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by Curtis Phillips | February 28, 2014 | 2:16 PM

Recently there has been a bit of excitement about a lower-alcohol producing yeast strain. Rather than comment on the article that was published online by the Wine Spectator, which can be found here if you want to read it anyway, I dug up the PDF of the approved for, but as yet unpublished, Applied and Environmental Microbiology article.

The American Society for Microbiology produced a decent summary of the research (found here). Note that ASM is the publisher of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

While I understand the excitement this research has engendered, this is still pretty early research. I would like to see a lot more sensory work on Metschnikowia pulcherrima AWRI1149 before I let it anywhere near my wines.

A reduction of a wine's final alcohol 1.5% might not justify the inherent risks that sequential inoculation carry with it. Even if the yeasts are otherwise compatible, trying to inoculate with Saccharomyces cerevisae after half the initial sugar has been consumed and a significant amount of ethanol has been produced, could greatly increase the risk of a stuck fermentation, if only from nutrient depletion and ethanol toxicity. Additionally, reducing the final alcohol this way does nothing to increase wine acidity, decrease wine pH, which I would argue is an even more pernicious problem than too much ethanol.

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