As a winemaker, you probably understand the importance of winery or glycol chillers in the overall winemaking process. The idea is to slow down the fermentation process to develop better flavor and finish. Winery chillers allow winemakers to precisely control the temperature of the wine so they can achieve a consistent, delicious result in every batch.
Here’s a brief overview of the winemaking process, to highlight why glycol and winery chillers are so important.
The winemaking process
Great wine starts with grapes, carefully harvested at the peak of flavor and ripeness. This ensures they have the right acids, tannins and sugars to create the wine. Once the grapes have been picked, the grapes are crushed or pressed to release the juices. Typically, this is done with mechanical presses, especially in larger wineries—grape stomping is more of a tourist attraction or special event these days.
Fermentation begins about 12 hours after the grapes are pressed, thanks to wild yeast floating around in the air. Modern winemakers tend to add precise amounts of their own yeast to each batch, which allows them more control over the final result. Some even kill off the wild yeast in order to add their own. The fermentation process converts all the natural sugars in the grapes into alcohol. This can take as little as 10 days, but can go on much longer, depending on the temperature. The higher the temperature, the faster the grapes ferment—but that’s not always a good thing. That’s why winemakers use winery chillers to control the process.
The clarification process is next, in which the winemaker will remove the sediment from the wine, using a filter or other methods. Finally, the wine is aged and bottled, depending on variety, and it’s ready to drink.
Temperature and winemaking
The basic steps to winemaking are simple, but when you want to consistently produce delicious wine, controlling the process is key. That’s where glycol chillers come in handy. Fermentation generates heat (it’s an exothermic process), which can speed up the process—but for better flavor, keeping the wine cool during fermentation is essential. It’s also important because each varietal requires different temperatures for ideal flavor and finish.
Plus, cool fermentation affects how much color is extracted from the grape skins—the next time you pour a glass of ruby red wine or a pretty pink rosé, you can thank glycol and winery chillers for making those vivid colors possible.
As you can see, the winemaking process depends on using winery chillers. If you care about the finished product, it’s crucial to invest in glycol or winery chillers—they’ll allow you to control the results and offer a superior product in every way.
The team at American Refrigeration Inc. is proud to offer high-quality commercial glycol and winery chillers. Call us today to learn more about our selection. We’ll be happy to help you find the right product for your facilities, and provide maintenance and repair services as needed. We look forward to hearing from you soon!