable cuvettes in our NATA accredited labs, for analysis as well as for validation […]

Bore Water Testing

What is bore water? Bore water is groundwater that has been accessed by drilling a bore into underground water storages called aquifers. An aquifer is formed when water from rain and rivers seeps through layers of soil and rock and fills spaces or fractures within layers of sand and fractured rock. Bore water may be […]

How to fix Stuck and Sluggish Fermentations

Stuck and sluggish fermentations can be a major concern during vintage and, in the worst cases, lead to irreversible wine spoilage. Problem fermentations are now better understood, which makes it possible to use prevention tools such as selected yeast strains, yeast hulls and winemaking practices. Restarting stuck ferments with Fermichamp yeast Stuck and sluggish fermentations […]

Stuck fermentation, what to do?

Please click here to download a PDF protocol on Fixing Stuck and Sluggish Ferments with Extraferm and Fermivin Champion or Fermichamp.   © Vintessential Laboratories 2017. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. […]

Tip: Calibration Procedure for Micropipettes

SCOPE This procedure describes the method generally used to calibrate all micropipettes. Check the individual manufacturer specifications for acceptable error ranges at nominal volumes. RECOMMENDED FREQUENCY Every 3 months REAGENT REQUIREMENTS • Distilled Water PROCEDURE 1.1  Each pipette should be tested at its maximum capacity, and again at no more than 20% of its total capacity […]

Why wines with low Sugar-free extract are being rejected in China

Introduction Sugar-free extract is the latest unfamiliar expression to pass the lips of exporters of wine to China. This obscure test was the largest cause of wine being rejected by Chinese authorities last year (1). Below we discuss this test and make recommendations on what exporters should do to ensure that they have no technical […]

The Last Chance to Get Your Wine Right – Pre-Bottling Analysis

Introduction The wine you have made can be adjusted, fined, sulfured and played with for as long as you want. That is, until you lock it away in a bottle. So it’s important that the composition of your wine is exactly how you want it just prior to the bottling process. To be sure you […]

PCR – a new test in the battle against Brettanomyces spoilage yeast in wine

Introduction The molecular biology technique PCR has now been applied to the determination of Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast in wine. A kit system is now available in Australia and has been used in our labs to determine the number of viable Brett yeast cells in wine with very good results. This is a rapid and very […]

My wine had low turbidity but still needed extensive filtering – why?

Introduction We often hear our winemaker customers complain “the wine had a turbidity of less than one NTU but the bottling company charged us extra for filtration!”. This extra filtering needed at bottling is often unexpected, but there are two tests that can be done to check the condition of the wine prior to sending […]

Another whack of the dragons tail: Problems with label sugar contents for China

Introduction As a wine export destination, China appears very attractive: a huge and growing middle class, increasing disposable income and an emerging interest in Western culture – such as wine. However, cracking the Middle Kingdom is not as easy as it seems. First a very low limit on manganese was announced early in 2014, and […]

Ebulliometry for measuring alcohol in wine: improve your accuracy

Introduction The following is an expanded version of the talk given by Steve Byrne at the Interwinery Analysis Group seminar in Adelaide on Friday 1 August 2014. The topic presented was ‘Advances in Ebulliometry and Tips for Improving Precision’. Background Ebulliometers have been used for measuring the alcoholic content of wine since the late-1800s. The […]

Over 23% of wines tested for export to China exceed the manganese limit!

Introduction Over 23% of the hundreds of wines we have tested for manganese recently are over the new limit imposed by China. This testing was recommended by Wine Australia in late February, for any wines exported to China because some wines have been over this limit and have been destroyed in China or returned to […]

Do you know what levels of trace metals are in your wine?

Introduction Wine contains a number of metal ions in very small, that is, trace amounts. These trace metals are generally harmless and in fact can be essential micro nutrients for humans. Most countries have legal limits on the level of certain trace metals in wine. The recent change in limits on manganese in China is […]

Winemaking with grapes affected by Botrytis cinerea

Botrytis cinerea is a weather driven fungus which causes the grapevine diseases botrytis bunch rot and grey mould. The ideal conditions of its development are humidity, high crop density, and important vegetation development with the following consequences:  Poor juice yields.  Low must nitrogen and vitamins content, due to the consumption by Botrytis cinerea for its […]

Smoke Taint

What is smoke taint?  Smoke from fires, particularly bushfires, may affect the flavour of grapes. The impact of smoke on grapes and the resultant wine varies considerably and a lot of research is being done at the moment to better understand this important issue.  Wine made from grapes that have been smoke affected have been […]