Interactions between yeasts and lactic acid bacteria are strain specific, and their outcome is expected to change in simultaneous alcoholic--malolactic fermentations from the pattern observed in successive fermentations. One Oenococcus oeni strain Lalvin VP41™ was inoculated with two Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains either simultaneously, three days after the yeast inoculation, or when alcoholic fermentation was close to finish. Early bacterial inoculations with each yeast strain allowed for the growth of the bacterial populations, and the length of malolactic fermentation was reduced to six days. Alcoholic fermentation by Lalvin ICV D80® yeast strain left the highest residual sugar, suggesting a negative effect of the bacterial growth and malolactic activity on its performance. In sequential inoculations the bacterial populations did not show actual growth with either yeast strain. In this strategy, both yeast strains finished the alcoholic fermentations, and malolactic fermentations took longer to finish. Lalvin ICV D80® allowed for higher viability and activity of the bacterial strain than Fermicru UY4® under the three inoculation strategies. This was beneficial for the sequential completion of both fermentations, but negatively affected the completion of alcoholic fermentation by Lalvin ICV D80® in the early bacteria additions. Conversely, Fermicru UY4®, which was rather inhibitory towards the bacteria, favored the timely completion of both fermentations simultaneously. As bacteria in early inoculations with low or no SO2 addition can be expected to multiply and interact with fermenting yeasts, not only are the yeast-bacterium strains combination and time point of the inoculation to be considered, but also the amount of bacteria inoculated.
Keywords: Oenococcus; Saccharomyces; co-inoculation.