Proper management of gases during winemaking will modulate the quality of the wine. It is important to monitor and evaluate the work carried out in the winery and the effect of the gases dissolved in the wine with each step because, depending on the phase of the process, the gases will improve or worsen the characteristics of the product.
During the entire winemaking process, the gases must be properly managed, but at the time of bottling, it is crucial to control the gas to ensure the quality of the wine with different effects:
- Bottled wine with high O content (>1 mg/l) may evolve faster in the bottle, reaching the consumer with notes of evolution or oxidation. It will also have a significant effect on the SO combination, decreasing microbiological stability.
- The CO content, highly soluble in wine, may have different effects depending on the wine matrix. Whites and rosés can accept higher content levels (1.5 – 2 g/l) increasing its freshness. In the case of red wines with high total acidity or a high tannin content, much lower values are sought (0.2 – 0.4 g/l), which avoid accentuating the sensations of astringency or bitterness.
Traditional gas management has been carried out with microporous structures that create small bubbles that dissolve in the wine; however, this system is not very effective, requiring a very high expenditure of gases, with no precision when adjusting concentrations. Nowadays, gas management can be carried out more effectively and precisely with the use of membrane contactors.
Efficient gas management with Oxi Out
Membrane contactors consist of a molecular sieve made up of thousands of hollow fibres of micro-perforated food-grade polypropylene distributed in a cylindrical casing. The small pore size only allows low molecular weight gases (N2, CO2, O2) to be exchanged, without the wine coming into contact with the membranes due to their hydrophobicity. The OXIOUT equipment is based on this technology for efficient gas management, and the incorporation of O2 and CO2 sensors makes it possible to measure and adjust their concentrations online.
The advantages of working with OXIOUT equipment includes:
- Adaptation to the process workflow due to different models with different flow rates.
- Precise online O removal with target value adjustment.
- Reduction of the consumption of carrier gases.
- CO addition with online measurement with high precision probes.
- Efficient decarbonation of a highly soluble gases such as CO.