ETS Laboratories offers several types of analysis for monitoring Brettanomyces in wine. These analyses are complementary and utilizing combinations of them provides a complete picture of what is occurring in your wine in regards to Brettanomyces.
Scorpion testing provides an accurate count of the number of viable cells in the wine.
Plating provides an accurate count of cells that are viable and culturable.
Ethyl Phenol Analysis (4EP/4EG)
Ethyl phenol analysis provides an indicator of Brett activity and potential sensory impact.
Combining analyses gives a complete picture
A combination of Scorpions, plating and 4-EP/4-EG analysis provides information that can be used to determine if Brettanomyces is present in a wine and if the wine conditions are conducive to growth.
In wines where the Brettanomyces numbers are the same for Scorpions and plating, the results indicate that growth of Brettanomyces is not inhibited by the current wine conditions. This situation can result in a rapid population bloom and resulting spoilage of the wine.
If the results from plating are lower than Scorpions, this indicates the wine conditions are inhibitory to Brettanomyces growth. This information provides useful feedback for managing and maintaining low levels of Brettanomyces during the wine aging process.
Similarly, the presence of 4-EP and 4-EG indicates that the wine contains or had contained a significant population of actively growing Brettanomyces, resulting in the accumulation of these metabolites. That said, the presence of 4-EP and 4-EG at a given time point does not indicate the presence of viable Brettanomyces. Learn more about 4-EP/4-EG analysis