The Benefits of Dry Ice Blasting in the Wine Industry
When it comes to wine, quality is everything. Yet quality doesn’t only derive from a winery’s ability to produce the perfect blend of grapes, but also from the techniques that they use while making their wine.
Dry ice blasting has been used in the winemaking industry for over 10 years now, where it has been used as an environmentally-friendly cleaning technique that has reduced costs for wineries and has even created new techniques in winemaking.
Cleaning Wine Barrels
Dry ice blasting is an innovative technique to clean and reuse wine barrels, allowing wineries to extend the life of wine barrels and reduce annual costs. Cleaning wine barrels with this method has been analyzed under scientific study, where it was found that dry ice removes 98-100% of contaminants from the barrels.
Dry ice blasts inside the barrels, removing a thin layer of wine-soaked wood and tartrate crystals from any previous aging, allowing them to be used again. This helps vineyards and winemakers avoid purchasing barrels on an annual basis, saving them money, and leaving a positive environmental impact.
While removing contaminants, the blasting process has also been shown to have a positive impact on flavour, with increased notes of boisé and vanilla identified after aging wine in dry ice-blasted barrels.
Dry ice can be used not only for cleaning but also in the maceration and transport stages of the winemaking process.
Wickens Dry Ice Blasting offers dry ice blasting services for cleaning, and dry ice pelletizers to produce high-density dry ice pellets on-site, which can then be added to the maceration process as wine is prepared. This process will inhibit fermentation by reducing the temperature of the grapes.
Performing cryomaceration can impact the wine by creating a more organoleptic wine than traditional fermentation, inhibiting bacteria growth, reducing oxidation, and producing a higher quality colour, smell, taste, and feel in the final product.
Following the same technique of applying dry ice to grapes in travel, winemakers can prevent exposure to higher temperatures and slow down the chances of fermentation. This helps maintain the quality of grapes and avoid spoilage in winemaking facilities.
Food Safe Cleaning
Many cleaning methods require chemicals and additions that can impact the flavour or even safety of wines, but dry ice blasting is a non-toxic, food-safe cleaning method that is approved by the FDA.
Dry ice pellets are made of carbon dioxide, which is the only material used in dry ice blasting. As carbon dioxide sublimates and turns to a gas it disappears after use, leaving no secondary waste to clean up.
Dry ice blasting can be used to clean and sanitize wine barrels, wine barrel rooms, wine caves, and winery equipment to clean and protect from mould spores, bacteria, fungus, and more.
As wineries continue to introduce new changes to their processes and embrace new technologies, they will be able to further diversify their products, improve the quality of their wines, and make their production process more efficient.
For more information about dry ice blast cleaning or obtaining a pelletizer for use, contact us today.
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