Definition - What does Acetification mean?

In the context of wine making, acetification is an undesirable change in the balance of the acids in the wine due to spoilage of the wine by acetic bacteria that convert the alcohol in the wine into acetic acid and ethyl acetate. Acetification occurs when the naturally occurring acetic bacteria begin to multiply in the wine, typically due to an error in the winemaking process.

WineFrog explains Acetification

Acetification of wine, will turn wine into vinegar, making it unpalatable for drinking. Vintners need to understand how acetification occurs in order to ensure that acetic acid does not spoil wine. While modern equipment and processes protect against acetification, it can be a problem for vintners if they do not take the proper safeguards. Acetic acid turns alcohol into vinegar, these naturally occurring compounds are airborn, and can get into wine during fermentation. Vintners can protect against acetification by using sterilized equipment and making sure that wine is not contaminated during fermentation.

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