By Ava Renard. Wine Cellar System. Published at Thursday, May 31st, 2018 - 06:28:31 AM.
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.
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.
Understanding Temperature: 55- 57 degrees F (14 degrees C) is considered to be the ideal temperature for storing and properly aging wine. If the temperature consistently fluctuates up or down several degrees, your wines will be compromised and may age prematurely. Some cooling units are controlled using an in-bottle liquid temperature device, which signals the unit to adjust when it senses a change of 2 to 4 degrees of temperature in the liquid. Unfortunately, by the time the wine inside the insulated bottle reacts to the fluctuation, the air in the cellar has already shifted many more critical degrees.
Wine Cellar Cooling Units: Cellar cooling units can be set at any temperature within the optimum range for successfully aging wines and they cool the air slowly and gently. They are designed to maintain humidity rather than dehydrating the cellar although sometimes additional humidification may be required in extremely dry climates. This type of cooling unit is usually installed approximately 18 inches from the top of the room in order to achieve maximum cooling. The unit will also require an unobstructed airflow and adequate ventilation to dissipate the heat generated by the unit.
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