Estimation of Brett Odor in Wines

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Nigel J. Eggers – UBC Okanagan
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Brett is probably resident in most Okanagan wineries, but is kept in check by current sterile techniques, and the 4-ethylguaiacol and 4-ethylphenol concentrations are very likely well below their thresholds. The concentrations of these two compounds can be used to monitor the effectiveness of Brettanomyces control programs. This analytical method for estimating the extent of Brettanomyces contamination is rapid and will quickly provide information regarding the effectiveness of the sterile techniques.

The study of Brettanomyces infection will take into account many variables and will include the following: age of barrel, cooper, block of grapes, variety of grapes, hygiene (hot versus cold water, sterilizing agent), type of oak used in barrels, sulphur dioxide concentration, cellar temperature, and dissolved oxygen.

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