Page 9 - Grapevine NovDec 2020
P. 9

In The Winery

               tively adsorbed by the CMS, allowing nitrogen gas    during bottling where there is a space between the
               of 95-99.999% to pass through to the application.    bottle seal and the wine. Blanketing the headspace
               The CMS in the ‘offline’ columns is regenerated by   of a container before a bottle is sealed helps to
               releasing the pressure in the columns and venting    eliminate oxygen exposure,” said Peccia.
               the waste gases to the atmosphere. This constant
               swing in pressure between columns is why the           Bars and restaurants use nitrogen gas in wine dis-
               technology is called pressure swing adsorption.”     pensing, reducing the risk of oxidation in a bottle of
                                                                    wine before that bottle is empty. That means those
                 Peccia told The Grapevine Magazine that PSA        businesses can stretch the shelf life of a bottle of
               technology is the primary candidate for winer-       wine for one to two months instead of throwing
               ies because of the purity levels it allows users     out spoiled wine and, in the process, losing money
               to achieve. He added that depending upon the         on an unusable product.
               amount of nitrogen used at a given winery, Parker
               Hannifin’s PSA nitrogen gas generators can deliver,                 Necessary Caution
               at minimum, a 12- to 18-month payback with low
               energy usage and stable gas costs. Peccia detailed     Safeguards are a must when it comes to using
               the most common uses of nitrogen in wineries:        nitrogen. Rack and Riddle’s Gadd-Coster explained
               sparging, flushing and blanketing.                   why wineries have to exercise caution to protect
                                                                    their workforce. “It does displace air in enclosed
                 “During the fermentation process, oxygen will nat-  spaces and so is dangerous in that respect.
               urally dissolve into the wine. Sparging is a process   Enclosed space protocols need to be respected.”
               where very fine bubbles of nitrogen are passed
               through the wine to remove dissolved oxygen. It        Suffocation is a genuine threat to workers if a
               is important to note that red and white wines dif-   nitrogen gas leak goes undetected. For this reason,
               fer in chemistry, and because of this, the use of    most wineries use gas monitors, portable sensors
               nitrogen gas sparging may differ in production. For   and other gas detection technology designed to
               example, some wines require a certain amount of      protect workers from oxygen depletion. Illinois-
               CO2,” he said. “To avoid removing CO2 below the      based PureAire Monitoring Systems services a vast
               required level, a mixture of CO2 and nitrogen is     array of food and beverage clients, including win-
               utilized for sparging. This is most common in pro-   eries. The company has a wide range of monitors
               duction of white wines but required for some red     for specific needs with features that promote ease
               wines.                                               of operation and longevity, such as a digital screen
                                                                    displaying an instant-read of oxygen levels and a
                 “During production, wine is transferred between    zirconium oxide sensor cell. Its dual oxygen/carbon
               multiple containers via pumps and hoses before       dioxide model includes both the zirconium oxide
               becoming a finished product and sealed into a bot-   sensor cell and a non-dispersive infrared sensor
               tle. This adds the risk of oxygen exposure. Nitrogen   cell.
               is used to flush out oxygen within storage tanks,
               barrels, transfer pumps, hoses and bottles to pre-     The use of nitrogen gas is a part of nearly every
               vent unwanted oxidation. Flushing is also used       food and beverage processing industry, including
               during bottling before a bottle is filled with wine.  winemaking. For a product whose optimal result
                                                                    depends on the right combination of artisanship
                 “Nitrogen can be used to blanket the ullage,       and science, wineries are using nitrogen to height-
               or headspace, of partially filled containers used    en the taste and quality of their wines as well as
               throughout the production process. Headspace is      their profits.
               the result of not filling a container from top to bot-
               tom. This space helps to compensate for the expan-
               sion and contraction of the wine due to changes in
               ambient temperature. Headspace is also a factor

               877-892-5332                  The Grapevine • November - December 2020                            Page 7

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