The cold storage unit for wineries and many types of ethnological facilities are increasingly used in the wine sector. Cold rooms and refrigeration facilities are in charge of regulating the maturation and production process in many of the processes.
The cold applications in this type of company represent an added value to the processes, new in quality, and the production of excellent wines.
Refrigeration and Wine: A little history:
Since time immemorial, wines were kept in oak jars and barrels in caves or underground places in order to take advantage of their temperature stability with respect to those existing outsides.
Subsequently, the low winter temperatures were taken advantage of, since the stabilization results of the wine were immensely better. And finally, with the appearance of industrial cold, they have been incorporated into a multitude of uses, processes, and above all waiting for temperature control in the fermentation of the wines themselves. That is allowing a tartaric stabilization of the broth and adequate air conditioning of the storage and aging spaces and premises.
However, trying to obtain natural conditions for the conservation and aging of wines and cabas is not an easy task. Although the natural conditions found in a cave are logically ideal, there is not always the possibility of storing and aging wine in caves.
Then, the objective is to artificially create climatic conditions, as similar as possible, to those of this type of enclosure.
These spaces must maintain temperature stability, with the least possible oscillation, around 12 degrees, during the entire storage and aging time.
High temperatures, enemy number 1 of wines:
There is an essential principle in wine aging, with respect to temperatures and that is that the higher the temperature of the cold storage unit where it is, the faster it will evolve, and therefore less time of storage.
Although this is not catastrophic, it is not that it implies that the wines spoil, but their aging conditions change and the results will no longer be identical to those expected. This, without being catastrophic, is not recommended.
Therefore, nowadays, installations with sandwich panels and refrigeration equipment are already being carried out in important warehouses, in order to obtain enviable climatic conditions, at the same time that it facilitates the work of storage and distribution of the merchandise.
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Industrial cold: An excellent solution for the wine sector:
Currently, many manufacturers make specific equipment for wineries, with a wide range of models for certain specific volumes, and with very successful solutions for cold storage unit that needs a maximum of 10 kW.
Some of them may be compact-type refrigeration equipment, some manufacturers even “paint” them with a color, wine to differentiate them from the rest of the equipment. Or there is also split-type equipment, for larger volumes with working temperature ranges and humidity control, specific for wineries and wineries.
These equipment are usually used to store bottled wine or to preserve wines in barrels with humidity control. The evaporating units have heating resistors, a condensate pump, a reduced refrigerant gas charge. The compressor is usually of the hermetic alternative type, with high and low-pressure switches, multifunction electronic regulation with temperature and humidity control, and an anti-air filter.
Industrial Cold Systems in Warehouses:
Recently, facilities have begun to be incorporated, with “shower” systems that cool the tanks and are reused with the recovery of water and its filtration system with separation of remains of the alcoholic fermentation that remain in the route.
Installations are also being made with fixed and/or removable plates used in steel, concrete, or wood tanks, which need a specific contribution with cold or heat that would be difficult to obtain through any other system without modifying the tanks.
These plates are used in tanks initially designed for cooling that are later used for malolactic fermentation where the heat needs to reach the bottom of the tank. All these plates can be fixed or removable, depending on the needs of the installation itself.
The most recent system to be incorporated into the needs is that of cooling by means of outer jackets. Its most notable characteristic is that of allowing greater cleaning in the warehouses, external cleaning of the tank, and notable savings in water consumption compared to the outdoor shower system.
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Specific Cold Treatments for white wines and Musts:
In the treatment of musts and wines, a process called “racking” of the grape is used for white wines during their fermentation. The treatment of white wines requires very strict control of the temperature, with a maximum of between 17 and 20 ° C during fermentation, and between 10 and 15 ° C in the clearing.
But throughout the rest of the process in a cold storage unit, it is enough that the premises are properly insulated since they are used only for the purpose of stabilizing the broths by low temperature, a set of phases that can be obtained by natural means.
There are more ways to refrigerate wines:
– Use cold storage unit: isolated cold storages that are cooled between 10ºC and 20 ° C. Thus, an excellent level of stabilization of the broths is achieved.
– Installation of cold exchangers: When the pipes containing the wine have a permanent circulation of the same, which carry the refrigeration, the heat exchange that occurs is very intense.
This allows this system to be very effective as well. Here at the exit, the temperature can be regulated, and the chilled wine at the desired temperature is returned to its tank. This is an excellent method in large wineries, but they are equipped with a very high price, therefore in smaller or artisanal facilities its implementation is not profitable.
– Portable plates: They are rectangular plates that contain folded tubes and are reinforced by metal sheets. They sink into the fermentation tanks from above. In these plates, the cold water arrives at one corner, and at the other, it comes out after acquiring part of the heat from the wine, which is cooled to the set temperature point.
– Double-jacketed tanks: These are tanks made of double-walled stainless steel with a gap between them (this effect is called: shirt), which is occupied by a pipe that completely surrounds the entire tank like a coil.
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