The process of making wine involves many steps, from growing the grapes to picking them and crushing them to get the juice or "must." The must is then pressed, the juices extracted and poured into a vat. The next step involves settling - letting the juices settle so that the grape sediment separates and drops to the bottom of the vat. The juices are then divided up and transferred among different vats where they will settle even more. The next step is fermentation where yeast is added to convert the natural sugars into alcohol. Finally, the wine is ready to be bottled.
Nitrogen Use During Wine Bottling
Nitrogen Generator. Nitrogen comprises 79% of the air we breathe and a Generator uses a simple technology to mechanically separate the Nitrogen molecules from the other molecules found in the air, isolating the Nitrogen gas in a storage tank until needed.
Nitrogen is used in the bottling phase of wine making in a couple of different ways:
- Sterilizing the bottles - Nitrogen is used to flush the wine bottles before and after bottling to sterilize them. Using Nitrogen helps eliminate the need to use water in the bottles before adding the wine.
- Flushing the hoses - Nitrogen is pumped through hoses, pumps, and tubing just prior to bottling for sterilization and to flush out the oxygen.
- Reducing Oxidation - The turbulence that results from bottling has the potential to mix a lot of air in with the wine, increasing the risk of oxidation that will turn wine stale before its time. Oxygen reacts with a microbe found in wine and starts converting the ethyl alcohol in the wine into acetic acid, turning wine into a more vinegar-like substance. Nitrogen works to displace the oxygen and preserve the wine during bottling.
Use of Nitrogen during wine bottling has many advantages, especially when produced using a Nitrogen Generator as an alternative to N2 gas cylinders. The high pressure cylinders need to be handled with extreme caution and require that you rely on a gas company for refilling. You also run the risk of running out of N2 gas with a cylinder. A Nitrogen Generator is safe, reliable, won't run out of gas, produces N2 on an as-needed basis, and is even more cost effective than using cylinders. You can ensure that your wine will not risk oxidation during bottling with a Nitrogen Generator.
You may be surprised to note that Nitrogen gas can be used during many phases of wine making, not just bottling. Nitrogen is used throughout the process of wine making, particularly during the settling phase, to eliminate the presence of oxygen and to protect against possible oxidation. Nitrogen can also be used during the wine drinking phase to preserve open bottles of wine for a longer period of time by purging them of oxygen (see: WineLast™ Nitrogen Purging System, WineLast™ - Keep Your Wine Fresh & Tasting Great Longer)
Contact South-Tek Systems for your Nitrogen Generator
South-Tek Systems engineers and manufactures Nitrogen Generators for use with many industries, including the wine making industry. Contact South-Tek Systems to see about getting a Nitrogen Generator ideally suited to your winery: 888-526-6284.
More Resources on Nitrogen in the Wine Making Industry:
Nitrogen Uses in the Wine Industry
Nitrogen Generators Aid in Bottling Wine