If you’re a winemaker, chances are you already know why you need a winery chiller—but you might not realize what makes them different from standard refrigerators, and why you need to get a dedicated winery chiller to improve your output.
Winery chillers in Eugene, OR are a critical part of the winemaking process. When you make wine, there is a recommended range of fermentation temperatures. If you let the fermentation vessel reach a higher or lower temperature, it can affect the final quality of the wine. In general, it’s best to let the wine slowly ferment at cooler temperatures. However, since the fermentation process generates heat, you need a way to control the ambient temperature so the extra heat doesn’t ruin the product. Winery chillers are designed to meet these precise demands.
How winery chillers work
Winery chillers are designed to keep wine at temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Glycol chillers are the most popular type of winery chiller, thanks to glycol’s ability to cool wines to subzero temperatures.
Glycol chillers have a heat exchanger and a loop of closed tubing attached. A mixture of water and propylene glycol (which is an anti-freeze product) are sent through the tubing and heat exchanger, which cools the inside ambient temperature to the desired level. Sensors detect when the temperature rises, so the cooler will adjust accordingly.
Glycol chillers are the most popular for a few reasons. First, they’re more effective than chillers that use water alone. Additionally, the glycol acts as a secondary lubricant for the chiller pumps, which helps ensure seamless operation for a longer period of time. They come in a variety of sizes, including chillers for sites with unusual space constraints, and portable chillers. Finally, their closed-loop system makes it easier for owners to avoid the clogging and corrosion that other types of chillers may experience.
In other cases, winery chillers can do the opposite—they can keep the wine at a warmer temperature than indoors. This is a useful feature for wineries in particularly cold areas, or during the winter months. Since red wines are fermented between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it is sometimes necessary to bring the temperature up to get the best results possible.
Winery chiller considerations
There’s an appropriate winery chiller for just about every winemaker, whether you need something to save space, a chiller that can cool and heat or a portable chiller. The most popular size is a two-ton model, but it’s not uncommon to see chillers that hold 20 tons or more. Whichever size you choose will depend on your winery’s size, location and any other special considerations you may have.
If you need help choosing a winery chiller in Eugene, OR, the experts at American Refrigeration Inc. can help. Our team has been helping supply, install and maintain cold storage equipment for over two decades. We can help you choose and install the chiller that’s best for your needs—call us today to get started or learn more!