Level of Inoculation

Inoculation with lactic acid bacteria as with yeast can be accomplished using an active dry preparation or by generating a starter inoculum pregrowing the lactic acid bacteria under permissive conditions, juice + wine mixture inoculated with an active malolactic fermentation. If a dried preparation is used, this can often be used directly without need for rehydration of the cells. If an inoculant is grown it is important to monitor what has actually grown up in the starter. Sometimes the starter merely contains yeast and other times it may contain spoilage bacteria like the acetic acid bacteria and then the tanks are inoculated with spoilage organisms. The level of inoculation with lactic acid bacteria can vary. The terminal cell density of bacteria is on the order of 109 cells/mL. Some inocula start at this level of bacteria. In most cases there is an initial loss of viability of the culture or loss of culturability of the cells and the level of platable bacteria drops dramatically. The survivors then grow and re-establish the culture.