COMPRESSORS AND VINO
The Use of Compressed Air in Wineries
Compressed air accounts for a large amount of energy consumption in the wine production process, especially in the production of grapes. A big part of wine-making is a result of the work of equipment and is dependent on its efficiency.
An air compressor should be located in well ventilated, shaded areas, out of direct sunlight. This includes the inlet for the compressed air system which should be located away from heat sources such as the compressed air outlet, refrigeration or air conditioning plant and equipment.
Common Uses of Compressed Air in Wineries
Wineries of all sizes depend on compressed air for powering continuous-duty machines from crushing grapes to bottling, labeling and filling. These machines require a very precise amount of clean, oil-free air to accomplish the following items:
Pressing Grapes: Air compressors are often paired with a bladder press to aid in pushing out the grapes juice through the vent holes.
Crushing Grapes: Sadly, villagers do not stomp barefoot in vats to crush grape harvests anymore. Teaming up with a pressurized bladder, compressed air slowly inflates the tank to press the grapes to the surface.
Heat & Cool Product: Monitoring temperature and keeping best temperature ranges during fermentation is a very critical part of making a great wine. Excesses above or below the ideal range will have a direct impact on your finished wine, including whether or not it finishes at all
Filter & Dry Product: Running a filtration system, which is the fastest and most efficient way to filter your finished wine before bottling.
Aeration: Aeration is an essential process of introducing oxygen to the wine to round out and soften. Oil-free compressors are ideal because they don’t risk contaminating your masterpiece with oil – affecting the quality and the taste.
Bottling: Bottling is one of the most common uses for air compressors in wineries and smaller commercial operations. Pressurized air is vital for moving wine from the conditioning tank or barrels to the bottle, and for keeping lines clean and free of water. Bottling uses a lot of air, so getting the right unit is critical. If you select an undersized or non-continuous rated unit, it will most likely get hot and start “spitting” oil into the lines. Even with a water trap, oil filters, and water filters, contamination will still get through pneumatic lines and wreak chaos on your equipment.
Clean Air = Clean Wine: No matter what size the operation, you will want an oil-free air compressor that is UL-listed, comes with an ASME-certified tank and uses the right combination of air treatment accessories to produce the most contaminant-free air possible. But, if you’re still using an oil-lubricated compressor, you’ll need to incorporate refrigerated dryers and in-line air filters to remove moisture, oil, and other airborne contaminants. Whether you are a large winery coop or an independent, small winery, choosing the right air compressor and accessories will go a long way to protect your investment and the award-winning wine you create.
Please feel free to call or email us if you have any questions or need help deciding which compressor is right for your winery. At Airtec, we are here to help you!
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