Rodney Marsh

Rodney Marsh

Friday, 30 October 2015 16:11

Brettanomyces PCR - Veriflow

Bringing you next day Brettanomyces results via the power of forensic style molecular biology

 Don't want to sterile filter red wine prior to bottling? Testing can be conducted on wine just a few days prior to bottling. Allowing decisions to be made with confidence about filtering requirements.

 Want best practice monitoring for Brettanomyces? This method has all the pros and none of the cons.

Studies with this method have shown that counts greater than 1000cfu/mL can be obtained well prior to significant increases in 4EP. Allowing for corrective procedures to take place well before taints appear.

This PCR method detects DNA from all viable cells to give the total population of Brettanomyces. This includes the viable but non culturable (VNC) cells, which do not grow in normal plating techniques. Despite their inability to grow in the lab, these VNC cells actively metabolise in wine and remain active for long periods of time detrimentally affecting a product.

Analysis time 4 hours. Fast, compared to culture, 10 days & 4EP/4EG analysis, several days.

Detects DNA sequence of Brettanomyces bruxellensis providing high specificity.

A UC Davis study confirmed specificity against 50 strains of Brettanomyces bruxellensis from around the world.

Studies show no cross reactions with other yeast strains found in wine nor other subspecies of Brettanomyces.

DNA from dead Brett is quickly broken down in the acidic environment of wine. This test is unlikely to detect dead Brettanomyces and give false positive results.

The method used is the same AOAC approved method used in the food safety industry.

Results are semi-quantitative.


 When requesting please ask for Brett PCR test. Cost per test - $60 exGST. 

 Sample Collection

 It's very important as Brettanomyces sink to the bottom of vessels. We need only 50mL of sample but the collection technique is the critical point. There are three options for sample collection;

  • For tank samples collect a homogenised sample, immediately post racking is a perfect time.
  • If from barrels you either need to stir prior to collection or
  • Take a clean/sterile tube long enough to reach the bottom of the barrel and place finger/thumb over one end and push the other end into the barrel to the bottom, release finger/thumb momentarily before replacing over the tube, remove the tube from barrel and place sample into sample bottle. This is probably the best barrel testing technique.

 Whichever barrel technique you choose, we suggest sticking to it so that your results are comparable.

To monitor Brettanomyces growth over the winemaking process we suggest testing just post primary ferment, at each racking and just prior to bottling. This will make sampling easy and ensure that you can take quick action to prevent taint issues arising.

If you would like to view our pricelists please complete this form.

Please use our sample stickers to label your sample. You can despatch samples to us either by utilising our Pickup service or Express Reply Paid Post service

 We are proud to bring you another first to our local industry.

Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:37


Colloidal compounds like pectins and glucans which can't be detected via turbidity testing but can be by filterability testing. Filterability is therefore a better predictor of a wines ability to pass through bottling line membrane filters. 

Saturday, 14 September 2013 21:33

4-EP/4-EG, TCA & Smoke Taint

4-Ethyl phenol(4-EP) has sensory descriptors like "smokey" or "medicinal" whereas 4-Ethyl guaiacol has been described as "clovelike" or "spicy". The smell in wine can vary dramatically depending on the varietal and the amounts of each compound present. Other descriptors like "bandaid", "sweaty horse saddle" and "mousy" are used with affected wine.

2,4,6-Trichloroanisole (TCA) gives a "corkiness" to wine but several other chloroanisole compounds can also confer  "corkiness", these include the di, tetra and pentachloroanisoles. 2,4,6-tribromoanisole may also be present and can cause a "earthy-musty" taste.

Smoke taint in wine is caused by the chemicals guaiacol, methyl guaiacol, phenol, cresol compounds and syringol. All these compounds maybe found in affected wine in both free and glycosylated forms. Smoke taint can impart a "smokey" smell and a very unpleasant "ashy", "cresol-like" taste to wine.

We employ highly technical Headspace-Solid Phase Micro Extration-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrophotometry (HS-SPME-GSMS) techniques to measure these taint compounds at low levels, ug/L and ng/L (parts per billion and parts per trillion respectively).

If you would like to view our pricelists please complete this form.

Please our sample stickers to label your sample. You can despatch samples to us either by utilising our Pickup service or Express Reply Paid Post service

Saturday, 14 September 2013 17:04

Product Pricelist

Product Size Price (exGST)
Sulphur Dioxide Standard  1 L $30.00
Winechek Brett Broth 10 vials $60.00
Brettanomyces plates (90mm) 20 plates $95.00
Brettanomyces plates (55mm) 20 plates $95.00
Acetic Acid test kit  100 test $442.00
Acetic Acid test kit  200 test $865.00
L-Malic test kit  100 test $269.50
L-Malic test kit  200 test $531.70
Glucose/Fructose combined test kit  100 test $282.60
Glucose/Fructose combined test kit  200 test $555.00
Glucose/Fructose seperate test kit  100 test $309.23
Glucose/Fructose seperate test kit  200 test $573.45
Ammonia test kit  50 test $124.50
Primary Amino Nitrogen test kit 50 test $109.50 


Tuesday, 10 September 2013 15:49

Brettanomyces testing

Winechek offers several methods of analysis for Brettanomyces in wine. As a sceening test in your winery we can provide you with our Brett Broths to constantly monitor for potential outbreaks. We can also plate for Brettanomyces so as to enumerate them and provide you with an indication of their population level.

Analysis for 4-EP and 4-EG indicates the level of taint in the wine, if present indicates that at some point in the winemaking process the wine has had a significant population of Brettanomyces. However, this does not mean there are any viable Brettanomyces yeast.



Tuesday, 13 August 2013 14:43

Sulphur dioxide standard

Monitoring the results of the Rankine Sulphur Dioxide Aspiration apparatus is often difficult. Without a consistent standard near impossible!

At Winechek we have made a Total SO2 standard that is stable for several months and that we have been using daily for at least five years. We now offer you the same ability to monitor your results by supplying this SO2 Standard.

If you wish to make a purchase please complete the Order Form.

Friday, 09 August 2013 11:47

Tartrate stability

Tartrate stability testing has become increasingly difficult to assess with the new stabilising products on the market.

At Winechek we can test reasonably quickly and objectively the stability of your wine with the Stabilabâ„¢.

Thursday, 08 August 2013 14:15

CMC trial

The results of a 12 month CMC trial are in!    What have we learnt?

Friday, 26 July 2013 11:45

Brettanomyces Broths

Brettanomyces is a major cause of wine spoilage world wide. It is often difficult to predict which wines will be affected and most of the analysis associated with monitoring are expensive and time consuming.

At Winechek we have been reviewing available technologies and produced a simple cost effective way to monitor your wines for Brettanomyces - our Brett broths!

If you wish to make a purchase please complete the Order Form.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:09

Enzymatic Test Kits


Megazyme Enzymatic Kits are developed and manufactured to high standards at the Megazyme site in Ireland. 

  • All enyzmes are manufactured by Megazyme and selected to improve reaction rates eg. Ammonia kit
  • Long expiry dates which means the kit may last for two vintages
  • Improved linear range of tests eg. Glucose/Fructose
  • Innovative test developement that allows for more stable reactions  eg. Acetic Acid (acetate Kinase) kit


Subscribe to our newsletter!