By Michaela Sorenson. Wine Cellar System. Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 01:13:50 AM.
Standard refrigeration equipment is designed not only to cool but also to remove moisture. Wine gives off neither heat nor moisture so you end up with an environment that's way too dry for wine. This will cause wine corks to shrink, which will allow air to get in. Once the air is in contact with your wine the irreversible process of oxidation begins and your wine is ruined! Vibration can also be an issue with a home refrigerator. Wine requires a calm vibration-free environment in which to develop so any vibration will eventually destroy a fine wine.
The true range in which wine can be safely stored is still something professionals and laymen alike debate on, though the most commonly accepted range is around 50 to 59°F. If wine becomes too hot, depending on the length of exposure, it can spoil or become "cooked." If wine become excessively cold, it can freeze. The freezing can cause expansion, and this could push the cork out partially, thereby exposing the wine to oxygen. Drastic temperature swings can also be dangerous, so it’s suggested to try and keep your cellar at a constant temperature.
While it is necessary to evaluate the amount you’re spending each year on growing your collection, it is also important to understand that keeping the storage temperature and humidity levels proper and precise is key to maintaining your collection. For both the amateur collector and aficionado, investing in a cooling unit for your wine cellar is a sensible, intelligent investment. While keeping in mind the humidity range your wine should be stored in (50%-70%), it is also useful to know the proper temperature you should keep your cellar. In fact, light, vibration, or temperature variance are also factors that can affect the aging of your collection.
The ideal temperature and humidity of any wine cellar would do well to mimic the natural conditions of France's legendary wine caves, which are acknowledged to be close to perfect. Keeping the rest of the world's cellars at the same 55-57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees C) and with an average of 60% relative humidity generally requires some form of dedicated wine cooling system. To properly control the cellar temperature and humidity, the system should take into account and manage not only the cellar's temperature but also the vagaries of the climate in which you live. It is hotdry? Hothumid? Colddry? Coldhumid? Will your system also be required to supply heating to maintain the correct winter temperature? These are all important considerations when building or retrofitting your wine cellar.
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